Covid-19 pandemic reveals a serious shortage in cybersecurity skills

Covid-19 pandemic reveals a serious shortage in cybersecurity skills

Employees should be trained to recognize cybersecurity threats before they damage their organizations. In fact, research into the global cybersecurity skills shortage indicates that the situation is not improving and may also be getting worse. According to ESG & ISSA Research Report entitled “The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2020”, 70% of cybersecurity professionals claim that their organizations are impacted by the cybersecurity skills shortage. Moreover, around 45% believe that skills shortage has gotten worse over the past years. The study states that cybersecurity workers feel constrained by a lack of career development and training offered to them.

Senior Principal Analyst and Fellow with ESG, Jon Oltsik said: “The data uncovered in this research year-over-year also demonstrates that there are multiple issues contributing to the problem of a ‘cybersecurity skills gap’, including that businesses don’t understand the role of information security, there is no clear and agreed upon career map within our profession, and cybersecurity professionals are under constant stress of attempting to improve collaboration efforts with IT”.

The study lacked the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on cybersecurity as it was conducted in late 2019 early 2020. Today, with the shift to remote working, many countries have been reporting serious cybersecurity breaches. In fact, these companies were not ready to face these new cybersecurity challenges.

Steve Durbin, managing director of the not-for-profit Information Security Forum believes that during the post-Covid-19 pandemic, companies and HR managers must be aware of their hiring strategies. “In today’s Covid-19 reality, to rectify the continued cyber skills shortage, organizations are being encouraged to realign their focus to candidates with aptitude, attitude and broad experiences,” he said. Moreover, he added, “Redefining candidate requirements will enable organizations to expand their group of potential candidates, helping to build tomorrow’s security workforce in a cost-effective and timely manner.”

On the other hand, CSO online states that the number of organizations reporting a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills is increasing dramatically. This number increased from 42% in 2015-2016 to 53% in 2018-2019.

Enhancing cybersecurity skills has become crucial for different businesses and organizations worldwide. A new research entitled “Cybersecurity-Building Business Resilience states that £496 million were raised by investors in UK cybersecurity companies in the first half of 2020. This is because 48% of UK companies do not have adequate cybersecurity capabilities. For a while, IT security represented only 5% of a company’s IT budget. However, after the Covid-19 pandemic, cybersecurity became the center for business continuity plans, according to Info Security.