Is the Cyber Skills Gap Really A Cause for Concern This Year?

Is the Cyber Skills Gap Really A Cause for Concern This Year?

In short, yes.

If you watched BBC One’s ‘The Apprentice’ last year, you’re likely to have heard winner James White throw around shocking statistics about just how much of an issue the Cyber Skills Gap really is.

“Lord Sugar, the stat is 1.25 million skill shortages by 2020 with cyber security. It’s a huge, huge market”.

But unsurprisingly, there’s a little more to the story than this young, aspiring entrepreneur let on.

To start, despite all the talk of an IT security labour shortage, Ponemon Institute’s recent Survey results appear relatively optimistic. They revealed that improvements may be on the horizon for 2018. According to this survey, 61% of respondents believe they are likely to see staffing improvements this year. Four years ago, a Ponemon survey found 40% of IT security respondents complained that job openings went unfilled because they could not find candidates. Since then, this figure has dropped to 32%, showing positive development.

However, ESG’s annual IT Survey provided an alternative view on the problem – they pose that the issue really is as bad as young Mr White claims. Their recent study shows that there is an alarming growth over the past years in the amount organisations claiming a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills:

  • 2014: 23% of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2015: 25% percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2016: 46% percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2017: 45% percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2018: 51% percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills

Their findings show a complete juxtaposition to Ponemon’s findings. Leading us to think that either no one really know’s the future, or one of these survey’s is providing inaccurate findings.

The truth is no one really knows. But it is good to learn that concerning predictions like James White’s are not the only forecast for the future.

What needs to be done to combat the issue?

To improve the future, there are ways in which organisations can help prevent the worst predictions from ringing true. These steps include: in-house training for certain cyber security positions, hiring individuals will different educational and professional backgrounds and working hard to retain the staff you currently have.

For more information with regards to advice on the skills gap, download our whitepaper:

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