Home / Blog / General / Has the Cyber Security Talent Shortage Worsened?

November 20, 2020

The recent global pandemic has brought a new wave of advancements to the technology industry. However, it has also brought along with it, some new problems – problems that only seem to be getting worse. While cybercrime continues to grow at an alarming rate, businesses in all sectors are facing a severe cybersecurity talent drought. The stock of accessible, qualified security professionals is inadequate, and the competition for services has increased exponentially.

No matter if your organisation is big or small, your organisation needs a robust solution to defined against Cyber threats. Sound cybersecurity expertise and knowledge have never been needed more, as the UK workforce is instructed to remain as remote workers for the foreseeable future, and cyber threats continue to rise, adapt and become more powerful.

Too Stretched to Face Evolving Challenges

The overall talent pool is in a noticeable deficit in advanced cybersecurity skills, as there are not enough resources to support new-comers compared with the market demand. It is quite often a laborious task to find an experienced Security Analyst, Security Architect, Security Analyst, Threat Researcher, or a Cloud Security Architect; it will typically take manymonths of searching and investment to fill these positions in-house.

On top of specialisations, organisations must combat threats in real-time, so recruiting for a 24x7x365 cybersecurity team would be beneficial – adding a layer of complexity to the hiring process. Unlike most business employees, cybercriminals do not take a break on weekends, nights or even Christmas, and filling positions that require a person to work across all hours of the day, weekends and holidays is challenging.

While cloud growth is an advantageous incentive, the implication of the current skills drought is potentially catastrophic for businesses. Spread to the limit and facing regular turnover, corporations risk furthering the following conditions:

  1. Existing cybersecurity staff is overworked, therefore not set up for 24x7x365 incoming threats.
  2. Inexperienced employees are tasked to deliver on advanced security requirements.
  3. Teams and businesses are dependent on technology-based solutions without the expertise to operate them accurately.

Even though most business have managed to survive so far, functioning under these tight circumstances will not be acceptable for ever. Unfortunately, many enterprises continue to grow under these dangerous conditions.

To Change or to Stay the Same?

2020 has been a challenging year to say to least. Among these challenges sit’s cyber threats, which continue to rise across all industries, accelerated by global financial circumstances. Cyberattacks increased during the pandemic due to herd response and workforce shift. Research, hospital systems and healthcare industries endured several severe cyberattacks, resulting in outages, breaches, and ransomware. The threats still show no signs of slowing down.

Meanwhile, volumes of cybersecurity jobs sit idle for months at a time, with companies haphazardly attempting to fill the gaps by implementing less-than-adequate training, with hopes that technology applications will do the rest – despite the demands of cybersecurity rapidly progressing.

If the talent market continues to move at today’s pace, organisations will continue to fall short. As reported by The New York Times, “Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts a staggering 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021, rising from one million such positions in 2014.” And the circumstances might very well be more critical than that.

Even if the IT sector were to assemble a new security framework, it would take time to learn and prove itself, and organisations would subsequently find themselves even further behind. Unless there is a prompt influx of necessary skills, the industry will continue to struggle with cybersecurity problems.

The Two-Pronged Battle Plan

With the advancement in hacking groups, nation-states, powerful user-friendly tools, underground panels, and financial motivations furthering cyber threat levels, the industry must emphasize a two-pronged counterattack:

  • Skills Development: organisations must invest in skills development to keep pace with emerging technologies. Skill growth is a mission-critical priority in all sectors, including education, business leadership, elected office and cybersecurity.
  • Third-Party Support and New Technologies: Businesses must seek out third-party agencies who specialise in 24x7x365 cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to locate and handle real-time threats.

Organisations must be resourceful, fulfilling these counterattacks in innovative, transformative ways. 

Successful Approaches Proven to Succeed

  • Locate and train talent internally
  • Upskill current staff
  • Look outside traditional talent markets
  • Implement training programs for a more extensive base of employees
  • Invest in outside managed security services to fill gaps and improve your overall cybersecurity network

Securing Your Tomorrow

The integrity and security of networks, data, devices and systems are crucial to industry success. Organisations can begin to fight the current talent drought in cybersecurity if the industry starts fostering knowledge by leveraging the entire ecosystem.

As the cloud continues to deliver valuable success and improvements to businesses across the globe, more workload migration can be expected, including application expansion, hybrid cases and more eminent security needs. To secure a prosperous digital present and future, organisations must act now, adapting their operations to create a more secure and reliable platform.