Cybersecurity Professionals Are Understaffed Amid the Global Disruption

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Cybersecurity Professionals Are Understaffed Amid the Global Disruption

More organizations plan to address cybersecurity skill gap challenges by training non-security staff, offering reskilling programs, and increasing reliance on AI/ automation.

The disruption caused by the pandemic has had a ripple effect on businesses across the globe, impacting workforces in every sector. However, a recent study by ISACA in partnership with HCL Technologies shows that the cybersecurity workforce has largely been safe and sound.

The statistics indicated only 53% of the 3,600 surveyed information security participants had difficulty in retaining talent last year amid the pandemic. In fact, a 4% decline from 2019 may have been a consequence of worldwide uncertainty.

Also Read: Building and Promoting a Cybersecurity Culture in the Organization

In a situation where remote work became more prevalent, and in certain cases, mandatory that are citing “limited remote work possibilities” – is a major reason for leaving their cybersecurity job saw a 6% point decline (about 45%) compared to the previous year.

Despite the fact that the cybersecurity workers are somewhat sparing the global crisis and technical devastation experienced by other industries, the survey revealed that longstanding technological issues still persist. These include –

  • Nearly 61% of respondents said that their cybersecurity teams are understaffed.
  • About 55% indicated they have unfilled cybersecurity positions in their company.
  • Almost 50% of security professionals noted their cybersecurity applicants are not enough skilled or well qualified.
  • Only 31% indicated their HR team regularly understands the cybersecurity hiring needs.

In the past years, the findings indicate that retention issues and increased cyber-attacks are fairly interrelated. Around 68% of the respondents who experienced increased cyber-attacks in the past, reported somewhat or significantly understaffed.

As explained by Jonathan Brandt, lead of information security professional practices at ISACA – “It has become even more evident in the past year just how vital cybersecurity is to ensuring business continuity, yet the years-long struggle to staff these teams continues.”

Even another 63% of professionals who had experienced more cyber-attacks before, said they confronted huge difficulties while retaining qualified cybersecurity professionals. Certainly, the hiring, as well as skills challenges, continues – especially with the modern-age graduates.

Also Read: Emerging Cybersecurity Trends in 2021

The primary three skills gaps the researchers found in candidates include – soft skills (56%), security controls (36%), and software development (33%). As a result, organizations plan to address these issues by training non-security staff, increasing reskilling programs, and depending on AI/ automation.

In this context, Jonathan continued – “As a global cybersecurity community, it is imperative that we all come together to recalibrate how we hire, retain and train our future cyber leaders to ensure we have a solid workforce to meet these evolving cybersecurity needs.”

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