Cybersecurity Talent Shortage - Challenges and Opportunities

Nearly every part of our life now involves some sort of usage of a database that is part of a larger network, and we don't even realize it. Now more than ever, the internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, from booking flights and doctor's appointments to sharing images of our kids and applying for credit to doing genealogical studies and even online dating. Every time we sign in, we're greeted like long-lost friends. All of that data is kept someplace, and it's all susceptible to attack. This includes all of the information a hacker needs to take our identity.

Consider the 2019 Capital One data breach, which may have exposed up to 100 million credit card applications, 140,000 Social Security information, and 80,000 bank account details. Worrying as these breaches are, the pervasive lack of cybersecurity skills makes matters far worse. Some businesses are not taking these dangers as seriously as they should. However, there is a severe shortage of qualified cybersecurity specialists among those who are able to recruit them.

If you have the correct blend of abilities, education, and outlook, you may find success in any field by finding a workable answer to any challenge. In this article, we'll talk about the worldwide cybersecurity skill shortage, the problems it causes for businesses, and the ways in which IT experts may transform this issue into an opportunity.

Cybersecurity Survey − 2019

According to (ISC)2019 ®'s Cybersecurity Workforce Study, demand for cybersecurity experts remains steady at 2.8 million. To fulfill demand, the global cybersecurity workforce will need to increase by 145%. The 2019 study also found that malware assaults on mobile devices quadrupled from the previous year and that attacks on local governments also rose sharply. Since the scale of the issue keeps increasing, this makes it is difficult to pinpoint a specific location for improvement.

The following are open positions according to the 2019 survey −

  • There are over half a million requirements in North America.

  • A total of over 140,000 requirements throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

  • More than two million requirements in Asia and the Pacific

  • More than 130 thousand requirements throughout Latin America

In spite of the fact that some businesses, often larger ones, are employing AI to monitor their networks for abnormalities and eliminate security risks, the paradox is that human intervention is still required for effective implementation. And there are other problems with AI, such as the fact that it can be deceived by more complex attacks that don't manifest as anomalies (such as business email compromise or BEC attacks, in which fraudsters use social engineering as a means of entry).

Insightful, proactive, and well-trained people are what businesses of all sizes need to get a grasp on these dangers. Humans who have been trained in the various methods "black hat" hackers use to compromise networks are able to think like the bad guys and dig deeper than a program ever could because while AI needs massive amounts of data to be effective, it can only detect that which looks different from the ordinary.

How companies handle cybersecurity skill shortage?

Companies have resorted to a number of temporary measures in an effort to slow the onslaught of assaults as the skills shortage continues to worsen. Many companies have used AI systems, as we discussed before. The problem is that in their haste to prevent cyber threats, businesses sometimes fall prey to opportunistic providers' shoddy remedies. For many businesses, security is still an afterthought rather than a core activity.

A Forrester analysis found that while cybersecurity experts have the potential to make high incomes, the pay scale is all over the place, and firms haven't done a great job of attracting and keeping the appropriate personnel.

Especially those businesses that haven't been hit by a major assault aren't doing much to improve their cybersecurity. There may be a security gap in the company even though customers are still buying things and payments are once again being received. Unfortunately, data breaches may easily cost businesses hundreds of millions of dollars, damage relationships with consumers and business partners, and even cause the company to go bankrupt.

A second strategy involves using specialists from different fields to manage security measures. Though they may excel at what they do best, having dedicated cybersecurity personnel is becoming increasingly important.

21st-century cybersecurity challenges

Several criteria, including the organization's size and industry, as well as the organization's exposure to threats, will determine the breadth and composition of its cybersecurity activities. Companies will need to improve their ability to predict and prepare for the worst-case situation.

For instance, the risk of a data breach revealing customers' credit card information is a reality for any business with an internet presence. Banks are a prime target for thieves looking to empty accounts or steal sensitive information like Social Security numbers. When it comes to user privacy and the possibility of blackmail, certain organizations, like Ashley Madison, may take precautions that other companies don't (which was positioned as a forum for those wishing to have an extramarital affair).

Many organizations have varying cybersecurity hiring demands; however, these are a few of the most popular occupations in the field −

A software's security depends heavily on the work of the lead software security engineer, who does a thorough analysis of the code before it is released.

The Chief Security Officer (CSO) is an executive position responsible for leading an organization's overall cybersecurity strategy and implementation.

Consultants in this field assess an organization's susceptibility to network threats and provide recommendations for strengthening security.

Executive in Charge of Information Security (CISO): This is a top-level executive position concerned with the safety of an organization's computer systems and networks.

Executive Director of Safety − This person is responsible for upholding the company's cybersecurity standards, such as those pertaining to employee authentication and the secure administration of physical assets (such as laptops and smartphones)

Engineer in Charge of Security − This position is responsible for ensuring the safety of a company's multiple technological platforms, including teleconferencing, software, and hardware.


Engineers in cyber security work with others in the company to prevent and respond to cyberattacks from within and without.

It's important to keep in mind that some of the aforementioned positions may go by various names in different businesses. Some firms, especially those of a smaller size, mix functions when employing cybersecurity personnel.

No matter what you're into, cybersecurity is a fast-growing industry with plenty of room for ambitious new leaders to emerge. Get started right away on a path to a high-paying, in-demand profession.

Updated on: 05-May-2023


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