The Growing Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals
Companies and government agencies are more vulnerable to cyberattack now than ever before. The World Economic Forum’s “The Global Risks Report 2019” placed cyberattacks and massive data fraud among the year’s top five risks (4th and 5th, respectively)—marking the second time two technological risks were among the top five. The Identity Theft Resource Center reported that hacking—an umbrella category that includes phishing and ransomware/malware—continued to rank as one of the highest in the types of attacks included in its annual survey. Because of these alarming statistics, many cyber professionals say that it’s not a matter of if your organization’s systems will be breached; it’s when.
With the dramatic spike in cyberattacks, changes in digital technology, and an array of new regulatory concerns, both the private and public sectors have plans to boost spending on cybersecurity, with investment in cyber defense professionals serving as a major component of these investments. Several companies have announced that they’re expanding their cybersecurity budgets, including J.P. Morgan Chase, which doubled its budget to $500 million.
In the public sector, the White House reported that they’re seeking $17.4 billion of budget authority for cybersecurity-related activities for the Fiscal Year 2020 President’s Budget, which, due to the sensitive nature of some activities, does not represent the entire cyber budget. This is a $790 million (5 percent) increase in cybersecurity spending across all agencies for fiscal year 2020.
The driving force behind the security spending is a fear of data breaches. Gartner believes privacy concerns will drive at least 10 percent of market demand for security services and will impact a variety of segments, such as identity and access management (IAM), identity governance and administration (IGA), and data loss prevention (DLP).
Getting additional funding to hire more workers is a major component of cybersecurity budget expansion. Sixty-five percent of IT leaders surveyed in the 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey said that a lack of talent is obstructing their cyber-defense strategies, the highest recorded by the survey since 2008.
Skills shortages are at an all-time high, with 67 percent of survey respondents struggling to find the right talent, and big data/analytics, cyber security, and AI reported to be the scarcest skills. In ISC(2)’s 2018 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, respondents (those who work in the cybersecurity field) said the cybersecurity workforce gap is their number one job concern, outranking historically topmost responses such as lack of time and lack of work-life balance.
Despite these growing issues, qualified candidates for cybersecurity jobs are scarce and getting scarcer, which creates a challenge for companies to properly defend themselves against threats. Put simply, it’s a classic supply-and-demand problem, with too many vacancies for too few candidates. Statistics demonstrate that companies are struggling to hire cybersecurity workers. According to (ISC)2’s 2018 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is close to three million globally. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents report that their organizations have a shortage of IT staff dedicated to cybersecurity, and nearly 60 percent say their companies are at moderate or extreme risk of cybersecurity attacks due to this shortage.
It’s clear from these trends that cybersecurity is moving more rapidly, and in more directions, than anyone may be able to predict. Titles are evolving, requirements are shifting, and finding the right candidates is often a team effort. As Deshini Newman, managing director EMEA at (ISC)² said, “The cybersecurity challenge of combating threats with the right people and the right skills is a relentless one. It is just one reason why organizations must maximize their ability to entice and keep talented and qualified individuals from all corners of society. Bringing new ideas, experience, alternative thinking and approaches to the table, as part of a broad selection of skills, experience and backgrounds can inspire, motivate and help organizations to find innovative solutions to today’s IT and security concerns.”
If you’re seeking a role as a cybersecurity professional, or are looking to hire cybersecurity professionals for your team, please reach out to us today for more information.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.