Gap in Cybersecurity skills

Recent data breaches, such as the Pegasus malware intrusion, WannaCry, and NotPeyta outbreaks, underscore the critical need for robust cybersecurity plans in businesses of all sizes. Despite this, most firms grapple with a cybersecurity skills gap. Transitioning, there is a shortage of trained workers in these areas to meet the demand. This is illustrated by the fifth annual industry research, “The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2021,” from the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and analyst Enterprise Strategy Group ESG, which demonstrates that the cybersecurity skills gap has not improved.

The cybersecurity skills gap persists despite the industry’s anticipated growth until 2022. Millions of cybersecurity professionals are still needed globally, posing an urgent concern for both firms seeking in-house hires and cybersecurity agencies. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, there was a 280% increase in large-scale data breaches, underscoring the severity of the issue.

According to the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, there are currently over 4.07 million cybersecurity job openings worldwide. Despite offering high entry salaries, recession-proof job stability, and numerous career prospects, there remains a shortage of qualified cybersecurity specialists to fill these positions.

What is the cause of the cybersecurity skills shortage?

Perceptions of cybersecurity careers pose a pressing concern for businesses. Many believe the only path to such jobs is through a four-year degree, requiring time and specific skills for admission. However, rising college costs price out potential cybersecurity specialists, preventing them from obtaining the necessary credentials.

The consequences of a cybersecurity skills shortage

The cybersecurity skills gap is, without a doubt, a disaster

Due to the scarcity of skilled cybersecurity specialists entering the job market, larger organizations quickly hire them to bolster their security teams. Consequently, small and medium firms face lower attack risks due to their limited access to cybersecurity expertise. Nearly 60% of small firms lack a cybersecurity policy, leaving them reactive rather than proactive against attacks. Financially capable entities are more likely to maintain a corporate presence.

What can be done to close the cybersecurity skills gap?

Businesses and educational institutions can collaborate to address the cybersecurity talent deficit and retrain employees.

Businesses are shifting their requirements for cybersecurity experts, prioritizing skills over degrees. This change is vital due to the increasing inaccessibility of college education and the recognition that traditional academic programs often fail to equip students with the practical skills needed in the workforce. By valuing skills over degrees, more individuals can access entry-level cybersecurity positions.

Bootcamps offer a practical solution to the cybersecurity labour shortage. These intensive programs provide focused training on relevant skills, preparing students for real-world cybersecurity roles in just three months. By partnering with boot camp providers, educational institutions can play a crucial role in closing the cybersecurity skills gap and providing students with the resources they need to succeed in this rapidly evolving field.

Looking back to prepare for the future

Security wasn’t a priority in the early days of information technology, putting the cybersecurity business at a disadvantage. The unexpected transformation of technology into a profitable market for stolen company secrets caught many off guard.

Upon realizing their infrastructure, data, and brand were under attack, companies incorporated cybersecurity into their strategies. Subsequently, they faced the challenge of training personnel to defend their technology and data. However, they struggled to do so effectively as attackers’ techniques evolved.

New exploits are discovered daily, but the industry isn’t keeping pace with developing new protection and training systems. Despite cybersecurity garnering attention and most CEOs recognizing its importance, successful and widespread attacks persist. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people entering the cybersecurity field to address these threats.