TikTok Joins Forces with Cyversity for Minority Scholarship Cybersecurity Training Program
A press release published Thursday by the non-profit association Cyversity announced a partnership with TikTok to create a scholarship program for underrepresented people seeking to begin or further their careers in cybersecurity.
This is undoubtedly an excellent partnership for Cyversity, whose stated mission is to “achieve the consistent representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry through programs designed to diversify, educate, and empower.”
Cyversity exists to answer an obvious need. According to an October 2021 report from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), just 26% of cybersecurity workers are women or traditionally marginalized people. A 2020 report published by TechTarget stated that the infosec space, in general, struggles “to attract diverse talent because they do not know where to find it.”
“In a job market described as being 70% who you know vs. 30% what you know,” the report continued, “expecting diverse talent to simply appear at an organization's doorstep is not enough to address racial and gender disparities.”
The deal also comes at a good time for the Chinese-owned, Culver City-headquartered TikTok, which is currently facing challenges on several fronts.
In the last three months alone, TikTok has faced increasing scrutiny over multiple issues, such as its algorithm allegedly pushing misogynistic content, keylogging user input regardless of whether users submitted what they typed and a threatened multimillion-dollar fine over child data privacy.
So a partnership like this may not only provide new opportunities to underrepresented people—it also ensures positive press for TikTok that will likely pull focus away from the app’s more controversial aspects.
In the end, whether TikTok’s motivations are altruistic in partnering with Cyversity may be beside the point. With the cybersecurity industry facing new threats daily, it can only benefit from new and diverse skill sets, perspectives and brain power.
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