New Initiative Addresses Shortage of Professionals and Lack of Diversity in Cybersecurity by Recruiting, Training and Retaining Diverse Talent from Underrepresented Backgrounds
NEW YORK – November 12, 2021 – Ankura Consulting Group, LLC, (“Ankura” or the “Company”), a global expert services and advisory firm, today announced the launch of its Brooklyn Cyber Center (BCC). The BCC aims to address two perennial challenges in the cybersecurity industry: the severe talent shortage in the sector, which has made it difficult for organizations to fill open security positions with qualified staff, and a historic lack of diversity in the information security profession.
The BCC will identify and recruit high-potential candidates from underrepresented communities in Brooklyn and surrounding areas of metro New York City. Members of the program will participate in a 15-week, full-time intensive training on core cybersecurity disciplines. Those who successfully complete the intake program will then have the opportunity to join Ankura’s global cybersecurity practice as full-time security analysts. The BCC is currently operating virtually but will eventually move to a permanent home in downtown Brooklyn.
“As leaders of Ankura’s cybersecurity practice, we have learned over the past 20 years that qualities such as curiosity, tenacity, and a strong work ethic are the biggest predictors of success for a cybersecurity professional,” said Jason Straight, Senior Managing Director in Ankura’s cybersecurity practice and a Brooklyn resident. “Our Cyber Center will provide an opportunity to those who have the passion, drive and commitment to be successful but may not necessarily have had the opportunity to take a traditional path to a professional career.”
Ankura’s broad-based cybersecurity services business ideally positions the Firm to launch the BCC because of its focus on and experience in delivering technology-enabled managed services to help its clients protect against cyber threats such as ransomware and supply chain attacks. In particular, Ankura’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service, which provides 24/7 real-time security monitoring, threat detection and incident response services, is growing rapidly, generating a steady demand for security analysts to support the business. As part of a 24/7 team with years of experience delivering MDR services, new recruits quickly obtain real-world experience working alongside seasoned professionals, while honing their skills and gaining proficiency as analysts.
“By focusing our cybersecurity recruiting efforts on one of the most diverse communities in the country – Brooklyn – the BCC will significantly enhance the diversity of Ankura’s cyber practice and offer important resources and opportunities for underrepresented groups,” said Jamar Haywood, Managing Director in Ankura’s cybersecurity practice and also a Brooklyn resident. “In addition to creating opportunities and new paths to fulfilling careers for individuals who might not otherwise have them, the perspectives and problem-solving techniques brought to the table by the BCC team will significantly enrich Ankura’s approach to threat detection and client service.”
Ankura clients will have the opportunity to support the BCC and re-affirm their own commitment to diversity in the cybersecurity industry by engaging Ankura’s cybersecurity team to provide a wide range of cybersecurity and privacy services. Ankura will be looking to partner with select client organizations to set the strategic path for the BCC and to tailor its focus to best further the clients’ objectives. “We sincerely hope that the BCC model will inspire other organizations to create similar initiatives to develop new talent and address diversity challenges,” said Straight.