Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Creative Solutions to Address the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

By: Sentia   Categories:Blog, Security, Cyber Security, Data Security

Creative Solutions to Address the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

The cyber risk landscape continues to evolve at an alarming rate. Cyber adversaries are leveraging new technologies to innovate powerful malware variants and new hacking techniques. On the other hand, a pervasive cybersecurity talent shortage hampers organizations’ efforts to secure their critical infrastructure and data from attacks. However, companies can mitigate the chronic shortage of knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals by prioritizing talent, expertise, and experience over the traditional hiring practices, including those that require minimum educational qualifications.

Cybersecurity Skills Shortage May Worsen

Meanwhile, there are concerns across the cybersecurity community that the skills shortages may continue increasing. According to recent estimates, approximately 3.5 million jobs in the cybersecurity industry will go unfilled by 2025. This observation implies that companies should brace for an acute shortage of qualified professionals required to fill the expanding job openings. For example, at the end of 2021, estimates showed at least 1,053,468 employed cybersecurity specialists, but more than 597,767 job openings were unfilled.

Also, the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 survey revealed that the cybersecurity workforce shortage decreased for the second consecutive year. In the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals decreased to 2.72 million in 2021 from 3.12 million in 2020. One of the key factors contributing to the decrease is the entrance of 700,000 new professionals. Yet, the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to outpace the available talent.

In addition, it is challenging for companies to identify suitable candidates possessing the right skills combination, experience, and certifications to fill various cybersecurity roles, including cloud security, security incident analysis and investigation, application security, and security automation and orchestration. Furthermore, the limited practitioners with the desired skills often work in huge well-paying firms, leaving smaller companies struggling to fill the growing job openings.

It is Possible to Close the Gap

While it is encouraging to note an increasing injection of new professionals into the global cybersecurity workforce, organizations must be realistic regarding the urgency and need to address the current shortage of enough cybersecurity professionals. Echoing the words of Clar Rosso, the CEO of (ISC)2, organizations must rethink their traditional hiring practices and adopt a people-focused approach to identifying, training, and hiring talented cybersecurity professionals.

The study tells us where talent is needed most and that traditional hiring practices are insufficient. We must put people before technology, invest in their development, and embrace remote work as an opportunity. And perhaps most importantly, organizations must adopt meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion practices to meet employee expectations and close the gap,” says Rosso.

Several Fortune 500 technological companies have adopted this approach, with the most notable one being IBM’s “new collar” jobs program. Marc van Zadelhoff, IBM security general manager, wrote in a Harvard Business Review article that the new collar jobs program prioritizes “skills, knowledge, and willingness to learn over degrees and the career fields that gave people their initial work experience.” He also posits that “some characteristics of a successful cybersecurity professional simply can’t be taught in a classroom: unbridled curiosity, passion for problem-solving, strong ethics, and an understanding of risks.”

Creative Solutions for Mitigating Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

1. Outsourcing to a Cybersecurity Firm

While many organizations worldwide reel from the shortage of cybersecurity expertise, managed security service providers boast of unmatched talent, innovative technological security solutions, and human resources. Outsourcing cybersecurity services to managed security providers is one of the most cost-effective and creative methods companies use to deal with the lack of enough cybersecurity professionals. A managed security provider guarantees round-the-clock monitoring of your IT ecosystem by leveraging advanced machine learning systems to detect and eliminate cyber threats in real-time. Furthermore, outsourcing provides access to cutting-edge security solutions that would cost a small fortune to implement and maintain in-house.

2. Re-Evaluate Job-Opening Descriptions

A position description like threat hunter is more intriguing than a senior cybersecurity analyst and is more likely to attract the talent you are looking to fill. Unfortunately, looking at the current job descriptions in most organizations is likely to reveal a list of unfilled vacancies as they are filled with the usual corporate jargon that often sounds the same.

This is also a good time to take a look at your company culture to see if it might attract or deter the type of candidates you’re ultimately seeking. If the culture is lacking, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to overhaul the company. But adjusting the job listings and presentation to make the team look innovative and fresh can result in better candidates,” says Matt Stamper, Gartner research director.

3. Implement Certification Programs for Employees

Organizations should take it upon themselves to invest in certification programs for employees to help young talented individuals to obtain the relevant certifications for various cybersecurity fields. Although certifications may not provide the necessary experience and expertise acquired throughout a career, it jumpstarts the careers of younger individuals, which benefits companies in the long run.

4. Broaden the Cybersecurity Hiring Strategy

Security leaders and businesses must think differently to successfully navigate the cybersecurity skills shortage. For instance, companies can benefit from sourcing cybersecurity talent from non-traditional backgrounds with relevant motivation and work experience. In addition, individuals hired from different backgrounds often bring new perspectives to cyber challenges, which enhances an organization’s approach to cybersecurity.

Call to Action

The cybersecurity skills shortage is a thorn in the flesh for many businesses and inhibits them from protecting themselves. Fortunately, Sentia is a managed security service provider that can help your company overcome the challenges of the lack of enough cybersecurity professionals. With a history of being a managed security service provider from the very beginning, our security and compliance services can be aligned to industry-specific (certification) requirements. As a result, no organizations are too complex to handle, and we offer comprehensive enterprise solutions for businesses with high-security demands. Also, we utilize machine learning and AI-enabled XDR (extended detection and response) platforms to detect and respond to security threats across your endpoints, cloud workloads, servers, and networks. Working with Sentia experts is guaranteed to address the cybersecurity talent shortage and ensure your organization is protected from all threats. Contact us today to get a conversation started.



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