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TikTok Launches Initiative To Help Minorities Gain Access To 3.5 Million Unfilled Cybersecurity Jobs

TikTok is aiming to diversify the cybersecurity industry with its latest initiative. To make it happen, the social media giant has teamed up with Cyversity — a platform that connects minorities and underrepresented individuals to opportunities — for #SeeYourselfinCyber, according to a blog post. Cybersecurity Ventures revealed that there are more than 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs unfilled. With the new initiative, TikTok will work to not only help bring representation but also will educate and empower. “TikTok is helping us tackle the need for more cybersecurity professionals, specifically in the disproportionate underrepresentation of women and minority populations,” said Beverly Benson, Executive Director at Cyversity , according to the blog post. “Individuals from underserved communities will be able to receive training for in-demand security roles through this innovative program.” The program is set to award 50 students with a scholarship that represents “part of the...

Ngozi Nwanji

Aug 31, 2022

Lockdown Mode: Apple Offers To Pay Hackers $2M

Apple is giving hackers their moment to shine. Following the launch of its Lockdown Mode, the company is offering them a potential opportunity to cash out.

Ngozi Nwanji

Jul 11, 2022

Demond Cook Is On A Mission To Create A Gateway For Minorities To Tap Into Cybersecurity

This consultant leveled up his career to tap into cybersecurity and wants to kick open the door for more to follow suit. Demond Cook transformed his finances shifting from corporate security at the National Basketball Association (NBA) to cybersecurity. Finding his footing took time and Demond Cook relied on self-study, networking, and trial and error before securing his first green light. While venturing into the field, Cook recognized a striking disconnect between hiring managers and recruiters in the cybersecurity space. This led to the creation of Cook Consulting Group (CCG) in June of 2020 to address the knowledge gaps. Now, Demond Cook operates as a beacon of hope for others, opening the doors for more minorities looking to venture into the field. “I noticed the disconnect between hiring managers and recruiters in cyber security,” Cook told AfroTech. “Most recruiters have no idea what cyber security professionals do for a living, so I started CCG to bridge the gap. This would...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 26, 2022

How Boyd Clewis Launched His Own Firm Landing Professionals Cybersecurity Jobs At Google, IBM, And More

Boyd Clewis climbed his way to the top. After leaving college prematurely due to venturing into parenthood, he transitioned to work for one of the largest copier manufacturers in the world, Ricoh Company. Here Clewis would take on the tasks of repairing laptops to solve a need within the office. The gesture would lead Boyd Clewis to advance his skills with the help of Youtube and Google. He eventually acquired enough knowledge to add a CompTIA A+ certification under his belt. The rest was history, as it allowed Boyd Clewis to land a network technician role at Tekzenit Inc. (formerly known as Tekcenture) by the age of 22. He developed skills in active directory, networking, and cybersecurity. Within four years, he refined his skills, opening a gateway to new career opportunities as a security architect at American Airlines and later an external PCI consultant. During his pivot to consulting, Boyd Clewis recognized a knowledge gap. He recalled various inquiries regarding his area of...

Samantha Dorisca

Jan 28, 2022

From Expulsion To NASA: Darold Kelly Jr. Changed His Path And Now Looks To Do The Same For Black Professionals In STEM

Darold “DJ” Kelly Jr.’s life was turned upside down when he was expelled from college for crimes he did not commit. Since reclaiming his innocence, Kelly has been focused on building an association to serve Black cybersecurity professionals. Born in Washington, D.C., Kelly was raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. During his tenure at Howard University (HU) where he was studying political science, Kelly was “accused of violence” as he describes it, and he was ultimately expelled from the prominent HBCU in 2016. Kelly was three months shy of graduating from HU when he was forced to halt his educational journey, HBCU Buzz reported. “My story isn’t necessarily popular, that’s just what it is, and it was during a really bad time to get accused of violence.” Kelly told AfroTech in a video interview. “But I was accused of violent acts I never committed.” After being convicted, Kelly appealed his case and all of the charges were ultimately vacated in 2019. While he got his innocence...

Michelai Graham

Apr 8, 2021

Leading Content Delivery Network Akamai Technologies Appoints Sharon Bowen to Its Board of Directors

What’s said to be the world’s most trusted solution for protecting and delivering digital experiences has a new face on its board. According to PR Newswire, Sharon Y. Bowen has joined Akamai’s board of directors effective April 2, 2021. Since December 2017, Bowen has been a member of the board of directors of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. She also serves on the boards of certain New York Stock Exchange U.S. -regulated exchanges and prior to these roles she served as a commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. “It is with great enthusiasm that I join Akamai’s board,” said Bowen in an official news release. “Akamai plays a vital role in maintaining a reliable and secure internet. I look forward to contributing to its future success at this critical moment in history.” Bowen’s professional career began as an attorney. Her practice involved corporate, finance, and securities transactions for financial institutions and large global corporations, including mergers...

Shanique Yates

Apr 6, 2021

Cyber Expert Formerly Appointed by Obama, Camille Stewart, Aims to Change the Way We View Cybersecurity

As a force within the tech space, attorney and executive, Camille Stewart has had many roles. In the leading government and private sector, she’s worked for companies such as Deloitte, Google, and the Department of Homeland Security. A woman of many hats, Stewart uses her knowledge in cyber, national security, and complex technology to serve as a guiding force to the way that we navigate through privacy, global cybersecurity, and election security/integrity. AfroTech sat down with the cybersecurity expert to discuss the importance of safe cyber practices, how to apply those same practices to our everyday lives, and her passion for creating opportunities for people in spaces where individuals don’t always look like them. Importance of National Security Issues As the former Senior Policy Advisor for Cyber, Infrastructure & Resilience Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, Stewart is no stranger to why our national security is something everyone should take seriously. Appointed...

Shanique Yates

Nov 5, 2020

Meet Marcus Hutchins: the Black Hacker Who Saved the Internet and Got Arrested by the FBI

At just 22-years-old, this hacker became an accidental digital security hero that saved the world from the worst cyberattack it has ever seen. Marcus Hutchins, a British computer security researcher, discovered the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 and used a “kill switch” to stop the escalating attack, which at the time was spreading around the globe, according to The Verge . The U.K. media revealed him to be the person responsible for halting the ransomware contagion, but soon after his reputation as a hero was tainted by accusations of Hutchins making and selling the Kronos banking malware, Tech Crunch reports . He was later arrested by the FBI, according to Wired , as a result of his teenage work on a code that was later used in banking trojan software. So much time had passed since the news broke of his astronomical effort that when Hutchins was approached by the authorities he assumed that they wanted to know more about his work on WannaCry. During his interrogation, Hutchins...

Njera Perkins

May 14, 2020

Cybersecurity Compromised After Pensacola Ransomware Threat

Last month, Pensacola, FL became the latest of several cities to become a victim of a cyberattack. The city was attacked by ransomware, which holds vital or secure information “hostage” until payment is made to the attackers. Nonpayment has the potential to result in the leaking of secure data and the complete disruption of operations. The ransomware affected Pensacola’s 311 customer phone helpline, sanitation department, online payment portals, and other online systems, prompting a city shutdown. Maze — a group of hackers that made similar targeted cyberattacks on other entities — has claimed responsibility for the incident. The group is demanding $1 million in ransom from Pensacola officials. The Pensacola cyberattack is just one of several attacks on U.S. cities. Key cities Atlanta and Baltimore were attacked within the past two years, and three additional cities across the U.S. fell victim to cyberattacks within the last month. While Pensacola’s population of approximately...

Emily Adeyanju

Jan 3, 2020

Microsoft Takes Proactive Measures to Fight Cyber Attackers and Protect Customers

Microsoft is seeking to reinforce its cybersecurity, following a recent legal victory against overseas hackers. According to CNBC, the court ruling allowed Microsoft to appropriate 50 domains that hackers used to infiltrate user accounts. “Thallium,” a group of hackers reportedly based in North Korea, used malware to collect and misuse the personal information of thousands of users in America, Japan, and South Korea. The latest pernicious attacks compromised systems and enabled emails, calendar entries, and other password-protected information to remain available to hackers even after users had changed their passwords . Thallium hackers gained access to Microsoft accounts through phishing techniques, in which users are prompted to click on links that appear to be from genuine sources. The fallout from such hacks is substantial, as the malware embedded in the links creates infinite system vulnerabilities. Thallium is not the only group of its kind. Other groups, such as the...

Emily Adeyanju

Jan 2, 2020

Wyze Data Breach Prompts Call for Higher Security Standards

Though Amazon reportedly experienced another record-setting holiday season , it also suffered its share of challenges. Among the holiday favorites for many Amazon shoppers was Wyze, the economical, smart home camera system launched by former Amazon staff. Though the top-selling item provided a major boost for Amazon’s holiday revenue, a new data breach may change that record success. A Wyze security breach confirmed in late December is said to have affected more than 2 million customers , according to Fortune. Though the full extent of the breach has yet to be revealed, it involved account information, such as email addresses, Wi-Fi information, and security tokens. According to Wyze, no financial data or passwords were compromised . The latest breach places Amazon at the epicenter of another security glitch. Wyze likely became a viable alternative for wary shoppers shying away from Amazon’s controversial Ring home camera system. Amazon and Ring were recently named in a class-action...

Emily Adeyanju

Jan 2, 2020

Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks $5M from Amazon and Subsidiary Ring

Amazon and Ring are now defendants in a class-action security lawsuit filed last week. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon could have done more to protect Ring customers from security breaches. The lawsuit is spearheaded by plaintiff John Orange, who hails from Alabama. Ring, a video security system founded by CEO Jamie Siminoff in 2013 and acquired by Amazon last year, provides customers with economic indoor and outdoor camera surveillance. That security was compromised, as evidenced by several widely-publicized instances of hackers communicating with startled children through home video systems. Orange’s family fell prey to one of these hacks. The lawsuit accuses Amazon and Ring of privacy violations and breach of contract , among other offenses. It also suggests that Ring could have safeguarded against attacks by offering multi-factor authentication, a security method requiring users to verify authenticity by providing more than one unique method of proving identity. While Ring has...

Emily Adeyanju

Dec 31, 2019

Microsoft Says Hackers Have Been Targeting Think Tanks Ahead of European Elections

Microsoft announced it is increasing its cybersecurity for think tanks in the U.S. and abroad, ahead of the European Parliament elections. The company said that it has detected attacks against employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations, The Aspen Institutes in Europe, and The German Marshall Fund through its Threat Intelligence Center and Digital Crimes Unit. “We believe the work of organizations like The German Marshall Fund and its Alliance for Securing Democracy are an essential part of efforts to secure democracies against those who seek to undermine it,” Microsoft Customer Security & Trust Vice President Tom Burt said in a blog post . “Many organizations essential to democracy do not have the resources or expertise to defend themselves against cyberattacks.” The cyber attack targeted more than 100 accounts across Europe between September and December 2018. Microsoft said its ongoing investigation leads it to believe that Strontium, a Russian-linked hacker group,...

Arriana McLymore

Feb 22, 2019

Report: Hijacked Dormant Twitter Accounts Are Spreading Islamic State Propaganda

Hackers have hijacked dormant Twitter accounts in an attempt to spread Islamic State propaganda, according to reporting from TechCrunch. The hijacks took place ranging from the last few days to the last few months. Hackers were able to get into the accounts using a decade-old flaw in Twitter’s system that did not previously require email or phone number verifications. In November, Twitter removed 9 million bot and spam accounts to prevent those types of accounts from automatically making news ones. “We made progress preventing spammy or suspicious new account creation by requiring new accounts to confirm either an email address or phone number when they sign up to Twitter, and we improved the detection and removal of previously banned accounts who attempt to evade suspension by creating new accounts,” Twitter said in a quarterly filing after removing the accounts. The latest string of hijackers were able to take over by finding older dormant accounts using expired email addresses....

Arriana McLymore

Jan 3, 2019

500 Million Marriott Guests’ Information Exposed in Breach

On Friday, Marriott revealed that its Starwood reservation system was breached, leaving more than 500 million guests’ information vulnerable to hackers. The hospitality giant said guests’ personal information including payment information, name, address, phone number and date of birth have potentially been exposed. “We deeply regret this incident happened,” Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in a press release.  “We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves.  We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.” Marriott learned of the cyber attack in September and discovered the breach impacted the Starwood reservation system earlier this month. Further investigation determined there was unauthorized access to the system since 2014. Marriott is allowing guests to enroll in WebWatcher–a monitoring software– free of charge for one year. Guests from the United States who activate WebWatcher will also be...

Arriana McLymore

Nov 30, 2018