Today at AusCERT 2021, the Genius Armoury platform, a targeted solution to help tackle a critically important part of the nation’s cyber security skills shortage, is being launched.
The platform was developed by Untapped Holdings with BHP, DXC Australia, Splunk, La Trobe University and Curtin University and partially funded by AustCyber’s Projects Fund, a $15 million, three-year initiative designed to help the Australian cyber security industry grow both locally and globally.
Genius Armoury is an online environment designed to identify and attract a previously untapped cyber security talent pool from within the autistic community.
In Australia, the unemployment rate for autistic individuals is 31.6 per cent. This is three times the rate for people with a disability, and almost six times the rate for people without a disability.
Yet, some autists possess traits that are extremely useful in cyber security roles including attention to detail, the ability to focus for long periods and identify patterns, photographic memory, integrity and honesty.
CEO of Untapped Holdings, Andrew Eddy, believes Genius Armoury provides autists who have little or no prior knowledge of cyber security with a syllabus of fundamental learning.
"The materials are provided in an accessible, inspirational and engaging format intended to ignite interest and the pursuit of further learning. Delivered via a virtual, asynchronous platform, the materials can be undertaken by participants at any time, even in remote locations.
"The Genius Armoury concept came from the realisation, through autism employment assessment workshops, that autists considering educational options and career paths have little understanding of the opportunities of a cyber security career.
“When explained, there was often a high level of interest in the type of work undertaken in these roles. This generated the idea of providing an autism-friendly, deep-dive learning experience into the world of a cyber security analyst to spark interest amongst this cohort."
CEO of AustCyber Michelle Price said, “Genius Armoury is a world leading and innovative solution for inclusion and diversity in the cyber security workforce and will benefit all sectors of the economy more broadly.
“If we can better support autistic individuals to find jobs that take advantage of their often-unique set of skills in cyber security, we are taking another step to meet the current skills shortage with a pool of currently untapped talent. Perhaps more importantly, the day to day of cyber security offers highly productive and challenging work – and employers are increasingly aware of the workplace environment that will attract and retain autists as part of a more sophisticated approach to workforce strategy and development.”
Genius Armoury comprises five modules:
- Introduction to cyber security
- Threats and exploits
- Digital forensics
- Cyber security tools.
A Genius Armoury completion certificate is provided once all the modules have been completed, and this can be included on a participant’s resume. Participants can then engage in the information available on the Genius Armoury platform about education and employment options and pursue their next step.
Genius Armoury is seeking to partner with as many educational institutions as possible – to create pathways to their cyber security courses – and with employers – to assist in developing their cyber security talent acquisition strategies.