Cyber crime continues to proliferate across the globe with the number of data breaches on an upward trend. The result is an immense demand for skilled security professionals to address growing concerns. Unfortunately, the availability of security experts is a challenge for organizations and agencies – and is only expected to get worse. Already, the cybersecurity workforce gap is on pace to hit three million globally.
This growing gap will have a significant impact on the industry. Organizations who find themselves with a shortage of security personnel are at risk of slowed adoption and implementation of the critical tools needed for cybersecurity efforts – opening them up to potential breaches and attacks. When looking at effectively securing infrastructure, 87 percent of companies believe that hiring and retaining qualified security professionals is critical.
Yet, despite efforts to increase hiring and fill needed positions, demand continues to outpace supply. Today’s organizations face a staffing problem that is more logistical than financial – with security budgets increasing but talent recruitment continuing to be a challenge.
The growing workforce shortage is being driven by a lack of qualified personnel – with a large segment of the available workforce lacking the requisite skills that enterprises need. Sixty-four percent of organizations report that only half of their applicants are qualified for an open security position – with technical skills being the biggest existing skills gap. For public safety and government agencies, there is the additional challenge of competing with private, enterprise organizations that can be more attractive to potential talent.
Unfortunately, traditional recruitment methods are falling short. It is not uncommon for cybersecurity workers to arrive at their roles through unconventional paths. In fact, 87 percent of current professionals did not start their careers in cybersecurity – but rather moved into the field from a wide variety of other professions including information technology. Further compounding the issue is a lack of training, with only three of the top 50 university computer science programs requiring cybersecurity coursework.
In order to close the gap, hiring managers need to explore new recruitment and development channels and find innovative strategies and techniques to engage potential professionals. This can include professional development programs, training and apprenticeships to grow security talent.
Filling the long-term, growing cybersecurity skills gap is critical. But organizations have a need for professionals now. For companies in need of security expertise, partnering with an organization that can provide cybersecurity support and services may be the solution. These organizations are prepared to work with companies to safeguard their critical communication networks and technologies and are trained to stay actively informed of the rapidly changing landscape of security threats and compliance requirements. Read the full Motorola Solutions White Paper here to learn more about the need for cybersecurity experts.
Troy Mattern, Vice President – Products and Services, Cybersecurity