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The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) presents the progress in the implementation and adoption of the European Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF)

September 2023 by Marc Jacob

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) proudly announces significant progress in the implementation and adoption of the European Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF) at the second edition of the European Cybersecurity Skills Conference. This milestone event, held under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE), takes place in the year dedicated to skills development across Europe - 2023, the European Year of Skills and a few months after the publication by the Commission of a communication on a Cybersecurity Skills Academy.

New legal requirements increasing the level of cyber resilience in the EU and the wider threat landscape has made the demand of cybersecurity professionals grow rapidly. However, the supply of professionals is not in tandem with this increasing demand. The Cybersecurity Higher Education Database (CyberHEAD) shows that the number of cybersecurity graduates per has peaked to 3100, with a 25% grow over the past 2 years. However, the number of cybersecurity workforce shortage is estimated at 300 thousand, a gap that cannot be closed with the current number of graduates. So, further investments in re-skilling and upskilling are needed to cover this workforce shortage.

The conference opens the discussions with key actors of the cybersecurity community.

ENISA’s Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar said: “To implement all the current and upcoming EU legal requirements for cybersecurity, we need more people with certain skills. Without this human capital we cannot achieve our goal of a high level of cybersecurity across the EU.”

About the Skills conference

The second edition of the European Cybersecurity Skills Conference showcased how the ECSF has been applied and implemented in different member states, context and sectors in a harmonised approach. Announcements of new pledges contributing to a larger cybersecurity workforce were made. These pledges are part of European Commission’s recent initiative, the Cybersecurity Skills Academy, which uses ECSF as the EU reference point for professional skills and competences and aims to tackle cybersecurity workforce shortage.

The conference also announced the launch of the review of the European Cybersecurity skills Framework and a call upon stakeholders to enhance cybersecurity skills understanding and development across the EU.

Attendees came from various sectors, such as public administrations for skills development, cybersecurity private organisations with an interest in building a competent workforce, professional associations, researchers, academics, and training providers.

About the European Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF)

The European Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF) is a practical tool to support the identification and articulation of tasks, competences, skills and knowledge associated with the roles of European cybersecurity professionals. It is the EU reference point for defining and assessing relevant skills, as defined in the Cybersecurity Skills Academy, which was recently announced by the European Commission.

The ECSF summarises the cybersecurity-related roles into 12 profiles, which are individually analysed into the details of their corresponding responsibilities, skills, synergies and interdependencies. It provides a common understanding of the relevant roles, competencies, skills and knowledge mostly required in cybersecurity, facilitates recognition of cybersecurity skills, and supports the design of cybersecurity-related training programmes.

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