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.”
Practical, Real-World Cyber Security Skills Training: The Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) Training Platform brought to you by IEEE
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.
IEEE has partnered with ISACA to provide the cloud-based Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) Training Platform to organizations, adding to its portfolio of training offered to professionals working to keep organizations secure from cyber attacks. Organizations can now provide real-world cyber security training for their IT staff and build real technical skills to help combat real threats.
The Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) Training Platform offers hands-on, performance-based training in a live network environment. The platform delivers an affordable training option in an on-demand, self-paced format for “anytime, anywhere” learning through a cloud-based, virtual environment with minimal technical requirements.
This unique cloud-based training platform offers 24/7 access to:
- Instructional courses and hands-on labs in a sandbox environment that safely replicates the real cyber-threatened world practitioners work in every day, which enables technical teams to build, practice, and test their skills in a live environment
- Technical skill set training for any level of experience, from beginner to advanced
- An enterprise dashboard to review team training performance with real-time progress tracking
- 300+ Continuing Professional Education (CPE) skills-based credit hours that can be applied to the CSX-P and other certifications
In addition, the product offers the Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) Skills Assessment Tool and the CSX Cybersecurity Practitioner (CSX-P) Certification Prep Course and Exam. The CSX-P remains the first and only comprehensive performance certification testing one’s ability to perform globally validated cyber security skills. Learn how you can help your employees and IT professionals build critical technical cyber security skills with the ISACA Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) Training Platform.
Train Employees to Create a Security Culture
Join IEEE and ISACA on 22 June 2021 at 1PM ET for a live session to get an understanding of the current cyber security trends that will help you determine the level of cyber threats to your organization. Learn what it will take to create an effective cyber strategy and security culture within your workforce.
Krauss, Clifford, Perlroth, Nicole, and Shear, Michael D. Colonial Pipeline Paid Roughly $5 Million in Ransom to Hackers. New York Times.
Kawamoto, Dawn. (27 April 2021). CYBERSECURITY WORKER DEMAND IS EXPECTED TO DO THIS IN 2021 — AFTER SUFFERING ITS FIRST DROP EVER IN 2020. IEEE USA InSight.