The cybersecurity sector faces a job shortage of 2.5 million professionals

The global cybersecurity industry has a massive 2.5 million job gap it needs to fill to keep up with the evolving digital underworld, a Microsoft Gulf official said.

Companies face the challenge of scouting candidates for these jobs, who must be equipped with forward thinking as well as the latest knowledge.

They should also be prepared to undergo training on new methods that cybercriminals can use as weapons, said Mohammed Arif, director of modern workplace and security at Microsoft UAE.

“Globally, cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest growing profiles; 2.5 million are missing. It’s important that we educate people on the new trends and key skills they need to become a strong security professional,” said Mr. Arif. The National in an interview at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference in Dubai on Monday.

He said cyberattacks have become increasingly complex and difficult to detect, morphing into indiscriminate and elaborate operations.

The most recent example is the attack on US IT management company SolarWinds, which compromised large corporations, governments and countless individuals across multiple continents.

The debacle demonstrated the need for greater IT vigilance and a more watchful eye within enterprises, and this labor shortage is straining security teams and organizations, according to a study by Microsoft.

The number of job openings is expected to reach 3.5 million by 2025, research firm Cybersecurity Ventures said in its latest study. It also predicted that cybercriminal activities would inflict damage worth around $6 trillion globally in 2021, rising to $10.5 billion by 2025.

A career in the industry can also be rewarding: a cybersecurity architect, for example, can potentially earn between Dh41,000 ($11,164) and Dh52,000 per month in 2022 in the UAE, according to a recent study by the agency. of Cooper Fitch recruitment.

Data breaches and major IT shutdowns worry businesses the most, German financial services firm Allianz said in January.

An arcade game set up to entertain visitors on the ground of Gisec Global 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Center on Monday.  Antonie Robertson / The National

Ransomware was the attack of choice and took people by surprise in 2021, and was just part of rapidly accelerating cyberattacks that have become more complex, frequent and increasingly destructive, Ms. .Arif.

To minimize the already difficult nature of selecting the right people for the job, companies should expand their network and promote greater inclusion in hiring. In particular, women – who made up just a quarter of cybersecurity jobs in 2021 – have a huge opportunity to contribute to the field, Microsoft’s study showed.

According to a report by data analytics firm Cloverpop, “mixed” teams make better business decisions 73% of the time. It said. To be defined as such, a team had to include at least one man and one woman, he specifies.

Globally, cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest growing profiles. It’s important that we educate people on key new trends and the skills they need to become a strong security professional.

Mohammed Arif, Director of Modern Workplace and Security at Microsoft UAE

“We can significantly reduce the deficit by deliberately expanding our recruitment and mentoring of underrepresented groups who can bring so much to the table.”

Individuals should always stay on the learning curve, voluntarily building their skills, Arif said. But business leaders also have a responsibility to ensure their staff receive the proper training or risk cybercrime seeping through cracks in their infrastructure.

“Increasingly, the responsibility of companies is not only to secure their infrastructure and their users, but also to facilitate the work of their employees,” he said.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, will continue to increase investment and build partnerships in cybersecurity in the UAE, Arif said.

On Monday, it announced it had partnered with e& – the UAE’s largest telecom operator, formerly known as Etisalat Group – to drive innovation and offer more tech-focused products. to customers.

Updated: March 22, 2022, 03:30

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