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Canada sees 25,000 vacancies in cybersecurity as hacking activity soars

Cybersecurity industry seeks to fill 3.5 million jobs worldwide by closing the gender gap

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With 25,000 vacancies in cybersecurity in Canada, this growing market is hungry to shore up its hiring by closing the gender gap, said a keynote speaker at the Canadian Women in Cybersecurity conference in Vaughan on May 4.

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Globally, there are 3.5 million job vacancies in the field of cybersecurity, added Gina Cody, the first woman to receive her doctorate in building engineering at Concordia University.

“That number is definitely going to grow,” said Cody, who made a historic $15 million gift to Concordia University’s faculty of engineering and computer science in 2018.

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In North America, women hold only about 21% of cybersecurity jobs and even fewer hold leadership positions in the industry, Cody added.

“The math here is simple,” Cody said. “If they want to close the cybersecurity jobs gap, we need to close the gender gap.”

Increase in expenses

Governments around the world are expected to increase their spending on cybersecurity, and Canada is one of them.

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Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Francois-Philippe Champagne, announced in February that the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) will receive up to $80 million to lead the Cyber ​​Security Innovation Network (CSIN).

NCC is a not-for-profit consortium, founded in 2020 by five Canadian universities with the goal of bringing together business and government research on cybersecurity. The consortium collaborates with more than 140 researchers from 35 post-secondary institutions, 16 large companies, 30 small and medium enterprises, 26 not-for-profit organizations and eight governments and governmental organizations across Canada.

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This government spending on cybersecurity is also a boon to the economy. According to Statistics Canada, the Canadian cybersecurity industry contributed over $2.3 billion in GDP and 22,500 jobs to the Canadian economy in 2018 alone.

But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what will happen in the world. Research firm Cybersecurity Ventures predicts in a recent report that governments will spend around $1.75 trillion on cybersecurity between 2021 and 2025.

Cybersecurity jobs set to grow even more

The number of unfilled jobs is set to rise amid alarming projections that cybercrime is on the rise globally, and the pandemic has only accelerated the trend as more businesses have pivoted in line.

In 2021, the Sophos State of Ransomware report showed that 39% of Canadian businesses had fallen victim to ransomware in the previous year, and 65% of businesses expect a future ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish the victim’s personal data or permanently block access to it unless a ransom is paid.

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Citing a figure from Cybersecurity Ventures’ official Cybercrime Report, Cody said that in 2021 alone, cybercrime caused more than $6 trillion in damage, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

“If cybercrime were measured as a country, it [have] the world’s third largest GDP after the United States and China,” she added. “The world is starting to realize how important cybersecurity really is.”

All the necessary skills

In a panel discussing the “absolute joy of being a woman in cybersecurity,” female panelists sought to dispel some myths surrounding the industry. These include being a math whiz.

“If you have more soft skills, like me in communications and policy, there is an area for you,” said Julia Le, head of cybersecurity education and awareness at the Government of India. Ontario.

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“If you want to get into the ethical hacking team and break into systems really, ethically, and make sure our software and programs are secure enough, well, yes, you’re going to need a computer background,” said said Le, who has a master’s degree in public policy.

One of the panelists, Eman Hammad, Physical Cyber ​​Security and Resilience at PwC, told the audience that she sees the industry as a “mosaic,” with people able to bring all of their diverse experiences into the mix.

“Especially in cybersecurity, you can bring all [of] yourself, you can come across as a tech expert, you can come across as a people person, you work with clients and try to understand their challenges. You can bring all your skills to each other,” Hammad said.

More importantly, cybersecurity is not unlike police work; it’s about protecting the public.

“You wake up every morning and say today is the day I can make a difference, no matter how small,” Hammad said.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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