Allianz Cyber Talent Academy - The First Foundation to Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

Honoring the best participants in a festive setting in Munich

Munich, Germany - June 12th, 2024 - 50 graduates received their Allianz Cyber Talent Academy certifications on June 4th from the SANS Institute in Munich, supported by Allianz. More than 1,000 individuals from 49 countries had applied to the academy program. The initiative itself commenced in November 2023 as a collaboration with the African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI), led by Siemens, and with the support of Youth Enlightenment Empowerment and Self- and Sustainability (Yeessi), Women in Cyber (WiCys), and the Charter of Trust.

For Lucide Pascale, a graduate from Rwanda, the Academy helped shaping her career path: "With the skills I have learnt, I am able to protect IT systems from hackers, something that I have learnt to love and therefore would like to make it my profession. With all that I have learned, I can empower and inspire other young women who want to enter the field of cyber security."

Initiator Bettina Dietsche, Chief People & Culture Officer (CPCO) of Allianz Group, congratulated all the successful graduates: "Analyses show that there is a shortage of more than 300,000 cyber security specialists in Europe. The success of this initiative proves us right and shows that by working together, we can meet the challenges of cyber security. We are proud of our positive impact on all the great people in so many countries. It's great to see so many participants inspiring each other and even more people to enter the field of cyber security."

Firstly, all interested candidates underwent the SANS Cyber Talent Enhanced Aptitude Assessment & Selection process. Following the assessment, the successful applicants were invited to the Allianz Cyber Talent Academy. The graduates who completed the SANS Foundations course (covering Computers, Technology, and Security) and the GIAC certification GFACT with the highest scores were admitted to the third round where they were enrolled in another class. The SANS Security Essentials course (focusing on Network, Endpoint, and Cloud) and the GIAC certification GSEC completed the program.

James Lyne, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer (CTIO) at the SANS Institute and responsible for the content of the program, addressed the graduates in which he outlined his motivation as the Academy's thought leader: "The field of cybersecurity is in a constant state of evolution, as are the activities and requirements within it. This is exemplified using AI tools, which are employed on both sides for defensive and offensive purposes. It is no longer sufficient to possess only technical skills. In addition, it is also necessary to have communication skills, data protection expertise, and legal knowledge."

William Bartram, General Manager at the SANS Institute, Jonathan Reynolds, Education Lead at the Charter of Trust, and Dr Ralf Schneider, Allianz SE I Senior Fellow Cybersecurity & Next-Generation IT, are also credited with this success. "Traditionally, the cybersecurity community has been predominantly male, which certainly narrows the perspective. Diversity and inclusion broaden the perspective and enhance the creativity of the entire team. This is where the Allianz Cyber Talent Academy comes in, and the results speak for themselves," says Schneider.

Find out more about the partners of the Cyber Talent Academy: Allianz, SANS Institute, Siemens, AGCCI, Metafinanz, Charter of Trust, Women in Cyber and Yeessi. A new round of the Cyber Talent Academy is planned, and new partners are welcome as the initiative moves forward.

About the Allianz Cyber Talent Academy

The Cyber Talent Academy provides accelerated, high-quality training and GIAC certifications to effectively launch a career in cybersecurity. This free programme enables participants to pass industry-recognised certification exams, equipping them with skills that will make a difference in the field from day one. Find out more here:

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was founded in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organisation. SANS is the most trusted and largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification for professionals in government and commercial organisations worldwide. SANS' renowned instructors teach over 60 different courses in the classroom and virtually during live cybersecurity training events. They are all available via the OnDemand platform. GIAC, a subsidiary of the SANS Institute, offers more than 35 practical, technical cyber security certifications. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited, independent affiliate, offers Master's degrees in Cyber Security. SANSSecurity Awareness, a division of the SANS Institute, provides organisations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution that enables them to easily and effectively manage their "human" cybersecurity risk. SANS provides a variety of free resources to the InfoSec community, including consensus projects, research reports and newsletters, and operates the Internet's early warning system, the Internet Storm Centre. At the heart of SANS are the many security professionals representing diverse global organisations, from corporations to universities, who work together to serve the entire information security community: