We’re seeing a lull in major cyber attacks right now, but since they tend to come in waves, the next one could be just around the corner. In fact, 2019 could be the worst year for cyber attacks yet, as companies increasingly pursue digitization to drive efficiency, simultaneously moving into the cyber attacks target zone.
Additionally, there are not nearly enough cyber security professionals to properly respond to all the threats. Although the current cyber workforce consists of 714,000 individuals, a recent study conducted by (ISC)2, the world’s largest nonprofit association of certified cyber security professionals, shows that there’s now a gap of almost 3 million cyber security jobs globally. From September 2017 through August 2018 there were nearly 314,000 cyber security job postings in the United States. Cyber security job openings can linger almost indefinitely and companies are getting desperate for help.
Here’s Your Opportunity
Hone your cyber skills to meet today’s demand for talent. The ideal cyber security candidate has:
- A bachelor’s degree in programming, computer science, or computer engineering
- An academic background replete with courses in statistics and math
- Cyber security certifications
- Experience in specialties plagued by staffing shortages, such as intrusion detection, secure software development, and network monitoring
But that isn’t all necessarily required.
The cyber security field has a reputation for embracing people with nontraditional backgrounds. When you think about it, any cyber security professional over 30 years old is unlikely to have a degree in cyber security or computer science. What they do have is:
- Training to become familiar with select tools and technologies, usually from a community college or boot camp
- Curiosity, knowledge of the current threat landscape, and a strong passion for learning and research
- Experience as a programmer, systems administrator, or network engineer
What Can Organizations Do?
Technology companies that are working toward broadening their range of potential cyber security candidates will make out the best in the long run. The point is to seek smart, motivated, and dedicated individuals who would be good teammates and are willing to learn on the job, without degrees or certificates.
A handful of tech giants have taken steps to embrace this tactic. IBM, for example, creates what it calls “new collar” jobs, prioritizing skills, knowledge, and willingness to learn over degrees. These workers pick up skills through on-the-job training, industry certifications, and community college courses. They represent 20 percent of IBM hires since 2015.
Organizations that offer opportunities for existing cyber security staff members to stay technically current are also going thrive in this cyber security shortage era. It’s the best way to help ensure your organization stays protected from harmful threats.
Designed to help organizations like yours improve their security techniques, IEEE’s Cyber Security Tools for Today’s Environment is an 11-course training program available 24/7, allowing professionals to learn at their own pace, at a time that’s most convenient. This program is ideal for technical professionals in IT, computer science, and related fields who want to enhance their knowledge and stay current in the cyber security field. Upon successful completion of the program, participants receive CEUs/PDHs that can be used to maintain their engineering licenses. Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist to find out how to bring this program to your organization today!
Ackerman, Robert. (27 Jan 2019). Too few cybersecurity professionals is a gigantic problem for 2019. TechCrunch.