Talent dearth worsens cybersecurity problems

Updated: 2018-03-07 China Daily


Zhou Hongyi (right), a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC), speaks at a panel discussion on Sunday. [Photo/China News Service]

China should set up more education and training institutions to cultivate cybersecurity talent, as the country faces a huge talent gap in this sector, said Zhou Hongyi, chairman and CEO of 360 Security Technology Inc.

In his proposal to the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC), Zhou, a member of the committee, called for more cooperation between internet security companies and universities in cybersecurity talent cultivation and construction of related disciplines.

The country is in urgent need of such talent, and the cybersecurity workforce gap will surge to 1.4 million by 2020 based on estimates from experts and organizations, said Zhou on the side-lines of the annual two sessions.

"I hope the government will encourage internet security companies to take part in the vocational education of cybersecurity," Zhou said.

"At present cybersecurity is not only related to the internet but involves national security, social security, infrastructure security and even personal safety. That is why we are now marching into a 'big security' age."

Zhou added many cybersecurity issues could not be totally solved by technology, but also need the nation's top-level design, as well as related policy and strategy support in the network security sector.

In January, the company inked a strategic partnership with Beihang University, one of China's top science and technology institutes, to cooperate in cybersecurity talent cultivation, the development of related subjects and joint construction of an intelligent security laboratory.

Established in 2005, 360 Security Technology is one of the largest internet security companies in China. It was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange last week through a back-door listing via SJEC Corporation, a listed elevator and escalator maker.

Zhou also urged enterprises to report cyber attacks and strengthen supervision and management of network safety loopholes.

"The software and hardware that may lead to disclosure of user's privacy, especially products like internet of things and intelligent vehicles, should be recalled compulsorily if they have great safety loopholes to avoid greater losses," said Zhou.

Zhou said his company, which delisted from the US stock market in 2016, will participate in China's national cybersecurity after returning to the A-share market.

The active users of 360's PC security products average 509 million per month, and active users of mobile products totaled 1.16 billion, according to the company.

At present, the training of cybersecurity talent is an urgent task for China's internet development, said Zhao Zeliang, director of cybersecurity coordination for the Cyberspace Administration of China, adding the country has more than 751 million netizens, but only produces around 8,000 cybersecurity graduates every year.

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