New cybersecurity initiatives include university partnerships, industry certifications.

Two Silicon Valley cybersecurity companies are independently calling for more personnel and more university collaboration to battle cybercrime in an era when launching a ransomware attack requires little more than a credit card.

Outgunned and sometimes outfoxed by criminals, security companies are urgently trying to add skilled staff and are cooperating instead of competing to counter attackers who have staged massive thefts, pirated data on millions of people, and held corporate networks hostage. Ransomware blocks access to a network until a payment is received.

Fortinet, a Sunnyvale security company, announced a Network Security Academy to address an estimated 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. Fortinet said it will provide equipment and know-how to universities around the world to train students for jobs in the cybersecurity industry.

“As an industry as a whole, we need to win this war together,” said Derek Manky, chief global security strategist with Fortinet.

Independently, Intel Security of Santa Clara, called in a report for more sharing of threat intelligence among security companies that are currently prevented by corporate policy from releasing data about attacks.

“We are up against highly resourced, highly skilled groups of bad guys out to steal millions,” said Raj Samani, Intel Security vice president and chief technology officer.

“The need for collaboration in the intelligence industry has never been more important,” said Samani, who is based in London. “Ransomware is child’s play now.”

“A lot of ransomware campaigns, you can log in, register and they’ll do the campaign for you. The only thing you have to do is give them a percent of your profits,” he said.

Fortinet, Intel, Palo Alto Networks and Symantec founded the Cyber Threat Alliance in 2014 to promote collaboration.

“It’s fair to say we can share intelligence on the attacker and remain competitive on technology,” said Manky, who was in Luxembourg for a NATO workshop on cybercrime.

(Next page: Universities, community colleges are joining the cybersecurity pipeline)

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