Both cybersecurity companies and in-house cybersecurity and IT departments are struggling to hire enough qualified and skilled professions due to the severe and on-going cyber skills shortages.
Many organizations are not prioritizing cybersecurity, despite the increasing number of high-profile attacks, and are struggling to hire and retain skilled cybersecurity professionals and this is sometimes due to budget constraints. However, even those who pay high salaries are finding that even generous pay isn’t enough to attract and keep skilled professionals in this field. While 33% of CISOs surveyed in the ISSA report “The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2021” revealed salary was the reason they left one company for another, that doesn’t explain the majority of exits or job changes.
Meanwhile, many currently employed cybersecurity specialists are feeling overwhelmed and under immense pressure, despite high salaries, due to a lack of manpower and the fact that the stakes of their professions have become even higher as the number and intensity of attacks has increased. According to the ISSA report, 62 percent of cybersecurity professionals have a heavier workload and 38 percent are burnt out, since their companies were unable to hire enough resources.
What else can companies do to attract and retain cybersecurity professionals if money isn’t enough?
Write job descriptions that emphasize the abilities that employees will acquire rather than the skills that they will need to apply
Cybersecurity is a dynamic and rapidly growing profession with numerous opportunities. However, the field’s very nature necessitates that the professionals continue to learn on the job in order to keep up with the latest technology and types of threats and attacks. A company can differentiate itself and give the added value of professional growth by letting candidates know what they will learn on the job and what experiences they will gain, providing it an advantage in the recruitment process.
Consider factors other than academic education as well
Academic degrees in cybersecurity and related subjects are certainly beneficial, but they are not the only method to gain experience in the field. If someone does not have a degree, that should not rule them out as a good candidate, especially if they have relevant experience. With the increase in state-sponsored cyber-attacks, any amount of cybersecurity experience in military or government organizations is a significant advantage, and may be more valuable than corporate experience or academic degrees.
On-the-job training and mentoring
Organizations should be aware that current employees in IT may be able to develop cybersecurity skills with the proper training. This could be a good method to develop a cybersecurity team internally. Those getting in-house training should be paired with mentors who can guide them along the way. Forming a team internally allows employees to grow, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and retention.
Integrate cybersecurity into the overall business plan, and ensure new hires are aware of it.
Companies should include cybersecurity professionals in all aspects of their operations, from marketing to product development, rather than relegating them to being on call for incident response or when anything goes wrong.
Companies should also encourage their security professionals to bring fresh ideas and methods to the table that will aid in the company’s protection. Allow them to make changes where they are needed rather than merely acting as a protocol enforcer or follower. Furthermore, progress in cybersecurity should be recognized and reported to all levels of the business. Employees in the cybersecurity field will be able to make a real difference as a result of this acknowledgment, which will lead to increased job satisfaction.
One feature at the heart of all of these processes is seeing cybersecurity as a critical component of any organization and providing cybersecurity specialists with the opportunity to truly assist businesses in their growth and success.
Many companies treat cybersecurity as if it were separate from the rest of their operations; altering this mind-set will not only help an them better secure itself, but it will also make it a more attractive place to work for sought-after and competent cybersecurity specialists.
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