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Is There a Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals?

All of our most valued possessions are being stored virtually. The safety and security of this data is paramount, but who is looking after it?

Businesses and people alike put a lot of trust into their smartphones and devices. From banking information, to social security numbers, to private photos and messages, it’s troubling to think that our valued data is vulnerably lying in a server somewhere, prone to a cyber attack. The guardians of the world’s most prized virtual possessions and information are cybersecurity professionals. To think that there might be a shortage on that front is chilling, to say the least.

Is There Hard Evidence to Support a Shortage?

You might have already heard that the industry is suffering from a lack of qualified professionals. Unfortunately, there’s truth to this, and it’s looking pretty grim from even a global standpoint. Job listings are a reflection of demand in the industry, and when it comes to cybersecurity, over two hundred thousand jobs remain unfilled. To bolster the implication, Intel Security, McAfee, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) confirmed the shortage in their most recent report, and it’s projected to remain bleak at least in the near future.

Read More: The Internet of Things is at Risk of Hacking

Which Skills Does the Industry Seek?

The greatest need of the industry at the moment is pretty obvious: the ability to detect hacks and then handle them. Secure software development is an in-demand skill that’s hard to come by. Part of the problem is simply a lack of education and training opportunities. Technology and hackers are outpacing the skilled professionals necessary to stop them. The solution is a relatively simple one: companies that appreciate the crucial necessity invest more in their cybersecurity personnel. The issue is mainly a lack of investment and sponsorship to increase qualified individuals.

A Call to Action

The best way to fight security threats is by providing the proper education programs and training personnel needed to meet the challenge. In the meantime, there are also options for automated security. At least in this way, companies can more efficiently and effectively identify threats as they arise. Security is not the place to be stingy. The consequences for having an insecure server are life-threatening to any business and the relationships they hope to maintain with their clients and the public at large.

Talented cybersecurity individuals who are not granted opportunities to advance their skill or who are not adequately compensated will leave those companies. It’s time for governments and businesses to realize the dire role cybersecurity professionals play in keeping our world virtually safe from hacks, and to provide them with the incentives and resources they need to do their jobs.