All organizations, regardless of size, location, or industry, seem to have one thing in common: cybersecurity staffing challenges. Hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals has proven to be a daunting task.
The 2021 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that 377,000 workers are needed to fill cybersecurity positions in the United States. In the ISACA State of Cybersecurity 2022 report, 63% of respondents said they had vacancies in cybersecurity, an increase of 8% from the previous year.
The Cyber Seek Heat Map provides data on the number of cybersecurity job openings in a state or metro area. This can give you a good idea of the competition you face for hiring cyber professionals in your market. According to the map, there are nearly 40,000 cybersecurity job openings in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. Even the country’s least populous state, Wyoming, has more than 550 vacancies.
The challenges of hiring cybersecurity staff are clear. Once you manage to fill your vacancies, retaining the employee becomes another challenge. A recent report on Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) stress revealed that the average job tenure is just 26 months. The cause of high turnover is often stress. 48% of CISOs said their job causes enough stress to impact their mental health.
The impact of cybersecurity staffing shortages
Not having a full cybersecurity staff increases an organization’s vulnerability to risk. Without trained personnel in place, tasks essential to your cybersecurity program such as penetration testing, phishing campaigns, network monitoring and auditing, and a long list of others, will be performed less often or even no way.
When a CISO, or any member of your cybersecurity team, leaves your home, their knowledge of your cyber program goes with them. As the statistics we have just reviewed demonstrate, hiring and training replacements is likely to be a long and difficult process. The time between the departure of an employee and the update of their replacement is when your security program could be weakest, increasing your vulnerability to a cyberattack.
Partnership with a service provider
To fill the knowledge and workforce gaps that arise when employees leave or when vacancies remain vacant, a cybersecurity service provider is a valuable option. The services they can provide provide the stability and expertise that will allow your organization to keep its cyber program running while it strives to regain full staff. For small businesses, hiring a service provider to manage their cybersecurity needs may be a more practical solution than hiring a full-time CISO.
A service provider can fill any staffing gaps and improve the overall health of your cybersecurity program by offering these services and benefits:
Virtual CISO (vCISO):
Working with a vCISO can be an effective way to utilize the expertise and leadership of an experienced cybersecurity professional without having to find and retain a full-time employee. You can customize the scope of your vCISO so that you only pay for the services you need.
Having a new, well-trained eye on your cyber program will help identify existing risks and gaps that your organization may have missed, and they can pave the way for implementing new policies and procedures. A vCISO can also play an important role in obtaining or maintaining security certifications such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, PCI, and HITRUST.
Many organizations that work with a vCISO find that the experience helps improve communication and collaboration between IT, security, and management teams.
Managed Cybersecurity Operations
Another effective option for bringing external cyber intelligence into your organization is to use a customizable managed cybersecurity program. Leveraging the capabilities of a dedicated cybersecurity company will allow you to perform tasks efficiently, within your budget and with the highest quality, including:
- 24/7 network and security monitoring
- Wireless rogue detection
- Data Center Operations
- Data Discovery
- Security Administration
Having a vendor help you manage your operations will give your business access to cutting-edge cybersecurity tools and technology.
Offer of specialized services
Cybersecurity vendors can provide services to your organization as needed to help your organization mitigate risk when it does not have the internal resources to handle all security tasks. Services available include:
- Cyber risk assessments – Assess your existing program’s ability to identify and mitigate the impact of a cyberattack.
- Breach Readiness Review – Improve your organization’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impact of cyberattacks by identifying gaps in your existing incident response program.
- Penetration tests – An ethical hacking campaign that will help identify areas of exposure that could expose your organization’s data to internal and external threats and/or regulatory violations.
- Management of phishing campaigns – Ethical phishing attempts that will test your staff’s response and identify vulnerabilities and potential training needs.
Consistency of institutional knowledge
When you partner with a service provider to help manage your cybersecurity program, knowledge is embedded within the service provider’s institution. You will no longer have to worry about having your policies and procedures enforced by relying solely on staff members. If and when staff leave, you will have an experienced and knowledgeable team ready to work on your behalf to keep your cybersecurity program running smoothly, minimizing vulnerability.
CompliancePoint has experienced staff and proven management programs to help organizations mitigate their cybersecurity risk.