Press Release

Launch of our cybersecurity platform: get involved and educate yourself

Published on March 26, 2020

Cybersecurity Skills Development in the EU

The new  whitepaper on “Cybersecurity Skills Development in the EU” focuses on the state of the cybersecurity education system and the difficulty in attracting more students to cybersecurity studies. It looks at how we can increase the number of graduates with relevant cybersecurity knowledge and skills.

This report provides considerations and recommendations for policy actions at national and at European level in order to address the shortage in cybersecurity skills. In addition, further areas of research are being considered to identify the nature and extent of the EU cybersecurity skills shortage.

The paper addresses:

  • The policy challenge of the cybersecurity skills shortage;
  • The causes of the shortage; explaining why many stakeholders agree on the need to set standards for cybersecurity certification degrees;
  • The processes and criteria established by 4 countries in order to certify cybersecurity degrees and the implications of establishing certification for cybersecurity degrees;
  • The creation of the ENISA’s Cybersecurity Higher Education Database;
  • Recommendations for increasing the number of graduates with the right cybersecurity knowledge and skills.

The Cybersecurity Higher Education Database

All the EU higher education institutions with cybersecurity degrees are invited to add their degrees to the Cybersecurity Higher Education Database.

This will allow young talents to make informed decisions in light of the different possibilities offered by higher education in cybersecurity. It will also help universities to attract highly motivated students interested in keeping Europe cyber secure.

By creating a single and easy-to-use online platform where citizens can find relevant information on cybersecurity degrees, the Agency seeks to fill potential information gaps. Such gaps are obvious, for example, when students might be interested in a cybersecurity career but don’t know where to find information on the best educational pathways available. The database therefore intends to bridge the gap between cybersecurity supply and demand.

The EU Agency for Cybersecurity, Executive Director, Juhan Lepassaar, stated:

Having enough professionals to secure information systems has become an absolute priority. The database and skills development white paper are two tools the Agency created to support cybersecurity awareness and education which are needed to build Europe’s cyber capacities”


Background of the EU Cybersecurity Education Policy

Cybersecurity education and skills have attracted policy interest since the publication by the European Commission of the first EU cybersecurity strategy in 2013. The Commission invited Member States to increase their education and training efforts around network and information security (NIS) topics. The intention was to create a ‘NIS driving licence’ as a voluntary certification programme to promote advanced skills and validate the competences of IT professionals.

In 2017, in the Joint Communication ‘Resilience, deterrence and defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU’ , the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy confirmed again that ‘there is a strong education dimension to cybersecurity’. They declared also that ‘effective cybersecurity relies heavily on the skills of the people concerned’.

The Agency has been an active player in cybersecurity education, awareness and research. Since 2012, seven publications were produced of high relevance to the topic. In addition, the agency has been running the European Cyber Security Challenge and the European Cyber Security Month, an awareness campaign taking place every October.


Further Information:

Cybersecurity Higher Education Database

ENISA Report - Cybersecurity Skills Development in the EU

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