Rethinking the Industry’s approach to the cyber security skills Gap

In recent years, the cybersecurity skills gap has grown due to the exponential rise in technology. The more we rely on tech to live our lives day to day, the more powerful hackers become when they are able to breach privacy and access sensitive information.

At present, there is a global cybersecurity skills shortage, which has seen companies struggle to find people with the right skills to fill their open roles. Whilst companies are at a loss with the current recruitment situation, workers are finding that their existing skills can’t keep up with ever-evolving technology.

Without something changing rapidly, we’re at risk of leaving our businesses, health systems and personal information vulnerable to attack at any moment. So, how can we rethink the industry’s approach to the cybersecurity skills gap?

ISACA’s “State of Cybersecurity 2019” survey revealed that 58 per cent of organizations have unfilled security positions and 32 per cent said it takes at least six months to fill these open jobs, a six-percentage-point increase from the previous year”

The cybersecurity skills gap

The cybersecurity skills gap refers to the lack of talent that is necessary for businesses to combat cyber risks. With the nation’s economic challenges distracting us from more productive ways of upskilling our employees, many have argued that the UK is falling behind where cybersecurity is concerned.

With a lack of skilled professionals moving through the ranks, reports have predicted that there will be up to 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally by 2021.

When it comes to Europe specifically, we’re expected to experience a cybersecurity skills gap of 350,000 workers by 2022, according to a survey by (ISC)2.

As a result of the skills gap that’s predicted, it’s likely that cybercrime will increase at worrying levels. For perspective on how the rise in crime will play out, in 2015 cybercrime cost us $3 trillion annually. However, now reports are predicting that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion by 2021.

Rethinking the approach to cybersecurity

Rethinking the approach to the cyber security skills shortage evolves engaging the right people and aligning those candidates with the right training and job prospects. But, how do we do that and what is making the industry so sparse and dominated by a single demographic?

Diversifying Tech

The tech industry has a worrying lack of diversity on measures including gender, race and class representation. Stereotypes and implicit biases in STEM are a prevailing issue, discouraging and preventing many from entering the technology industry. With almost no representation or role models as well as a lack of information and support beginning in education, STEM is dominated by white males. There are a mere 17% of women working in technology as well as a low 8.5% of senior leaders in technology are from a minority background. Women and minorities are an untapped resource and potential pool of talent which are being failed by the industry and education. The relationship between society and tech needs to be reconfigured. Diversifying tech in the media, education, recruitment, and your own business or team will help close the skills shortage.

Internal Professional Development

IT is no longer playing a supportive role but the core of our economic business infrastructures. As businesses and services continue to advance and evolve, the skillsets of employees, as well as IT professionals alike, must also continue to develop. Employers must analyse and invest in their employee’s professional development to ensure they have the skills they need to protect assets, drive performance and succeed in a global market.

Career-Ready Education

Technology is evolving at an exponential rate making existing skills obsolete and education systems outdated. Career-ready education focuses on skills that are needed for the current economy and job market, working with leading brands and experts in the industry. Demystifying the tech industry to potential talent is key in closing the gap.

“83% of tech executives are white”

EOCC

To support individuals and teams professional development in the tech industry, SkillsFox and the Learning People are attending the biggest information security event in Europe. Rant events offer presentations, networking and takeaway content that will help expose attendees to the world of cybersecurity and discuss the challenges that the industry faces. Events like these, as well as the actions of forward-thinking cybersecurity professionals,  will help us combat the cybersecurity risks and rethink the approach to the cybersecurity skills gap.

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