#RSAC: GM CEO Stresses Need to Invest in Developing Next Generation of Cyber Engineers

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Delivering a keynote talk at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Mary T Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors Company, said “all of you today are the best and strongest line of defense in this on going and even more complex fight.”

Barra had concluded the first part of her keynote talk by saying that “we know this is a marathon with no finish line” and stressed the need for more talent, citing the most recent (ISC)2 Cyber Workforce Survey, which estimated a current shortage of four million. She said that “without the right people and the right tools” security risks will increase, “and endanger all of us.”

She added that for long term success of every business that exists in a digital ecosystem “we must fill the talent gap, and not just with anyone but with everyone.”

She highlighted the need to recruit more “women and minorities, who are under-represented in the engineering and IT fields” so GM has run outreach programs to schools with a focus on pursuing “rewarding careers” and encouraging students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, and “help them see a path for themselves in this space.” Last year this enabled 300,000 students and teachers across the United States, while General Motors has participated in nationwide careers programs and has encouraged its own engineers to do outreach to schools.

“If we want to cultivate young people of the future, we need to invest in theirs,” she said.

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