Posts tagged "cybersecurity"

Are we facing a workforce crisis in the Cyber Security sector?

The employment situation – or should we say lack of – on the cybersecurity front seems somewhat dramatic if you look at it through the lens of statistics.

Even though cyber attacks on businesses are steadily increasing, and the number of data breach victims are constantly rising every year.

What could possibly be at fault for the tremendous shortage of skilled professionals!? We need to answer whether the market is going through a crisis in talents or companies that offer such positions struggle for different reasons.

ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) conducted a survey among hiring organizations to find out how long it takes them, on average, to fill in a cyber-security/information security position.

Long-term vacancies are the more accurate term

The survey brings to light the hard time enterprises appear to have when recruiting specialists for cybersecurity or information security positions.

The majority of companies surveyed admitted that it takes them 3 to 6 months to find proper candidates. A hire in less than a month is only reported by one in 10 employers. All the while, approximately 6% of the respondents say they are unable to fill these positions.

ISACA offers various certifications in the cybersecurity sector for professionals who want to level-up their career path. The demand for skilled individuals is very high and the need to attract new talents is continuously increasing.

Another survey performed by the ESG on the state of IT highlights the steady growth of cybersecurity professionals seen over the years. as we can see, the percentage of companies reporting a cybersecurity skills shortage has almost doubled in just five years

  • 2014: 23 percent of respondents said their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills
  • 2015: 25 percent of respondents said their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills
  • 2016: 46 percent of respondents said their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills
  • 2017: 45 percent of respondents said their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills
  • 2018: 51 percent of respondents said their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills

One of the most in-demand cybersecurity roles is security analyst, Security analysts work to prevent and mitigate breaches on the ground. Another hot job is security manager. Security managers develop and implement overarching processes to keep information private. To get as a job as a security manager the applicant will probably need a professional certification to be considered for such a role, like a CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) or CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).

You would think people would be running toward a career with almost-guaranteed job security. However, very few people are entering the cybersecurity field.

But there is a way out of this. Here are three areas you can start working on:

  • Ongoing training and clear career paths
  • Adopt new education models – Education can be more exciting through hands-on training, hackathons, and gaming. The Intel Security survey found that hackathons were a great way to identify talent and develop skills
  • Diversify the industry –  Cybersecurity is currently a male-dominated industry. Another option to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals is to make it more attractive to women and minorities, this way you will also widen the talent pool.

Pressing Need for Cybersecurity Specialists on the Market

Cybersecurity is threatened not only by hackers and outside sources but also by the lack of talents on the market. Skilled professionals are in great demand according to a study conducted by the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute.

Currently, companies who employ such specialists are in dire straits. 68% of them are looking to recruit talents that are not available since the gap between supply and demand has reached a score of 25%.

The senior executive of Deloitte and a recent graduate of a master’s programme in cybersecurity, has pointed out through her study, that by the year 2022 we will suffer a 1.8 million shortage in this particular area of expertise.

Is there a solution to closing the gap?

The first step consists of stimulating and attracting young talents to pursue a career in cybersecurity. This entails the following:

  • Coming up with creative and forward-thinking strategies of attracting talent
  • Build a story around the organization and work environment in the field
  • Target groups and hotspots of already trained professionals
  • Creating talent from within the company

The second step consists of efficient retention of current professionals. Ideas on how to improve the process include:

  • Creating goals and motivation for them to advance in their expertise
  • Coming up with a career plan system to help specialists grasp a better picture of their professional future
  • Promote an unbiased acceptance environment for all genders and orientations
  • Make tasks more challenging and entertaining to maintain enthusiasm by automating the dull ones

Closing the gap is not realistic, but bridging it can be an effective and progressive approach. The Human Capital Agenda for Cyber Security strongly encourage active collaboration among organizations in this sector.

Active involvement and collaboration could take the form of:

  • Providing controlled training in many sections of cybersecurity. Access to education can open up opportunities for young talents who would otherwise choose differently.
  • Facilitating access to extensive career plans that would emphasis on long-term benefits, quality of life, income and the sense of belonging in a close community
  • Promoting cybersecurity as a viable option for future talents and young professionals
  • Creating support groups and skill sharing communities among professionals to widen their expertise
  • Attracting students through events, competitions, and challenges like hackathons
  • Leading conferences and events to provide role models in the field and sharing stories on professional paths
  • Expanding beyond universities and college degrees to people of diverse backgrounds who may have the abilities to learn and excel in the cybersecurity sector

It would be a shame to leave untapped potential dormant while the market is suffering a major deficit.