Cyber Security Demand is Expected to Grow. Is Your Organization Prepared? 


The demand for cyber security professionals dropped sharply a year ago. According to a recent (ISC)² 2020 Cyber Security Workforce Study report, global demand plummeted from 4 million in 2019 to 3.1 million in 2020. The decline represents a staggering 25% decrease in the 2020 cyber security workforce gap, which assesses the difference between anticipated demand for cyber security professionals versus the actual number of cyber security professionals in the industry. It also includes new cyber security professionals and those transitioning into the industry. 

Based on 3,790 cyber security professionals worldwide, the survey data was collected between April and June, just months into the COVID-19 pandemic. At that point, many businesses shuttered or restricted operations, including hiring. 

The news comes as companies find themselves under increasing cyber attacks—including the recent ransomware attack of Colonial Pipeline that disrupted gas supplies and forced the pipeline’s operator to pay $5 million USD to get its data back.

While alarming, the drop in demand for cyber security professionals may not be real, according to (ISC)² Chief Executive Officer Clar Rosso. In an interview with IEEE-USA Insight, Rosso said the gap was likely created by a combination of reduced demand for cyber security professionals and an extra 700,000 cyber security workers coming into the field in 2020.

She believes that the demand will likely go back up as vaccinations increase and companies evaluate the pandemic’s impact on their businesses. Because many companies transitioned to the cloud to support remote work during office shutdowns, there may now also be a greater need for cyber security experts—particularly those with expertise in managing cloud-based ecosystems.

However, many organizations don’t know what kind of cyber security professionals they need. Plus, there are not enough IT professionals with the necessary training and certificates to meet current demands. Given these limitations, Russo recommends organizations offer training to their current staff rather than focusing on hiring new professionals. 

“We think there’s a lot of education to be done with businesses to help them navigate this big workplace gap in cyber security,” Rosso told IEEE-USA Insight. “We want them to understand what level of qualifications they need for different cyber security roles within their organization. Organizations really have to start looking inside, if they’re big enough, and say who might be best suited to upskill or re-skill into the cyber security roles that are needed.”

Train Employees to Create a Security Culture

It’s more critical than ever to find and keep the right people with the right skills to ensure your organization is safe from cyber attacks. It’s also critical to keep your existing team trained on the latest scenarios, threats and tools. Ideal for technical professionals across all industries who support their company’s IT departments and require up-to-date information on how to protect enterprise networks from potential threats, this eleven-course program is designed to help businesses improve their security techniques.

Contact an IEEE Account Specialist today to get access to Cyber Security Tools for Today’s Environment for your organization.

Interested in learning about getting access to the course program for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network to learn more.


Krauss, Clifford, Perlroth, Nicole, and Shear, Michael D. Colonial Pipeline Paid Roughly $5 Million in Ransom to Hackers. New York Times.




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