Industries across the board are experiencing an unprecedented cyber security skills gap, with some estimates reporting there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021. Many factors are to blame for this shortage, but top of the list is the increasing number of cyber threats and threat actors. As organizations buckle under the growing need for cybersecurity professionals, the industry is struggling to close the cyber security skills gap.
While the rise of cyber education in schools and universities will begin to close the skills gap in the future, for now, simply looking to hire new talent isn’t an approach that is working.
In the meantime, it doesn’t look like cybercriminals have any intention of slowing down. There’s no time to waste, so here are 5 ways to close the cyber security skills gap within your organization right now:
1. Invest in cybersecurity training
The most valuable and efficient way to close the cyber security skills gap in your organization is to invest in proper cybersecurity training for all your employees. Not only will training lower the risk of a breach through ensuring basic cyber awareness, but it also provides the opportunity to upskill the talent you already have. Cybersecurity training has a proven high return on investment, and organizations can longer afford to suffer the consequences of avoidable breaches.
2. Encourage continuous learning
One factor contributing to the cyber security skills gap is stagnant, one-off training. As cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field with emerging threats, it is necessary to promote continuous cyber learning so that employees’ skills and knowledge stays up to date. Continuous cyber learning provides the opportunity for employees to both learn new skills and practice old ones, ensuring that knowledge remains fresh and that employees remain confident in their abilities.
3. Look out for new technologies
A frequent complaint of cybersecurity professionals is that they are understaffed and overwhelmed. One way to ease the workload for your security team is to invest in automation or machine learning cyber technologies. Such technologies can help your team streamline operations and prioritize the greatest threats or incidents.
Although it can be overwhelming to try and stay on top of cyber tech trends, it is essential to keep an open mind when looking for and investing in new security technologies, as there is plenty of exciting innovation happening.
4. Broaden new-hire channels
There is no one correct path to a successful cybersecurity career. While cybersecurity knowledge and real-world experience are important for cyber professionals, attributes such as strong critical thinking skills, adaptability, and a willingness to keep learning are equally important.
Many candidates with diverse, non-traditional backgrounds have these latter characteristics and can easily be trained in cybersecurity to make a great fit in your organization. One overlooked demographic, for example, is veterans who may not have a college degree but possess the vital qualities to learn and be successful in cybersecurity.
5. Provide avenues for internal professional development
Employee retention is a major problem in the cybersecurity field, partly because demand for professionals is so high that they can pick and choose who to work for. In turn, it is essential that your cybersecurity employees feel they have the opportunity to develop their skills and rise in your organization.
Providing avenues for internal professional development is beneficial to both the organization and the individual, and it is one of the best ways to invest in and retain your top talent.
Close the cyber security skills gap, once and for all
The cyber security skills shortage isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but you can at least take steps to mitigate it within your organization. At Cybint, we’ve made it our mission to close the cyber security skills gap with solutions connecting continuous learning, talent networking, and emerging technologies. Contact us to see how we can help you upskill, reskill, and retain your cyber workforce.