Cyber Skills Shortages Stands At Four Million

A shortage in the global cybersecurity workforce continues to be a problem for companies in all industries and of all sizes.  The technology industry has never seen anything quite like it.

Seasoned cyber pros typically earn $95,000 a year, often markedly more and yet job openings can linger almost indefinitely. 

The ever-leaner cybersecurity workforce makes many companies desperate for help. In an era of high-profile data breaches and devastating cyberattacks, cybersecurity impacts every individual and every organisation.  Global IT security skills shortages have now surpassed four million

According to the international certifcation organisation (ISC)2 the number of unfilled positions now stands at 4.07 million professionals, up from 2.93 million this time last year. This includes 561,000 in North America and a staggering 2.6 million short fall in APAC. The shortage of skilled workers in the industry in Europe has soared by more than 100% over the same period, from 142,000 to 291,000.

(ICS)2 have released their  latest Cybersecurity Workforce Study based upon interviews with over 3200 security professionals around the world. The report estimates the current global workforce at 2.93 million, including 289,000 in the UK and 805,000 in the US. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of responding organisations reported a shortage of cybersecurity staff, with a lack of skilled or experienced security personnel their number one workplace concern (36%).

Over half (51%) of cybersecurity professionals said their organisation is at moderate or extreme risk due to staff shortages.
four key strategies to help organisations tackle such shortages. These include in-house training and development and setting applicant qualification requirements at the right level to ensure as wide a net as possible is cast.

(ISC)2 also stressed the need to attract new workers from other professions, or recent graduates with tangential degrees, as well as seasoned professionals from consulting and contracting sectors. Organizations should look to strengthen from within by cross-training existing IT professionals where appropriate. In an era of high-pro le data breaches and devastating cyberattacks, cybersecurity impacts every individual and every organisation. 

Top Job Concerns Among Cybersecurity Professionals include: 

  • 36% Lack of skilled/experienced cybersecurity security personnel 
  • 28% Lack of standard terminology for effective communication 
  • 27% Lack of resources to do my job effectively 
  • 24% Lack of work-life balance 
  • 24% Inadequate budget for key security initiatives 

Cybersecurity professionals are more than twice as likely to be male, meaning there is an under-tapped demographic available for recruiting if companies can position the role in a way that overcomes common stereotypes. 30% of survey respondents were women. 

Among respondents with security-specific titles, 23% of study participants were women. The highest percentage of women cybersecurity professionals came from Latin America (39%) and North America (34%). 

The 2019 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study is based on online survey data collected in June and July 2019 from 3,237 individuals responsible for security/cybersecurity at work throughout North America, Europe, Latin America (LATAM) and Asia-Pacific (APAC).  The sample within each country was controlled to ensure a mix of company sizes and industries. 

InfoSecurity Magazine:          ISC2:

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