October 28, 2015

Mind the gap: Securing Future Cyber Talent

Susan Helmick

In recent years cybersecurity has become the lead topic in both the media and the business boardroom.  With data breaches taking place on an almost daily basis (more than 600 reported so far in 2015 according to the Identity Theft Resource Center), those on the front lines defending against such tasks have more than enough work with which to keep up. Unfortunately, the availability of skilled cyber security workers isn’t keeping up with ongoing and future necessity.

A January 2015 survey conducted by ISACA, a nonprofit, global association (previously the Information Systems Audit and Control Association), found that among thousands of its members in multiple countries, 86 percent cited a global shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals with more than 90 percent expecting to have difficulty finding am adequately skilled candidate for open positions.  The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)²®, followed this with an April 2015 industry study forecasting a staff shortage of 1.5 million cyber securityworkers in the industry by 2020.

New research by Raytheon indicates the situation may get worse before it gets better. The Raytheon annual study,Securing Our Future: Closing the Cyber Talent Gap indicates a global disinterest among young adults in pursuing cybersecurity careers as well as a widening gender gap.

Though there exists a growing recognition of the importance of and need for cyber security, millennials are often unaware of the many benefits of a cyber-career – chief among them high pay. And with more than half of both men and women in the U.S. receiving little to no job counseling on potential careers in cyber or access to applicable computer skills classes prior to and in high school to inspire interest in the field, we may find ourselves in a future unable to adequately keep the Internet safe.

It’s not all bad news, however. Raytheon’s study found young adults were more likely to choose a career that helps to make the Internet safer than a year ago, while just under 40 percent are interested in learning about cybersecurity or taking classes.

The Internet is here to stay and with it the need for innovative cyber security technology and skilled personnel.  It will take businesses, government and education systems working in tandem to create the next generation of cyber professionals to secure our technological future.

Read the full report here or visit the links below:

Cyber Help Wanted

National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

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