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Cybersecurity worker shortfall reaches critical mass

Jul 29, 2021

All corners of the tech industry are scrambling to find enough cybersecurity talent, a worker shortfall with grave implications for companies – and ultimately consumers – across the board.

According to a survey conducted by ISACA and HCL Technologies, released in May, 61 percent of cybersecurity leaders report their teams are understaffed while more than half report they are actively looking to fill vacancies.

Last year, international nonprofit (ISC)2, which offers cybersecurity training and certification, released statistics showing unfilled cyber job positions in the U.S. reached some 359,000 workers. Globally, the number of unfilled cybersecurity positions are placed at nearly 10 times that and may be even higher given many companies put off hiring due to the pandemic.

(ISC)2 estimates there are about 879,000 cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. workforce alone. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects "information security analyst" as the 10th fastest growing occupation over the next 10 years, with an employment growth rate of 31 percent, nearly eight times the national average for all occupations.

The implications of this shortage for businesses large and small are potentially severe, as not enough good guys in the battle for cybersecurity gives the bad guys the upper hand. Data from the nonprofit cybersecurity group Information Systems Security Association found a 63 percent increase in cyberattacks related to the pandemic. That led the group to dub covid-19 a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for hackers and online scammers.”

And in fact, two of the most high-profile recent attacks – the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline and the Solar Winds breach – have demonstrated just how big a problem this is.

A combination of factors has led the industry to this point. Demand has outpaced supply for years leading up to the pandemic but as Security Intelligence reported in February, the events of 2020 threw additional gas on a growing fire. Waves of employees being sent home to work on personal equipment and hiring freezes gave bad actors an unprecedented opportunity, which they took advantage of with gusto.

The good news is that companies don’t have to figure this out all alone. Kinetic Business has solutions to fill the IT gap for every size company from solo operators working from home to enterprise size businesses who need to fill gaps in coverage.

Kinetic Business experts help shore up clients’ teams with innovative services and solutions including specialized skills, tools, processes and knowledge to help fill gaps in overall IT infrastructure. Such services can be a lifesaver for companies strapped for cybersecurity talent.