The lack of talent in cybersecurity is no secret. Among the myriad challenges facing IT departments today, hiring and retaining qualified cyber professionals remains a critical issue. The number of vacancies worldwide has increased by 350% in the last eight years, reaching 3.5 million in 2021, according to data from CybersecurityVentures. That’s enough space to fill 50 NFL stadiums.

The series of major attacks in 2021 highlighted the need for a more focused focus on alleviating the problem of cybersecurity. Colonial Pipeline, for example, was openly looking for a cybersecurity manager
just weeks before a massive ransom software attack forced a utility provider to temporarily shut down its fuel line – the largest fuel line in the United States – and paid $ 4.4 million in ransom to restore access to the network. Hackers stole data from traditional file sharing virtual private network account
with a compromised password that had leaked into the dark web. The VPN account did not have Multifactor Authentication (MFA) access controls.

Looking back, the Colonial Pipeline attack showed that without the right number of people on the ground, it is quite difficult to protect data from highly skilled and complex threats. All the best-in-class technologies in the world are essentially useless without employees who can manage them effectively. In the fight against cybercrime, modernized security tools and proactive approaches are Formula 1 racing cars that allow you to win. Your employees are what drive them to the finish line.

Work in progress

There is no quick solution to the problem of talent shortages, but progress is beginning to emerge on several fronts – the first being diversity, justice and inclusion. In an attempt to increase the diversity of the workforce, the Biden administration announced last year that IBM will partner with 20 historic black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to create cybersecurity leadership centers that aim to train more than 150,000 people over the next three years. According to Aspen Instituteonly 13% of the U.S. cybersecurity workforce identifies as Hispanic or black.

Deloitte has set up a global awareness and recruitment campaign, Women in cyberspace, promoting women leaders in cybersecurity in an effort to reduce the clear gender gap in the profession. The appointment of Jen Easterly as Director of the Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) will also undoubtedly inspire more women to pursue a career in cybersecurity. IN Easterly’s main address at Black Hat USA 2021, she spoke about the importance of developing more diverse cybersecurity organizations.

It’s Microsoft partnership with American public colleges
in a national campaign to recruit 250,000 professionals by 2025. And, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science in underrepresented schools, is committed to teaching cybersecurity concepts to more than two million K-12 students
over the next three years.

The enhanced focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), combined with the development of higher levels of experience in cybersecurity in all areas, will continue to be crucial. For example, more and more organizations are beginning to realize that every IT job has a cybersecurity component. With personal responsibility for protecting the sensitive data of its customers, working on infrastructure operations requires more advanced security training – such as CompTIA Security + certificates – to ensure that IT professionals without extensive experience in cybersecurity still have the basic knowledge to protect their organization.

Engagement factor

Employee engagement directly correlates with the success of the organization in each industry, but in cybersecurity the importance of engagement takes on a different meaning. It is crucial to ensure that employees understand the “why” behind the work they do every day. It should not be rooted in helping the organization generate record high annual profits or a stable return on investment. It should not be about selling the best solution on the market at the most affordable price. It should not revolve around beating competitors in the industry or winning prizes.

IN real The value of working in cybersecurity is the positive impact on the world around us. As cyber professionals, we are at the forefront of a social crisis with many at stake. Our job is to prevent the next ransomware attack against a hospital that puts patients’ lives at risk. It is up to us to protect the small business owner from data breaches that would force him to file for bankruptcy and ruin the work of his life. It is our responsibility to stop threats from nation states to steal sensitive data files on national security issues.

When employees know the impact of their roles in the real world, it’s much easier to encourage high levels of engagement from your staff. To retain talent in today’s resignation economy, organizations must provide a meaningful opportunity to influence the world in a positive way.

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