- A strong majority (93%) of IT security professionals in a new Tripwire survey say they're concerned about the industry's skills gap, and 72% believe it's more difficult to hire skilled cybersecurity talent than it was two years ago. Tripwire and Dimensional Research surveyed 315 IT security professionals.
- This dynamic has led firms to consider candidates with nontraditional skillsets; 81% of respondents said the skills required to be a 'great' staff member had changed in the past few years, and 98% said they expect non-security professional hires to become more involved in their defense strategies.
- Additionally, a majority of respondents indicated that either managed services (86%) and automation (96%) could help address the industry's skills gap in the future.
It's not just cybersecurity employers who have noticed this problem; a lack of staffing has hit IT security teams across industries. Research from CompTIA revealed that cybersecurity and IT took the brunt of skills gaps, though other industries suffer to a similar degree.
What differentiates IT security from other fields is the acuteness of pain points presented by a lack of staff. Employers have heard the statistics before, but we'll say them louder for those in the back: 95% of employers have employees who have breached network security, and 66% of cyber breaches are caused by employees. Add external cyber crime into the mix, and employers are looking at average cost of $154 million per data breach. That's all reason enough to be concerned about a lack of IT talent.
As such, companies are taking a myriad of approaches to address the issue. Some rely on outsourcing or contractor work in order to shore up weak points, while others have upped training protocols and even invested in cyber apprenticeships. As part of a broader effort to market STEM careers to younger audiences, organizations like the Girl Scouts of the USA have partnered with tech firms to train a new generation of talent.
Part of improving the talent pool will mean investing in the STEM community, and even rethinking how STEM careers are marketed to job seekers. That includes expanding opportunities across demographics as well as income levels.