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The Cybersecurity Skill Shortage


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The gap between the threat capability of modern-day attacks and the skilled personnel able to mitigate them, is perpetually widening. Technology is one way to close the gap.


The cybersecurity industry is currently experiencing an epidemic. No, I’m not referring to the complex and sophisticated malware that is being generated in increasing numbers every day, but the availability of skilled personnel, available to prevent or remediate them.


In 2018-2019, 53 percent of organizations reported a "problematic shortage" of cybersecurity skills according to CSO Online. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job opening by 2021. A report coming out of Australia found that 88% of IT decision makers believe there is a shortage of cybersecurity skills within their own organization, but also nationally.


This alarming trend is seriously disadvantaging security efforts. At Deep Instinct, we’ve seen for a while now that security talent isn’t where it needs to be to help curb the cybercrime epidemic and until this is rectified, the industry continues to be outpaced by malicious actors.


To stem this development, organizations need to adopt the mindset of malicious actors. This is not a mindset that can easily be transitioned into by occupational cyber experts or engineers. It draws on the skill set of those who have experience in cyber warfare, understand the objectives of an attacker and can identify the product architecture that’s required to undermine their efforts.


Unfortunately, the reality is that this gap between the threat capability of modern-day attacks and the skilled personnel able to mitigate them, is perpetually widening.


There are a number of fundamental shifts that need to happen in order to rectify the situation both on a national level and within organizations:

There needs to be national level leadership on the issue. Governments need to pursue this issue to the extent of appointing a minister for cybersecurity, who would be responsible for establishing metrics, driving programs and reporting on national progress.


A more thorough partnership between public and private enterprise where national governments adopt a more focused effort on working with the cybersecurity technology community.


An integrated industry effort between technology and cybersecurity leaders to ensure that organizations adopt technology tools that work to resolve this issue, rather than amplify it.

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