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Cisco has launched a $10 million global cyber security scholarship to increase the talent pool, and has introduced new certifications. Cisco says research indicates there will be a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019.

Cisco says it will offer training, mentoring and certification that align with the security operations center analyst industry job role. The program will be delivered in partnership with key Cisco Authorized Learning Partners and will be designed to address the critical skills deficit, and to provide the on-the-job readiness needed to meet current and future challenges of network security.

Cisco has also introduced a new Cyber Ops Certification to its portfolio of security certifications and is revising its CCIE Security Certification. CCNA Cyber Ops focuses on the role of the security analyst working in a security operations center (SOC) that monitors systems and detects attacks. It introduces IT personnel to some of the skills needed in a SOC, giving them an understanding of how responses are coordinated.

The CCNA Cyber Ops expands Cisco's existing associate-level certification offerings including the CCNA Security designation, which focuses on the network security administrator role. The CCIE Security revision addresses new expert-level skills and education needed to prepare security personnel for evolving technologies and security threats.

It includes assessments on the latest security technologies, including advanced threat protection, advanced malware protection, next-generation IPS, virtualization, automation and information exchange. It also includes a new assessment approach focused on ensuring that candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills with evolving technologies, such as network programmability, cloud and IoT.