Anyone — from the regular joe to a huge MNC — can fall prey to cybercriminals Today, with an increasing number of reports related to cybercrimes, it is no wonder that cybersecurity is a prime lookout for everyone. Especially in the case of government websites or databases that contain highly classified and confidential information, cybersecurity […] The post The curious case of the cybersecurity skill gap appeared first on e27.
19 Mar, 2019E27.CO
Today, with an increasing number of reports related to cybercrimes, it is no wonder that cybersecurity is a prime lookout for everyone.
Especially in the case of government websites or databases that contain highly classified and confidential information, cybersecurity becomes the top concern.
In order to fiercely protect this confidentiality, enterprises are now willing to go that extra mile, and take all possible measures to ensure top-notch cybersecurity. Consequently, the demand for cybersecurity experts is soaring today.
However, in spite of skyrocketing demands for experts skilled in cybersecurity, there is a lingering shortage in their supply.
This is something of interest and concern and is a hotly debated issue around the world.
Even though there are literally hundreds and thousands of vacancies across companies looking for cybersecurity experts, the problem with the skill gap is ever-widening.
In the World Economic Forum’s report published in January 2019, it has been expressed that there are more than 200,000 job posts that are yet to be fulfilled by qualified cybersecurity experts.
In other words, employers are constantly on the lookout for trained professionals in this field but are struggling to find suitable resources.
Such reports expose the deficit that enterprises are today experiencing, thereby giving an upper hand to the cyber miscreants who are leveraging this gap to their best advantage.
With every passing day, cybercriminals are coming up with newer and more complex ideas that can easily break through the most sophisticated of cyber security mechanisms.
As a result, companies all over the world are making a scramble to garner more information and fight against this security breach with whatever resources they have.
As the world becomes ever more digitised and more people are shifting their focus to the internet, many unforeseen incidents and newer challenges are being created.
With easy access to the web and its myriad services and applications, no one can really predict beforehand what unscrupulous cyber activities could happen next.
Therefore, it is almost unsurprising that many industries are unprepared to face this issue that has now assumed alarming proportions.
And, although top global firms and governmental agencies are now ready to invest huge chunks of money to equip their cybersecurity department with expert minds, there was a major issue of underinvestment.
This is somewhat related to the point that has already been mentioned above, that the rapid up-shooting of cybercrimes was not something that companies had predicted.
Therefore, investments to bring on board skilled cybersecurity experts was not considered a necessity back then.
Owing to the IT boom, there has been a mushrooming of hundreds of other technology companies. Now, even if the larger enterprises have sufficient budget to employ top cybersecurity experts, the newer and smaller companies often fall short of funds.
As a result, these hundreds of smaller IT companies all over the world suffer a lag in cybersecurity solutions. Not only are they left unguarded, but they also act as potential channels for cybercriminals to attack the larger organisations.
Apart from budget issues and failing to anticipate this danger, the dearth of necessary cyber security skills is also a major contributor to this skill gap.
It is important to understand that cybersecurity skills are no longer confined to mere degrees and certificates.
Although much has changed from before, and companies have sprung to their feet to take necessary action, the lag in cyber security skills is still a reality.
There are several reasons why this gap is still growing today:
With cybercrimes increasing at an appalling rate every year, it is truly hard to predict if the forces can overcome these and put an end to them for good.
It is possible to take time and address different technological issues, by researching and finding out appropriate technical solutions. But when it comes to addressing cybersecurity threats, the sheer speed of evolution leaves no time to come up with solutions.
With every passing day, the issues are becoming way more sophisticated and getting out of control.
Nowadays, companies are hiring engineering graduates for cybersecurity roles and enrolling them to in-house certificate programs to train them as cybersecurity experts. But even after this, studies have estimated that in the USA, there will be around 3.5 million vacancies for cybersecurity jobs by the year 2021.
Inadequate compensation and exposure
One of the most important determinants of any job is the compensation offered, not to mention the experience that one can gain.
In fact, these two are major factors that influence cybersecurity professionals when they join an organisation.
Today, all industries are equally vulnerable to cyber threats, owing to which there should ideally be unanimous demand for professionals across all verticals. However, it is observed that the IT giants are typically more upbeat in recruiting cybersecurity experts and offering them highly lucrative compensation packages as well.
This scenario leads to the distribution of necessary skills that are not uniformed.
If all industries can grow more upbeat about recruiting experts to tackle the technological crisis and are ready to compensate them proportionately, the gap can be bridged to some extent.
Poor communication skills
Simply going by degrees and experience is not enough in today’s world; professionals need to be thoroughly well versed in their communication as well.
This is not just limited to written communication. A cybersecurity professional must be capable of addressing the company management about cyber threats and possible solutions.
They must have the necessary soft skills to convince top managers about the investments that need to be made and steps that must be undertaken to protect the enterprise from cybersecurity threats.
Without effective communication skills, it is hard to survive any job today.
More often than not, it is found that companies tend to emphasize a lot more on the number of years of work experience while recruiting.
What most of the recruiters fail to realise is that the experience gathered on the job is of far greater significance than just the years of experience acquired.
When it comes to dealing with cybersecurity threats, exposure to various real life incidents plays a much more important role. It makes an employee truly seasoned to think out of the box and come up with effective solutions, rather than just having the theoretical knowledge about stuff.
Going beyond such prejudice can help companies get exactly what they need to keep themselves protected against cybersecurity threats.
If you keep tabs on cybersecurity-related news, then you would already know that this shortage in supply of trained cybersecurity experts is not something new.
But, given that the gap in demand and supply of cybersecurity professionals is increasing rapidly, there still seems to be a few options we could use to turn the tables on the situation.
Public sector tie-up with private companies
One of the best ways to deal with the growing menace of cyber threats is to unite against the criminal forces.
When public or governmental agencies collaborate with top private technological companies, they are surely going to be a force to reckon with. With the aid of funds combined with the talent pool in private companies, there is bound to be better and more effective means of dealing with cybersecurity concerns.
With this intention, former US President Obama had already tied up with the US Government and Silicon Valley to bridge this talent gap in the cyber security industry.
Joint development of futuristic tools
If all the different industries decide to pool together their resources and cultivate the talents needed to fight against cybercrimes, then such cases can be curtailed to a great extent.
Instead of trying to go out all alone against cyber miscreants, gathering the top minds to create an industry-wide cybersecurity panel can devise cutting edge strategies to protect cyberspace.
However, such moves of collaboration depend on various factors, and of course time. But till then, the best move can be to begin right away by guarding your own cyberspace with the use of latest VPN technologies like ExpressVPN.
Although there is a long long way to traverse, in this endeavor to thwart the cyber-criminal activities all over the world, a VPN is an effective way to make the first move towards it.
Companies can gather more information on the best VPN applications that can be used for this purpose. Accordingly, they can recruit new talent and train them as per standards, to scale up to the requirements.
Cybersecurity threats are no less serious than the top worldwide concerns such as global warming. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to overcome this talent gap crisis and protect the cyberspace from persistent and targeted threats every time.
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