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Cybersecurity shortfall a national emergency

Cybersecurity shortfall a national emergency

The cybersecurity industry is currently facing a monumental shortfall in security professionals.

That is the urgent message sounded from the latest (ISC)2 report from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, which noted, “There is a lack of capable, fresh, new talent within the industry. Talent that is vital to uphold national cyber defense capabilities.” This is sobering news following the recent SolarWinds attack, among other noteworthy national breaches.

In fact, the report found that the cybersecurity sector suffered a shortage of more than four million during 2019. The shortfall is now at 3.12 million, with the industry currently comprising 700,000 security professionals. The ISC has put this skill shortage down to an uncertain demand due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

“Cyberthreats and threat actors have increased tremendously in the past year,” JMK/EMD Managing Director Min Kyriannis told Security Systems News. “Because of this companies realize that this is a huge risk and are now hiring cybersecurity professionals within their organizations. This is a real challenge as good cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and are limited.”

Not only are existing cybersecurity professionals stretched, but the industry needs to grow by 89 percent worldwide and 41 percent in the U.S. to fill the talent gap, the report found, noting that 65 percent of organizations report a shortage of cybersecurity staff, with a lack of skilled/experienced cybersecurity personnel being the top job concern among 36 percent of respondents.

"Over the past 10 years cybersecurity has evolved as threats and vulnerabilities become more complicated and advanced. From Ransomware affecting public and private infrastructure in every business vertical to nation state attacks to undermine our defense posture it is critical to begin to nurture the best and brightest into this space,” Pierre Bourgeix, CTO and Co-Founder of Butchko ESI, SecurePCN, told SSN. “This is no longer a want but a necessity. We are facing global organizations as well as governments who are putting every asset available at building the most robust red teams to attack the United States. The NSA, Cyber command, and the Department of Defense are far behind others who are treating this as the front lines of a war.”

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing career areas nationally.” In fact, they argue that jobs in cybersecurity will grow 31 percent through 2029, more than seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4 percent.

“Today with all of this it is critical to bolster our defenses, but it can't be done without developing talent and making it a priority to do so,” Bourgeix noted. “ESI Convergent and its subsidiaries such as SecurePCN are making it a priority to mentor and train talent by opening its offices on Lorain County Community College in recent months. We are at a crossroads and the landscape of interconnected infrastructure is making the threat vector for attacks more plausible every day.  We all must do our part to help bring the talent required to help our nation be prepared for today's cybersecurity landscape."

It is good to see the efforts of companies such as Butchko ESI, as well as efforts by security associations and organizations including SIA, ESA, ASIS, PSA, Security-Net, SecuritySpecifiers ... the list is long and growing. We all need to do our part to attract new talent to the opportunities available in a career in cybersecurity. Our nation may depend on it! 


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