IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Good Security Help Is Hard to Find

Research from (ISC)² finds the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is a problem for companies in all industries and sizes globally. By Colleen Frye

WANTED: 4.07 MILLION cybersecurity professionals to join the current workforce of 2.8 million. That’s a 145% increase of trained staff needed to close the global skills gap, according to the 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study from (ISC)², a nonprofit membership association and issuer of the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. In the U.S. specifically, the cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 62% to meet demand.

A shortage of cybersecurity professionals is a problem for companies in all industries and sizes globally, the research states. Among those with 3,000-plus employees, 65% report a shortage of cybersecurity staff, and 51% say their organization is at moderate or extreme risk because of it. In addition, 36% say the lack of skilled/experienced cybersecurity personnel is their top job concern.

Small companies (fewer than 100 employees) are staffing their cybersecurity teams with more general roles like security operations and security administration. Midsize companies (100 to 499 employees) have a slightly higher allocation for risk management and compliance, while large firm are more likely to have more specialized roles like penetration testing and forensics.

Source: 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study

If you’re an MSP looking to add to your cybersecurity staff, it may be difficult to poach from other companies, though, as these pros tend to be long-tenured, according to the research. Respondents have an average of nine years in an IT role, with six years at their current organization and five years in a cybersecurity role.

Beyond the current cybersecurity talent pool, respondents say they plan to recruit from these resources over the next year: new university graduates (28%), consultants/contractors (27%), other departments within an organization (26%), security/hardware vendors (25%), and career changers (24%).

The research also finds that women are an untapped resource; today cybersecurity professionals are more than twice as likely to be male.

If you can find the security staffing help for your MSP business, however, the (ISC)² research suggests potential customers of all sizes may be looking for a hand.

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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