I have been writing about cybersecurity for 3 years now; it has been like a Chicken Little topic for me. Today as I write this article, I have read a number of cybersecurity job openings on Glassdoor and others. The question is what the impacts of such skill shortage are? How the cybersecurity industry will be affected by the increasing distance of the curve between demand and supply of cybersecurity professionals.
It was a focus area for research carried out with the title of The Life and Time of Cybersecurity professionals. 267 cybersecurity professionals were asked by the skills shortage and its impact on the overall industry. Nearly 3/4th 74%) of the respondents said that the skills shortage has “tremendously” affected the organizations.
The percentage has crept, since last year 70% of the respondents said the aforementioned clause.
Two years later the percentage was down to 69%. The shortage is real and a predominant threat to every industry.
It is still hard, to say the least, that cybersecurity professionals are risking it all and are the scarcest resource in the market. The research, however, might have some loopholes like changing of the research panel pool, and the margin of error might have increased for the sample size. However, one thing is for sure that there is no solid evidence that the gap is improving whatsoever.
Ramifications of the Shortage of Cybersecurity Skills
The cybersecurity breaches in the 21st century are itself an eye opener for enterprises, however, the ramifications are yet not to be overlooked.
What are the consequences of this shortfall? Who better could answer this query than the cyber professionals were part of the research itself? Let’s head up to the facts.
When asked to the 74% of the respondents who said that their organization did had an impact said;
- 47% of the respondents said that the lack of skills has led to the inability to understand some complex security technologies fully. This is why they cannot be sued to their full potential. Organizations are increasingly buying expensive security and privacy software to protect online identity, but they don’t have time to make the most of it.
- 66% of the respondents claimed that a shortage of cybersecurity skills have led to an increased workload on staff. Since the organization does not have enough people, so the existing cyber-professionals have piled up work, which often leads to human error and misalignments of tasks.
- 40% of the respondents claimed cybersecurity skill shortage has led to limited time for work with businesses and aligning cybersecurity business process. The irony is, organizations are investing in complex technologies but do not have the relevant staff to help them mitigate risks with the right use of the purchased technology.
- 41% of the respondents claimed that the shortage has resulted in recruiting junior employees who hardly know about the enterprise workflow and technicalities. This situation is a new reality. Thus it is time that enterprises realize that they now have to work with local universities and have to train those junior employees via the center of excellence and programs.
The cybersecurity skills shortage is all about skills but not the job vacancies. Many organizations are understaffed and also lack advanced skills, particularly in cloud security, security investigations, threat intelligence, and forensics.
Trump issued an executive order which was aimed to bridge the gap of cybersecurity skills. But what will mend the dent of this skill shortage?
Since our lives are now measured and controlled in bits and bytes, it is high time that cybersecurity gap has to be filled with cybersecurity professionals in the true sense of urgency.
These facts are an eye-opener, and it is high time to act responsibly as a lot is at stake.
How to Fix Cybersecurity Skill Shortage?
A gap in the cybersecurity is a national crisis. The massive federal leadership program is needed to fund a national awareness campaign which can be driven by the department of commerce, homeland security, education, and energy. Encourage public and private partnership and integrate a countrywide industry effort and unite technology vendors like Amazon, Dell, Facebook, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle and Symantec, and MacAfee.
At the end of the day, experts say that the solutions to company’s cybersecurity will find a way to more skilled professionals. Experts believe that companies should focus on opening up the scope of cybersecurity education. The key is to focus on the skills rather on the degrees.
People who are really successful in the market are skillful and have a good understanding of technical knowledge.
The cybersecurity industry should do intentional efforts to develop a talent pool. There is no other way around, degrees have only raised degrees of hotness, the scarcity of skills is the need of today and tomorrow.
We are all at risks, be if you are a large enterprise or an individual. The treat is not limited to only an individual, it has now started affecting industries and governments, even NGO’s are not saved from cybersecurity threats. Well, no one can counter it all alone, we all have to do it with hands in hands.