Microsoft aims to reduce digital skills gap. Empowering Thai women to pursue cybersecurity career in ‘Microsoft Women@Cybersecurity’ event

Bangkok, 19 April 2022 – Microsoft Thailand, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) and Sec Girl, hosted the ‘Microsoft Women@Cybersecurity’ event to empower and inspire young females in Thai high schools, vocational schools, and universities to pursue a career in the cybersecurity sector as part of a commitment to reducing the digital skills gap in Thailand. The virtual event, which was hosted through Microsoft Teams and drew over 130 participants, aimed to educate, and create a better understanding of cybersecurity from beginner level and preventive measures to protect personal data. The participants were also encouraged to gain in-depth knowledge through the opportunity to apply for an intensive Security Fundamentals course to prepare for SC-900 tests. In addition, the student participants also received educational and career guidance related to cybersecurity from female experts currently working in the industry who shared stories of their personal journeys at the event along with awarding e-certificates from Microsoft. The event in Thailand was organized in March simultaneously with other countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, to empower women in the cybersecurity sector.

According to the World Economic Forum, in 2020, it was reported that cyber-attacks and data fraud or data theft were likely to increase. Later in 2021, cybercrime damage was forecast to reach US$6 trillion annually (187 trillion baht per year). This is why the demand for cybersecurity roles has increased tremendously in the market as specialist personnel are expected to prevent and solve cyber-attack issues in a timelier manner.

Currently, there are over 2 million unfilled job openings in cybersecurity across the world, ranking among the top 10 of today’s high-demand jobs[1] while Asia Pacific is facing the most critical talent shortage situation compared to other regions. In Thailand, there are fewer than 5% of female cybersecurity professionals in the jobs market. Therefore, Microsoft Thailand is prioritizing the empowerment of Thai women in this sector, in line with ‘Break the Bias’ theme of The International Women’s Day 2022 Campaign, which aims to reduce the job employment gap and create opportunities for women in cybersecurity.

Chanikarn Pronanun, Deputy Managing Director – Marketing & Operations, Microsoft Thailand, said: “A career in cybersecurity is a vital opportunity for women to show their true potential and succeed in a digital-driven economy and society. Today, the digital world consists of massive amounts of data and its safety is a priority for all organizations. Hence, cybersecurity jobs are currently emerging and growing in demand across the world. Women are among those who can grow in this career path. That is why we are committed to empowering women with the necessary digital skills to inspire and unlock their potential to grow and succeed in a cybersecurity career journey. We know how important diverse viewpoints are when it comes to cybersecurity evolution because diversity leads to new innovations that increase competency for each organization and female perspectives will boost productivity for companies more than ever before.”

Mr. Amorn Chomchoey, Acting Deputy-Secretary General, National Cyber Security Agency, Thailand, said: “While the world is becoming a fully digital economy and society, cyberattacks are also predicted to increase. The solution is for organizations to include proper processes, people, and technology for cybersecurity. Nowadays, our country needs a large amount of cybersecurity talent to fill the job openings. That’s why we have developed cybersecurity courses, from beginner, to advanced, to a certified expert level that meets international standards, which will be the key to elevating the potential of Thai personnel to compete with other countries. I am glad to see Microsoft showing their support in developing quality human resources in this sector – especially granting women more access and more opportunities to grow. I believe that the capabilities of women can truly solve and reduce the impact of cyberattack issues.”

Dr. Sirikarn Pukkawanna, Security Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft Asia, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the cyber-attack rate has continued to increase in all industries, particularly between February and April in 2020, where cyberattacks in the financial sector grew by 238%[2] and in 2021, where the world faced a rise in cyber-attacks of 50%[3] from the same time the previous year. Therefore, cybersecurity is crucial for mitigating risks and impacts that may happen to any organization in either the public or private sector. The key to cybersecurity is to plan strategically to manage and support organizations and businesses in keeping their data safe in the best way possible while also integrating tools and technology like Calendar, Outlook, Alarm or Notes to boost productivity and create work-life harmony during our working process.”

In addition, Microsoft provides additional learning channels for the younger generation to advance their digital skills and improve their competitiveness in the job market through Microsoft Learn, which consists of over 3,800 learning courses at different levels and can filter and show learning course results based on personal requirements alongside other learning platforms, including Microsoft Learn for Educators, Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors, Imagine Cup, LinkedIn Learning, GitHub Education, Azure for Students and Azure Dev Tools for Teaching.

“We hope that this event will create a clear understanding of a cybersecurity career future for the new generation and they can start by choosing a related field while studying for their bachelor’s degree. However, even if they are pursuing a degree in a different field, they can certainly gain more knowledge if they understand IT basics. We are always glad to support and empower them with essential digital skills through training and providing them with Microsoft certificates to attest their knowledge and expertise from beginner to advanced levels, including the Cloud Security certificate,” added Dr. Sirikarn.

For a rerun of the virtual event, please visit Microsoft Thailand Facebook page here.

[1] Source: VMware Carbon Black

[2] Source: Checkpoint Research

[3] Source: TNN Thailand