On November 2, popular credit card service Visa announced that it’s offering a new payments cybersecurity training program to address the growing cybersecurity workforce gap.

Investing in the future of cybersecurity

According to Cybersecurity Dive, the Visa Payments Learning Program was created in response to the White House’s National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan released earlier this year. The program covers a new area of focus for Visa, which already offers a variety of certifications and courses online at Visa University. With the Payments Learning Program, Visa aims to develop new skillsets in individuals looking to increase their understanding of cybersecurity best practices, specifically in relation to banking and payment systems. Currently, the new program offers two courses: “Introduction to Payments Cybersecurity” and “Intermediate Payments Cybersecurity,” and will add an “Advanced Payments Cybersecurity” course next year. Those who finish the intermediate course have the option to take a certification exam upon completion, which (if passed) they can then list on their resumes. 

Jeremy Broome, Global Head of Talent at Visa shared about the value of the program:

“As a leader in consumer payments and an innovator in driving emerging payment solutions, Visa is well-positioned to be a leader on workforce development in critical areas such as payments cybersecurity. The Visa Payment Learning Program will not only allow for diversification of our workforce through seeking untapped talent but will actively foster a more equitable cybersecurity talent pipeline and industry.”

The reality of the cybersecurity workforce gap

Visa’s initiative is coming at a critical time for the cybersecurity industry; a report from IT Governance indicates that global cyberthreats have increased nearly 1,000% since March of last year, driving a need for more robust security teams across sectors. Many companies are scraping by with understaffed cybersecurity teams, yet they are unwilling to hire team members without prior experience – so the establishment of robust training programs is essential. Chris Cooper, a member of international IT governance association ISACA’s Emerging Trends Working Group, recently stated:

“If businesses are to maintain their cyber resilience in an ever-evolving threat climate, we must encourage and nurture talent in the cybersecurity industry… Employers are looking for people who already have hands-on experience, but we will only enable people to build that experience by creating more entry-level roles and investing in the right training and development for everyone in the industry, from the ground up.”