The gap in cyber skills has been reported extensively over the past three years. With working-from-home options accelerated for businesses during the pandemic, the focus on cyber security has been heightened ever since. However, are businesses now in a position to counter an attack should it come their way?
A recent report published by the Department of Science has discovered that half of all UK businesses have employed people in cyber roles despite not having the appropriate skills.
The lack of needed skills has seen an increase in salaries in order to try and secure top talent within cyber. However, the knock-on effect of this has seen other specialisms increase in value and in some cases, businesses over-promoting internal talent so that the required seats can be filled. With cyber security threats on the increase, if this trend continues, not having the right skills within a business could prove to be detrimental to the industry.
How Bad Is It?
In the report, it was found that there were 160,035 cybersecurity job postings in the last year.
This is a 30% increase on the previous year, and added to that over the 160k roles, businesses reported that 37% of the roles were considered “hard to fill” taking months to find the correct skillset, or not filling the vacancy. The report showed that there is currently a shortfall of 11,200 people to fill the current roles within cyber, and the trajectory for roles in cyber over the next year looks to increase again.
What Can Be Done?
As it stands the issue is not going away fast.
Investing in the right skills is paramount for businesses to operate and grow. While the competition is fierce to attract those skills there are some things businesses can to do give themselves an edge when getting the talent they need. We have three suggestions to help:
Diversify The Workforce
One consideration for cyber is actively recruiting for a diverse workforce. The diversity in cyber has actually gotten worse over the years! Only 17% of women work in cyber roles (down from 22% in 2022) which could mean that a level of skill within cyber may be overlooked.
Active diversity recruitment can help find businesses untapped talent that can help grow diverse high-performing teams.
Specialist Talent Pools
When niche talent, like cyber, is hard to come by, finding the people you need can end up being a “who you know” situation.
Working with specialist recruitment agencies can open the door to the talent you need. They will have connections and be experts in headhunting the specific skill sets businesses are looking for, and able to guide businesses on the best attraction methods.
Internal Training and Professional Certifications
This could be just internal training or professional qualifications, but upskilling internal staff could be a solution to help bridge some of the gaps needed currently in businesses. Building better cyber awareness across a business, regardless of role can also help businesses with their cyber security.
Internal training so all staff are aware of potential cyber scams and threats which may apply to the tools and interactions they have can help reduce the opportunities for attacks.
Solutions for the cyber gap will not correct the course overnight, however, there are specialists who can help those struggling to find the talent they need get access to a wider option of candidates and start closing those gaps within their own companies.