Cyber security, or the lack of it, has gone mainstream. A day doesn’t seem to go by where the general public doesn’t hear of some new data breach, ransomware attack, company network compromise, or state-sponsored cyber attack. Meanwhile, consumers have also become intimately aware of how their own personal data privacy contributes to their own security (thanks Facebook). As a result, it’s no surprise that the demand for cyber security expertise is at an all-time high.
The problem is, we don’t have the skilled professionals to fill this demand. According to the latest studies, almost three million cyber security jobs remained unfilled during 2018. Universities and cyber security trade organizations are not graduating qualified candidates fast enough to fill the demand for new information security employees. Three-fourths of companies claim this shortage in cyber security skills has affected them and lessened their security.
Unfortunately, we don’t see this cyber security skills gap lessening in 2020. Demand for skilled cyber security professionals keeps growing, yet we haven’t seen any recruiting and educational changes that will increase the supply. Whether it be from a lack of proper formal education courses on cyber security or an aversion to the often-thankless job of working on the front lines, we predict the cyber security skills gap to increase an additional 15% next year. Let’s hope this scarcity of expertise doesn’t result in an increase in successful attacks.
Security Tips: While the available cyber security workforce won’t appear immediately, you do have options to help create and manage a strong cyber defense. Taking a long-term view, you can work with your local educational institutes to identify future cyber security professionals so that you might fill your open roles first. In the short term, focus on solutions that provide layered security in one solution, or work with a managed services provider (MSP) or managed security services provider (MSSP) to whom you can outsource your security needs.
Interested in what other emerging threats and security issues might surface next year? Check out the WatchGuard Threat Lab’s complete list of 2020 Security Predictions here.