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Cybersecurity: Closing the Skills Gaps for Future H-1B Jobs and Occupations

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Data breaches and other types of modern, large-scale cyberattacks have been making headlines for more than a decade, but recently, it seems like organizations in the education and healthcare industry have been taking on more than their fair share. As it turns out, it doesn’t just seem that way – it’s actually happening according to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report that the impact is much greater. InventXR Services are designed to help companies be more secure and future-proof.

The Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gaps program will fund projects that expand apprenticeships to industries in which apprenticeships may traditionally be unavailable or underrepresented by providing apprenticeship training that leads to well-paying, middle- and high-skilled jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries and occupations. While program participants do not need to have those skill levels to enter the apprenticeship programs, the InventXR projects are set up to help move apprentices along a career pathway to earn the education and paid work-based learning experience that will result in employment in middle- and high-skilled jobs.
To help American industry develop a pipeline for jobs of the future, InventXR develops products and services that that target one or more of the following:

Option 1: Occupations in an H-1B industry – InventXR will expand apprenticeships in an H-1B industry. An H-1B industry is an industry in which the Department has certified H-1B visas for occupations in that industry. The list of H-1B industries that are acceptable for applications is found in the Department of Labor website. These industries are the information technology (IT) and IT-related industries, health care, and advanced manufacturing. Applicants to our program may propose occupations across one or more H-1B industries, target multiple occupations within an H-1B industry, or narrow their focus to a specific occupation within an H-1B industry.

Option 2: H-1B occupations – Applicants to InventXR programs may choose to target a specific H-1B occupation(s) for which a significant number of H-1B visas have been certified, even if that occupation is not in one of the identified H-1B industries listed in the departments website If this occupation is not within the H-1B industries identified, InventXR will help provide data showing that the H-1B occupation is one for which a significant number of H-1B visas have been certified. Applicants looking into jobs of the future must use verifiable data to make this demonstration, such as data provided by DOL’s Foreign Labor Certification Data Center. Applicants may propose to serve more than one H-1B occupation. The Department is particularly interested in expanding apprenticeships in cybersecurity and AI occupations.

Four Narratives that Could Explain Why

  1. A decade ago, cyber-security was all about securing the perimeter to ensure that corporate IT systems were closed to outsiders. In the past five years, however, working remotely has become more and more ubiquitous with a high percentage of employees working outside of the perimeter, accessing sensitive data through the cloud and unsecured systems, and often doing it all via a mobile device. As a result, the entire enterprise has become fundamentally more vulnerable, making it difficult to determine where the perimeter ends and the outside world begins.
  2. Education, Healthcare and life sciences companies have long been slow to innovate when it comes to digital, and this hasn’t been helped by the fact that technology is not their core business proposition. In fact, as other industries have had to adopt new business models to grow their revenues, which typically resulted in disproportionate investment into technology, healthcare and education have stayed a little behind the digitization curve.
  3. For many organizations, being slow to innovate is not by choice. Instead, it’s often for compliance reasons, like in a scenario where a business has to choose between meeting the latest regulatory standard and rolling out a new technology. In this case, the company may stay in business without the new software component, but not without meeting the regulatory standard. Indeed, compliance has long been a burden to the CIO agenda.
  4. Finally, considering the above narrative about the ever-expanding perimeter and how an increase in cyber attacks has affected so many employees in the last five years, it’s worth noting that the companies making headlines for data breaches aren’t small or even medium-sized. Instead, hackers go after the biggest and, by extension, most profitable targets – companies with the highest numbers of employees, locations, and potential entry points.

How to Plan for What’s Next

Considering the size and scope of the data breach against many of Silicon Valley’s large companies, it’s hard not to start posing what-if questions. What if they had implemented better or more security controls sooner? What if they had run a mixture of Windows and iOS to stave off Windows-attacking viruses like WannaCry and Petya? What if they had identified the virus before it made its way across the entire enterprise?

There will always be what-ifs, but with so many possible access points for a data breach, it’s nearly impossible to ever be 100% uncompromised, especially when you’re a huge company trying to balance growth and revenue with compliance and security.

It’s not easy, but it is absolutely worth your time to not only determine a plan to improve your cybersecurity, but also create a plan for how to respond if your company falls victim to a cyberattack. The best way to get started is to assume you’re already compromised, or that you’ll be compromised tomorrow at the latest, and then find a partner who can help you. The faster you make cybersecurity a priority, the better off you’ll be. This is why InventXR at Fiber Internet Center is a partner towards a more secure enterprise that can handle challenges of the 21st century.

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