There’s no denying that cybersecurity threats are increasing in volume and sophistication. But unfortunately, a skills gap in the industry prevents organizations from responding to those threats effectively.
The industry’s cybersecurity skills gap exists due to misconceptions among job candidates and recruiters about filling those roles. As a result, organizations experience more cybersecurity incidents they cannot respond to, affecting their finances and their reputation. This can even include tech layoffs and job cuts if the company is affected hard enough.
The solution is for stakeholders to understand that cybersecurity roles require diverse backgrounds. They can also provide cybersecurity training bootcamps like those offered by ThriveDX.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the cybersecurity skills gap, why it happens, and how to fix it.
Why Is There A Cybersecurity Skills Gap In The Industry?
A significant cybersecurity skills gap exists in the industry today, and multiple reasons cause it. But surprisingly enough, a lack of interest in the field is not one of those reasons.
Instead, there are issues on both the side of applicants and recruiters alike. These issues prevent people from contributing their skills and abilities to the industry.
Here’s a closer look at the issues on both sides of the fence.
1. Challenges for Applicants
There are two sides to the cybersecurity skills gap, and the first is the pool of potential applicants. Unfortunately, there’s a strong misconception among them that cybersecurity roles require deep technical knowledge.
On top of that, applicants also assume cybersecurity roles require several years’ worth of direct work experience. They may even be afraid to submit a job application because they think they don’t have enough experience. Combining those factors causes applicants to filter themselves out of the cybersecurity job applicants pool. Unfortunately, those assumptions regarding technical knowledge and experience requirements aren’t accurate.
In reality, the cybersecurity industry requires people from all backgrounds, not just those from traditional cybersecurity or information technology roles. In other words, you don’t necessarily have to be a coder or hacker to qualify for cybersecurity roles.
That includes people with varying levels of technical knowledge and work experience. Only with diversity among applicants can an organization successfully build and manage its cybersecurity abilities.
2. Challenges for Recruiters
Potential candidates shying away from applying to cybersecurity roles is a big issue. However, the existing skills gap is made even worse due to issues among recruiters. Evidently, the same misconceptions described above are also reflected among the people whose job is filling that skill gap.
Cybersecurity recruiters typically extend job opportunities to those from traditional information technology or cybersecurity backgrounds. While their skills are undoubtedly valuable to cybersecurity roles, doing so makes the candidate pool incredibly small.
Instead, recruiters have a much better chance of filling the gaps by searching for candidates with transferable skills. Then, successful candidates could be trained to apply their abilities in cybersecurity through on-the-job mentorship and training opportunities.
Overall, the solution to the cybersecurity skills gap is to let more candidates know that their skills and knowledge are valuable to the field. Simultaneously, recruiters must also learn to cast a wider net when searching for candidates.
How Is The Skills Gap Affecting The Cybersecurity Industry?
Organizations in all sectors cannot take the cybersecurity skills gap lightly. That’s because cyber threats have become a universal risk to everyone. Even people without any direct relation to the technology sector can be affected.
Here are some of the ways the cybersecurity skills gap is affecting the cybersecurity industry and all other industries as well:
Security incidents: Firstly, the industry’s cybersecurity skills gap is leading to an increase in the number of security incidents. A lack of trained cybersecurity staff undermines any business’s ability to maintain security and prevent attacks.
Incident response: A lack of prevention isn’t the only way organizations get affected by the cybersecurity skills gap. On top of that, organizations are also unable to respond to ongoing cybersecurity incidents effectively. In other words, the skills gap doesn’t just prevent companies from stopping attacks. Still, it also prevents them from reacting to them correctly.
Organizational Risks: As a result of both issues mentioned above, the cybersecurity skills gap also increases organizational risks. Most notably, any organization with such a gap will experience more financial and reputation losses due to cyber-attacks.
As you can see from the list above, the cybersecurity skills gap has long-reaching effects. Cybersecurity is no longer just about what happens online. Instead, problems in cyberspace can and do spill over into real life. These problems can threaten the overall business, regardless of the sector in which it operates.
How Do You Close The Cybersecurity Skills Gap?
The first step in understanding the cybersecurity skills gap is to learn why it happens and how it affects organizations. Then, it’s essential to know how to solve the problem.
As you might’ve guessed, there isn’t a magic bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution to this issue. If there were, it would have already been solved.
Instead, here are three things that must happen to fill the cybersecurity skills gap:
Step 1: Firstly, there must be awareness among job candidates of all backgrounds that they can participate in cybersecurity. That way, they’ll understand what they bring and can apply for cybersecurity roles without traditional qualifications or job experiences.
Step 2: Cybersecurity recruiters must learn to widen their net when searching for candidates. By understanding what workers from other backgrounds offer, they can match the right opportunities to the most suitable candidates.
Step 3: Lastly, organizations in the industry can equip employees and candidates with cybersecurity training. For example, they can send employees from all departments to attend a cybersecurity bootcamp like those by ThriveDX. That will allow staff and candidates to reskill or upskill accordingly to fit their new cybersecurity roles.
Overall, there needs to be an awareness that the cybersecurity field can benefit from various work skills and experiences. But, more importantly, organizations need a reliable partner like ThriveDX to help them navigate these challenges.
The bottom line is clear: the cybersecurity skills gap affects organizations in all sectors. It exists because of existing assumptions about cybersecurity roles by candidates and recruiters. So, filling the gap will require awareness, understanding, and training with the help of an industry partner like ThriveDX.