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The need for high-quality cybersecurity has never been greater. The number of cyber attackers operating around the world continues to grow with no end in sight, and their tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to combat. Furthermore, cyber criminals now realize that they can expect significant profits from a huge range of sensitive information, and so they have expanded their range of potential targets.
Company leaders, recognizing this growing threat, are rapidly taking steps to increase their investment in cyber security resources. However, there’s one major snag here: the shortage of available talent. As a recent ISACA report highlighted, business leaders are desperate to hire more cyber security professionals, but there simply aren’t enough qualified individuals to fill all of these roles. Naturally, this creates huge opportunities for those professionals who are in or are entering this field.
“86 percent of participants identified a shortage of skilled cyber security professionals.”
The 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status Report surveyed more than 3,400 ISACA members, asking them about their organizations’ preparedness and plans in regard to cyber safety. Among respondents, 37 percent said they were definitely planning to hire more cyber security professionals in 2015. Of these, 34 percent said they expect it will be difficult to find qualified candidates, and only 3 percent anticipate that this will be an easy process.
In total, 86 percent of survey participants said they believe there is currently a shortage of skilled cyber security professionals.
The lack of available cybersecurity talent is particularly significant in light of the increasingly dangerous digital landscape. Among ISACA survey respondents, 46 percent said they expect their organizations to be the targets of a cyber attack in 2015, while 24 percent did not expect any strikes and 30 percent were unsure. Furthermore, only 38 percent said their organizations were fully prepared to handle a sophisticated cyber attack.
Importantly, 83 percent of survey participants said that cyber attacks are among the three biggest threats that organizations in general now face.
These numbers suggest that business leaders and IT decision-makers genuinely appreciate the need for high-quality, reliable cyber security at their organizations. The simple fact of the matter is that there aren’t enough cyber security experts available to meet the high and growing level of demand.
This trend is not limited to the private sector. According to a recent Federal News Radio report, the federal government is also increasingly focusing its attention on recruiting and retaining cyber security professionals. This further increases the competition for the relatively small number of skilled cyber safety experts on the market.
Opportunities for experts
All of this indicates that those individuals with cybersecurity skills have tremendous opportunities available to them now, with even greater possibilities on the horizon. Not only are there a huge number of positions available, but businesses are willing to spend significantly on these personnel, as James Arlen, director of risk and advisory services for Leviathon Security Group, recently told Tech Target.
“There are currently over a billion dollars worth of unfilled positions globally,” said Arlen, the source reported.
Speaking to the same source, Doug Saylors, a director with Information Services Group, explained that cyber security used to be grouped within the umbrella category of IT. In recent years, though, cyber security has emerged as its own distinct and invaluable area.
“This has resulted in increased salaries and a shortage of qualified [staff for] small to medium enterprises in the marketplace,” said Saylors, the news source noted.
This means that for anyone considering a career in the world of cyber security, now is the ideal time to pursue the necessary training and education. If this applies to you, be sure to visit the National Cybersecurity Institute.