Evolution has always helped mankind move forward and the digital age has been no different. Modern technology is always bracing itself for the latest innovations. Cybersecurity is one of the many fields that has seen drastic breakthroughs.

However, as technology progresses, the skills and jobs that cater to these innovations must also adapt. The cybersecurity talent shortage is quickly becoming a problem.

The Cybersecurity Talent Gap

Many might assume that the field of cybersecurity is just technical - done by computers and machines. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cybersecurity relies on the intuition and practical understanding of humans in the same way that innovative technology does.

Global Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

A study found a global cybersecurity workforce gap of almost 3.4 million people. However, a lack of cybersecurity jobs is not the main issue. The jobs in this field require certain skills and cybersecurity positions can often be seen as stressful.

An ISACA report has found that some of these specialized skills include cloud computing, coding, security and data controls, software development, and behavioral analytics. As of 2022, almost 60% of corporate data is already stored in the cloud.

According to the India Times, there are currently between 20,000 and 25,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in the country. The Data Security Council of India has also predicted that the country’s cybersecurity expansion will result in the need for one million professionals by 2025.

The demand for cloud security skills in India is also estimated to grow by 115% between 2020 and 2025 – which will lead to almost 20,000 job openings. Sachin Alug, the chief executive of NLB Services, has stated that bridging the gap will take “diligent upskilling and reskilling endeavors from employers as well as government bodies.”

Cybersecurity leaders are now finding it difficult to keep up in such a dynamic environment. Around 30% of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) have found that a lack of resources – including talented staff – to be an obstacle to better cybersecurity practices.

The 2022 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce study has also shown that while cybersecurity careers are growing, the demand is growing a lot faster. It states that despite adding more than 464,000 workers in 2022, the cybersecurity workforce gap has grown more than twice as much as the workforce.

“Paper tigers” are also a growing concern in the cybersecurity talent shortage. These are candidates that look good on paper with the right qualifications and results but do not possess the skills and practical know-how to be effective in their jobs.

This talent shortage is also a result of universities failing to offer enough cybersecurity courses and the general disinterest of the youth in going into a field seemingly rigid and repetitive. Regardless, the cybersecurity skills gap is now proving to be potentially dangerous.

The Importance of Cybersecurity Now

As we’ve mentioned before, technology is not slowing down for anyone. Unfortunately, neither are cyber threats. That’s why recruiting cyber workforce is essential. For example, you can have a security architect and cybersecurity analyst, information security manager kind of cybersecurity professional. They can use their soft skills to protect organization from potential risks.

The cybersecurity talent shortage has weakened risk assessment and strategic planning for most organizations. This means that innovative cyber-attacks and new malware have a weaker and wider attack surface.

Cybersecurity is more important – now more than ever. TechRound asked a few experts for their opinions on the need for cybersecurity in the modern world:

Gabe Luis, the Senior Director for Western Europe at Infoblox stated that “businesses today are increasingly adopting hybrid and multi-cloud environments to stay competitive, creating additional complexity and expanding attack surfaces.” Coupled with socio-economic factors and sophisticated cyber-attacks, he believes that 2023 is proving to be a challenging year so far.

Aled Williams, Director at Remson, has also said, “The success of these attacks is attributed to the fact that we make it too easy for the hacker. We do not follow basic security concepts to prevent exploitation. We would much rather rely on blind faith as a security strategy.”

He goes on to detail that, “smaller, more agile hackers and ransomware gangs have capitalized on a gap in the market and now advertise and sell ransomware services on the dark web, even offering monthly subscriptions for these services!”

Chris White, a member of the International Cyber Expo’s Advisory Council, has also commented that “as cyber threats evolve, we need to stay informed about the latest security practices and implement effective measures to protect ourselves and our digital assets.”

Steve Timothy, the Cybersecurity Specialist Director at Ricoh UK, warned cybercrime will cost the world US$ 10.5 trillion annually by 2025. He also said that “the first line of defense for your business is your employees – making sure they not only understand but live and breathe online safety is essential for everything else to function.” According to him, cybersecurity is a business-critical issue and one of the key indicators of an organization’s digital maturity.

Companies need to recognize the importance of cybersecurity in keeping their business running effectively in the modern era. The 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce report also found that 70% of employees feel their organization does not have enough cybersecurity staff to be effective. The security specialists could implement solutions that can save an organization from a potential cyber-attack.

More than half of employees at organizations with workforce shortages feel that staff deficits put their organization at a “moderate” or “extreme” risk of cyberattack.

Global Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

Sourced from the 2022 Study

Can AI Models such as ChatGPT fill the gap of Cybersecurity Talent Shortage?

Cybersecurity Industry is quite dynamic. Everyday thousands of new ransomware attacks take place, and it requires the information security analyst to optimally use their knowledge, skill and analytics tools to identify, prevent and mitigate security risks. ChatGPT is an AI model which works only after feeding data and then it learns by itself. AI models are useful as an assistant to cybersecurity workers in order to analyze information and identify patterns. Such models can also find loopholes in the entire security network.

Can AI Models such as ChatGPT fill the gap of Cybersecurity Talent Shortage?

So, using an AI model can definitely empower your organization to quickly identify risks and act. However, you would need smart talents who know how to handle these AI machines. Sangfor’s Cyber Command also follows the AI model that boosts the information security analyst’s daily work.

We encourage organizations to take full advantage of technology and get the right talent at the right time, ensuring everything is secured in your organization.

What Organizations Can Do to Fill the Cybersecurity Jobs Gap

Now, to ensure that the cybersecurity talent shortage is remedied, there are certain things your organization can do.

What Organizations Can Do to Fill the Cybersecurity Jobs Gap

Look at Skills, Not Titles

When reviewing your candidates, it’s easy to be swayed by qualifications and fancy titles. Unfortunately, a lot of these fall flat in the practical workplace. Remember, the existing skills of an individual can be used to elevate your organization and technical skills can always be taught.

Steven Sim, the CISO for a global logistics company and a member of the Emerging Trends Working Group with ISACA has also shared this philosophy. He looks for skills that are adjacent when crafting a team for his business. He states that while the hires may not have the relevant certification, they have the domain knowledge needed.

He also values people with a passion and keenness to learn and states that drawing a workforce from different fields strengthens his business.

Expand Your Scope

Thinking outside of the box applies to the boss as well. Try to look for candidates outside your regular scope of expertise and invest in building up skills on varied foundations. This allows you to create a diverse team with different skills.

BlackBerry CISO, Arvind Raman, shared with CSO that he also prefers to find and recruit qualified professionals from outside the security field instead of simply seeking candidates working their way up the typical chain of security roles. This has helped the CISO in dealing with the cybersecurity talent shortage as well.

Identify the Skills Needed

Focus on the tasks at hand and the skills needed rather than the qualifications. You might find that certain jobs require the skillset of someone in a different field.

Problem-solving, time management, patience, steady hands, and innovative thinking are all skills that can be broadly spread across different fields of expertise. Don’t be afraid to venture out and ask people to try their hand at certain jobs that might benefit from their knowledge.

Invest in the Future of Cybersecurity

Pay attention to universities and younger candidates when recruiting. Your organization requires a certain level of experience, but don’t shrug off fresh insight and perspective. Many students might also be interested in internships where your organization funds their studies for them to join your workforce later on. This also allows the apprentices to hone the skills needed in the profession from the start.

Find Advanced Cybersecurity Providers

Investing in cybersecurity solutions from an established provider will also ensure that your organization never runs short on cybersecurity talent. Sangfor Technologies is a leading cybersecurity and cloud computing provider that ensures high-quality security and advanced engineering that will keep your business at the forefront of the technical era.

With affordable, simple, and innovative platforms and products, Sangfor will provide elite security against cyber-attacks and data loss. All this while still ensuring your company has access to superior and efficient cloud computing technology and infrastructure.

Sangfor will revolutionize the way your company joins the digital era. For more information on Sangfor’s cyber security and cloud computing solutions, visit www.sangfor.com.

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