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Google has always prioritized security in its products and services, and the company has been continuously sharing its expertise to safeguard people, businesses, and governments. This mission has become even more pressing as cyber-attacks increased globally by 38% last year, and nearly half of the small and medium-sized businesses in Europe have experienced a cyber attack in the past two years.
However, Europe faces a talent gap in the cybersecurity sector. There was an estimated shortage of up to 500,000 cybersecurity professionals last year in the region, with women holding only 25% of the current cybersecurity jobs. This alarming scenario has led Google to reaffirm its commitment to advancing cybersecurity.
Google Safety Engineering Center in Màlaga
At the inauguration of the Google Safety Engineering Center in Màlaga, a flagship cybersecurity hub for Europe, Google announced a $10 million commitment to increase cybersecurity training across Europe. This action also forms part of Google’s contribution to the EU Cybersecurity Skills Academy, an initiative by the European Commission to close the cybersecurity talent gap.
Google.org’s European Cybersecurity Seminars Program
Google.org, in partnership with the European Cyber Conflict Research Incubator (“ECCRI CIC”), is launching a new European Cybersecurity Seminars program. This initiative, a first of its kind in Europe, is designed to develop cybersecurity skills and help local community organizations bolster their online protections. The program provides universities with cybersecurity training and curriculum, enabling them to offer cybersecurity courses to students from diverse backgrounds without prior experience.
To mark the program’s launch, Google.org will provide eight universities in eight different European countries with up to $1 million in funding, course content, and extensive training from the ECCRI CIC to help them bring the Cybersecurity Seminars to life.
Support for Community Organizations
The program is expected to enroll over 1,600 students in the initial phase. Each student must put the skills learned in the classroom into practice by supporting at least two community organizations to boost their cyber protections. This initiative aims to reach at least 3,200 organizations in the program’s first two years alone.
In collaboration with their EU-based digital transformation partner, leading GovTech company PUBLIC, each university cohort selected for funding through the program will have the option to receive donated Titan Security Keys and no-cost training from Google employees about how to enroll in and use Google’s Advanced Protection Program.
The First Fully Flexible Cybersecurity Curriculum
The program will also fund ECCRI CIC’s creation of educational resources for universities, including the first flexible cybersecurity curriculum, which offers an entry-level overview of the field and basic skills to support community organizations most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This curriculum will be translated into eight European languages and available to all academic institutions with comprehensive instruction.
Through this initiative, Google aims to reach many universities beyond the initial eight receiving funding. Notably, Google has already trained 12 million people in digital skills across Europe and launched Google Career Certificates in English, Spanish, and French earlier this year.
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