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Autistic Individuals Fit Well in the CyberSecurity Industry

Posted by Brian Spence on Oct 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Cybersecurity, Autism, Behavioral HealthWhat's the connection between autism and cybersecurity? The UK's National Cyber Security Centre is exploring the benefits of hiring individuals on the autism spectrum to prevent cyber-attacks. According to this article in Forbes, "many autistic people have a specific gift and aptitude for cybersecurity." However, over 80% of adults diagnosed with autism do not hold full time jobs.

One man is out to change the statistics and put more autistic people in suitable cybersecurity employment. The director of Cyber Exchange and founder of Cyber Neurodiversity Group, Mike Spain, believes neurodiverse adults have the skills and the strengths necessary to fill the cybersecurity skills gap.

Who is a Neurodiverse Individual?

Neurodiverse individuals are those who have been diagnosed on the spectrum, including ADHD, OCD, autism, dyspraxia, and dyslexia. These people often have outstanding cognitive pattern recognition, can focus on details, think logically and methodically, think outside the box, and have high integrity. Why are neurodiverse individuals not getting jobs? Spain believes that unaware or narrow-minded attitudes toward these people exclude them from the workplace. Also, most recruitment processes center around social skills, which is a skill which many neurodiverse people struggle. 

What is Being Done to Get These People in the Workforce?

Spain's Cyber Neurodiversity Group aims to raise awareness through a guide for employers, an information hub, and an event happening this fall called Neurocyber:2. Once employers learn that they can benefit from hiring from the neurodiverse sector, opportunities will open up and organizations will move forward with the diverse ways of thinking. Firms which have already hired neurodiverse individuals have seen a high increase in productivity in some key areas.

The Cyber Neurodiversity Group wants to keep a road open between the cybersecurity industry and talented neurodiverse individuals. Their special gifts can be put to the best possible use while keeping them from being used for opposite purposes, such as hacking.

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