A new study reported on by CNBC states there is an overwhelming need for IT and cybersecurity professionals in the technology industry. It’s around 4 million that are needed to close the skills gap and protect networks worldwide.
With technology companies maintaining a lead in the stock market and how fast this industry continues to grow and shift, it’s been difficult to entice new cybersecurity staff and keep existing personnel from leaving for new opportunities. Half a million people are needed just to fill the shortage in the U.S.
The problem exists however in the idea that as this sector continues to expand, the cybersecurity attacks, data breaches, malware, and ransomware continue to expand alongside it. (Here’s our broken record again!) The attacks in 2019 have been the worst yet in our history, and only seem to be multiplying. According to a Forbes article, 3,800 publicly disclosed data breaches have exposed 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019 alone. Keep in mind those are only the “disclosed” breaches.
So why the problem attracting and retaining cybersecurity staff?
ISC2 is a global nonprofit of certified cybersecurity professionals, its CEO David Shearer says, “the volume of attacks and sophistication of attacks from around the world continue to increase.” That’s incredibly obvious. So, one of the issues seems to be the sheer number of attacks. Great.
Shearer also states “We have nation-state types of attacks, criminal activity types of attacks and individuals that are just trying to do fraud and cybercrime. And so as these activities on the web continue to grow, there continues to be less and less of the qualified people that we need to conquer those attacks.” It seems like a lot of those who would be qualified, are the ones carrying out the attacks themselves.
Due to the quantity of cyber-attacks, burnout is also reported as an often-occurring problem in the industry. One issue is solved – and the day is saved, only to come back to work the next day to a major crisis as a company loses revenue over a data breach.
CEO Paula Innella at cybersecurity company TDI finds although the average $90,000 a year salary for those who hold security certifications can be lucrative, there is a changing mentality as many workers would rather be contracted instead of full-time. This might be for a more attractive work-life balance (which could probably be attained by adding more professionals in the field).
Innella has also found that “ghosting” has been on the rise. A company will agree to meet for an interview, but the interviewee is never heard from again. Or once that person is hired, they never show up. (How rude!) However, this could be the result of a flooded job market – when a better opportunity comes along it’s easier to take it (although that still doesn’t account for the lack of common courtesy).
There are no doubt challenges facing this industry that is a direct result of such a high demand. With enough drive and incentive, cybersecurity companies around the globe are hoping to increase their workforce, and soon. With rising cyber-attacks, the world will need all the help it can get.
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