At RSA conference, jobs remain key to cybersecurity crisis

This week at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco, about 20,000 professionals came to study the cybersecurity landscape. The irony is that more professionals are needed to fill the gaps in the cybersecurity workforce crisis.

As attack vectors, threats and data infiltration reach new heights, the cybersecurity industry is grappling with a lingering jobs crisis, lacking skilled workers to fill job vacancies – with approximately 2.7 million unfilled jobs, according to the (ISC)² study on the cybersecurity workforce.

With some 400 vendors also present at RSA this week, touting their latest cybersecurity products ranging from firewalls and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to extended detection and response (XDR), the question may not be. not to know what technology to use – but how to staff what?

Trellix, an XDR company, has conducted new research on the cybersecurity talent shortage. Among the key findings, 85% of respondents believe that labor shortages are impacting their organizations’ ability to secure increasingly complex information systems and networks. Of the current workforce, 30% plan to change jobs in the future.

Jobs and automation are key

The lack of sufficient numbers of cybersecurity professionals weighs heavily as the industry struggles to combat ever-growing threats. This is due to a variety of issues, including a wider range of connected devices and applications, the expansion of cloud services, and the escalation of digital hostilities with wars and state-sponsored cyber-terrorism.

“You have trends in hybrid working, digital transformation and moving to the cloud,” Jesper Trolle, CEO of software distributor Exclusive Networks, told me in an interview this week. “These three things together massively increase attack vectors. Perpetrators have more access to tools.

Trolle is part of a partnership with NightDragon, an investment and advisory firm focused on the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy sectors. They helped NextGen Cyber ​​Talent, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in the cybersecurity industry, to fund education initiatives for cybersecurity training. They are raising $1 million to help fund a year of community college.

Experts say that in the United States, at least, the education systems are not designed to train professionals in the cybersecurity industry. This is a huge opportunity, especially for tech-underserved populations such as minorities and women.

Dave DeWalt, founder and CEO of NightDragon and cybersecurity industry veteran, says the jobs crisis is a key part of the cybersecurity industry’s challenge.

“What’s happened is you’ve had a permanent cyber talent storm. We’ve seen an incredible shortage of talent for the market we need to serve. Only the best companies can afford talent. This leaves an iceberg effect where most companies cannot hire cyber talent.”

According to the Trellix survey, 94% of respondents said their company could do more to encourage community mentoring programs.

CISOs speak out on the challenge

Other NextGen Cyber ​​Talent program participants have highlighted this need as the industry battles an ongoing talent and jobs crisis.

“There are approximately 2.7 million vacancies in cybersecurity,” Krishnan Chellakarai, founder and co-chairman of NextGen Cyber ​​Talent and CISO of Gilead Sciences, said in a statement. “These vacancies create a significant challenge as security teams everywhere struggle to hire talent to monitor and remediate cyberattacks, as well as develop new technologies to combat today’s latest threats. .”

Other industry experts say many organizations suffer from burnt-out staff who struggle to keep up in understaffed environments.

“As the impact of the pandemic on security teams gradually fades, our Voice of the CISO 2022 report has revealed a pressing issue,” Lucia Milica, CISO, Proofpoint, said in an email to Futuriom. “As workers quit their jobs or choose not to return to the workforce, security teams are now managing a myriad of challenges to stop data loss and insider threats,” Milica said. “This, coupled with the pressing need for talent to create and develop products and solutions that allow businesses to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, compounds the risk, as demand far outstrips available manpower. .”

Milica says programs such as NextGen Cyber ​​Talent are on the right track, giving people the opportunity to find high-paying jobs in the industry.

The bottom line is that as cybersecurity software and automation proliferate, we still need more humans to guide strategy and implementation. Until the industry finds a way to address the cybersecurity jobs crisis, most organizations will struggle to combat the continued rise in cyber threats.

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