Huawei & EIT Digital Sign MoU to Support Cybersecurity Education & Training

ByEvence Su

December 19, 2022

Evence Su

The growing challenge of cybersecurity for society

One of the findings in the 2021 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual report is that cybersecurity ranks as one of the top risks for global business. This comes at a time when the digital economy is growing up to three times faster than the actual global economy.

Digital innovation is transforming new product lines and service offerings across a whole host of vertical sectors. Advances in a number of critical ICT domains – 5G, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – are modernizing our industries, cities, energy sectors, and transportation models. Unfortunately, the rapid pace of digital transformation is being met by an increased level of cyber attacks. The wide-ranging nature of these diverse and sophisticated attacks must be comprehensively tackled by both businesses and governments alike to build a safer and more secure society for us all. 

Importance of increasing cybersecurity in education and training

So, what should be done to improve the resilience of the public and private sectors in the field of cybersecurity? This requires a multi-faceted approach that covers both regulatory and investment issues. There is a shortage of 200,000 cybersecurity specialists in Europe alone, which is a very serious issue. Governments and businesses must work together in a concerted manner and bring forward new initiatives to improve the levels of cybersecurity training and education in Europe.

2023 has been named by the European Commission as the European Year of Skills.

This will help focus more attention on how to address job shortages in Europe within the cybersecurity area. It will also afford an opportunity for the EU institutions and the national network of cyber centres across the EU’s 27 member states to develop more programmes in the area cybersecurity training. In this context, it is very important that businesses work with universities and with the broader education sector to address this challenge.

Huawei’s MoU with EIT Digital       

On December 7, 2022, Huawei signed in Brussels a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EIT Digital. Initiatives funded under the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) are supported by the Horizon Europe research, innovation, and science programme 2021-2027. EIT Digital is the largest digital innovation ecosystem in Europe, running a host of initiatives to increase the level of innovation across Europe. EIT Digital supports both start-ups and the scaling up of enterprises in Europe. It is successfully achieving this objective by bringing SMEs, researchers, and universities together to develop synergies that can deliver a wealth of innovative ICT related products into the marketplace.

EIT Digital is playing a leadership role in the area of training and education within the cybersecurity field. The EIT Digital Masters in Cybersecurity Programme is helping to close the cybersecurity skills gap in Europe. This is an important educational initiative that is already successfully taking place in a number of universities in Europe that include the Netherlands, Italy, France, Hungary, Romania, and Finland. Educational modules being taught during these two-year master courses relate to cloud computing security, application security, cyber risk management, security analysis, cryptography, network infrastructure security, systems validation, and secure data management.

This MoU between EIT Digital and Huawei was signed at the Huawei Cyber Security and Transparency Centre (HCSTC) in Brussels. Opened in 2019, the HCSTC is a platform that provides opportunities for communication and collaboration about security development issues. This HCSTC is very active within the domain of cyber education too.

Students from Finland visit Huawei’s research lab

  • The HCSTC sponsored the 2022 Cyber Security Challenge in Belgium.   
  • Earlier this year, the HCSTC brought students to visit the Huawei R&D Centre in Helsinki.
  • In October 2022, the HSCTC announced the expansion of the Cyber Security Skills Bridge (CSSB) programme that provides unique cyber hands-on and practical learning opportunities for students across Europe. With this new partnership, Huawei is demonstrating that EIT Digital is a key partner in supporting ambitious skills development.

Huawei’s Cybersecurity Skills Bridge Program at the HSCTC

Furthermore, Huawei will sponsor scholarships for six students to take part in the EIT Digital Cybersecurity Masters Programme beginning in the academic year 2023 as part of our MoU with EIT Digital.

  • A minimum of half of the selected students must be female. This Huawei EIT Digital MoU is promoting STEM education in Europe which is a key policy objective for both the EU institutions and European governments.
  • Huawei will also support internship placements of up to three to four months in duration. This internship and placement arrangement is an integral part of this EIT Digital Masters Programme within its second academic year.
  • Successful applicants on this Huawei backed scholarship initiative must come from one of the 27 member states of the European Union.
  • EIT Digital will independently evaluate and oversee the application process for this Huawei backed scholarship initiative.

Improving cybersecurity requires a partnership approach 

The public, private, educational, and research communities must work together to mitigate cybersecurity risk. It is a shared responsibility and it is incumbent on each of us to learn best practices from one another so that we can effectively address the challenges facing us all by an ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

Huawei, together with EIT Digital and the Global Digital Foundation, also recently published a Questions and Answers guide on how best to promote cybersecurity for SMEs in Europe. This joint publication advises SMEs on how to improve training levels in cybersecurity for staff. There is a lot of positive and helpful information publicly available on this cybersecurity topic and that have been produced by international bodies such as ENISA, Europol, ETSI, OECD and by the World Economic Forum.

Further reading

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Evence Su

Director, Huawei Cybersecurity and Transparency Centre, Belgium, Huawei Technologies

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