President and General Manager, netfer.
There is an increasing demand for cybersecurity and IT jobs faster than companies can hire. Since cybersecurity is an essential part of any business that carries valuable private data and information, finding and retaining this type of specialized talent is critical.
Unfortunately, the industry is plagued by a massive staff shortage, particularly due to rapidly changing job requirements and qualifications, spurred by companies’ increasing need for secure systems and processes. Multiple reports this year show an always high demand for IT security analysts or cybersecurity positions with an estimated 700,000 job opportunities in the cybersecurity job market.
Every industry that has consumer data, including medical and financial, has a responsibility to protect consumer information and keep it private. Every day, hackers threaten our data and control of our systems. Protection can be assured when full end-to-end encryption efforts are deployed – the gold standard for protection.
Such a large staff shortage causes an influx of real-life consequences in the workplace. For example, if there are not enough cybersecurity experts on staff, it is impossible to keep track of all active threats against a network. If there is not enough time for proper risk assessment and management, mistakes can occur.
Recognizing the need for investment in cybersecurity and the growing workforce shortage, the US government is taking steps to end the shortage and build strong walls against cyber threats.
The Biden-Harris administration announced funding for a first-ever state and local cybersecurity grant program in an effort to equip state and local agencies with the tools needed to protect against the threats their communities face. In addition, the administration also ensures that private sectors and entities have their best defenses when it comes to cyber-attacks. Entities such as hospitals, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and more have or will receive updated regulations and upgrades to improve their systems and processes.
In addition to government measures, there are several ways companies can reduce the shortage of IT workers:
• Recruit abroad to meet demand. Immediately national average salary starting with six figures, it’s not a bad industry to work in. Employers want to turn the bright minds of the younger generations into their teammates who work to protect against hackers, not become them.
• Offer additional training for employees to acquire the desired certifications and skills. Some of the most sought-after certifications include ISACA CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals, MTA security fundamentals, and CompTIA Security+. Offering or giving access to these skills helps you develop and create talent.
• Collaborate with high schools and universities to get more young professionals trained and employed faster. A continued focus on internships, student hiring and mentorship programs will help provide the industry with eager new talent that employers need. In conjunction with this, the White House announced a Apprenticeship of 120 days program to provide guidance in cyber jobs.
The fact remains that cybersecurity is a real threat that is not going away any time soon, especially with the recent events and growing threats from organized and state-sponsored cybercrime. It is imperative that we remain diligent and proactive in our efforts to assemble the best possible defense teams to protect our sensitive and valuable data.