Skills shortage: 5 things you can do to fight cybercrime

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You might recall at the beginning of this cybersecurity month we asked, “How are you planning to safe-lock your data in a mobile world?” Breaches add up, bringing a heavy financial toll. Cybersecurity Ventures reports that cybercrime costs are expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021, double the damages in 2015.

You might already be doing these activities as part of your strategy plan: researching ways to increase security with emerging technology (one example: blockchain to revise business process), increasing secure mobile access to collaboration apps and infrastructure, training and communicating for preparedness and adoption, and resourcing top talent. We’d like to hear your views on cybersecurity and how it affects your role. Read on and let us know below.

Cybersecurity recruiting is paramount

With security breaches on the rise, you’ve got to ensure the right people are in place. But there’s a snag – talent is in short supply. A Symantec survey reported a gap of 1.5 million by 2019, and Cybersecurity Ventures expects that num...

Why this talent shortage?

Have we not prepared people in college? Was the pace of change such that we were blindsided by evolving threats? How do you think this could affect your team build-out? Look at the contributing reasons and let us know, particularly as this is a fast-moving and fairly young field:

  • Limited feeder education pathways
  • Unrealistic “unicorn” hiring criteria or outdated, traditional requirements
  • Insufficient pool that lacks diversity
  • Unqualified or entry-level candidates
  • Lack of candidate interest, even if qualified

Steps you can take today

Amid this backdrop of skills shortage and the constancy of evolving digital threat, here’s what you can do to prepare effectively against cybersecurity risks.

  1. Use technology to your advantage. Microsoft 365 delivers proactive detection with machine learning that identifies security threat patterns. Automate manual activities like logging to simplify efforts, so your team can focus on high-priority activities.
  2. Outsource short-term. To close the immediate skills gap for expert personnel, bring in vendors or consultants to address needs now until you can work with your HR/recruiting team or a search firm to pinpoint the talent you need.
  3. Cast a wider net. Redefine the target applicant and “go beyond traditional job skills” to expand the pool internally and through other avenues, like college internships. Look broadly across your employees and gauge their skills in IT, law, and compliance. Think beyond the box for potential contributors, including software engineers, who must be aware of threats to avoid prog....
  4. Reevaluate your job postings – and expectations. Be precise on what you seek. The NICE Framework from the Department of Homeland Security can help define required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). At a minimum, put the basic requirements on the job description to increase applicant submissions and determine true need for traditional certifications. Also ensure descriptions draw desired applicants by reflecting culture benefits, including flex-time, vacation, remote work, training opportunity, and salary.
  5. Emphasize education. Train yourself and your teams to develop home-grown skills that meet today’s need. Work with local universities to influence curriculum development to grow the future workforce pool. Establish internships, hackathons and “capture the flag” competitions to give students hands-on infosec experience.

Will a cybersecurity talent shortage pose a problem for your company and IT team? Could it affect your career? Let us know below.

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