An alarming 86% of business and IT professionals globally believe there is a shortage of cyber security professionals and a whopping 46% expect that a cyber attack will strike their organisation in 2015 – but only 34% think they are prepared.
These are the findings of the 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status Report by ISACA.
According to the report, 83% of the respondents believe that cyber attacks are among the three biggest threats facing organisations today. This, together with the cyber security skills shortage, is clearly putting organisations in a dangerous situation. Moreover, 54% of the respondents admit that it is difficult to identify who has adequate skills and knowledge when hiring new graduates for entry-level cyber security positions. 34% expect it will be difficult to find skilled candidates.
Nurturing cyber security skills more important than ever
A lot has been said on the subject of the cyber skills shortage and its impact on organisations’ ability to defend themselves from the increasing cyber threats. Some measures have been undertaken, but are governments and businesses doing enough to nurture cyber security skills?
The UK Government has been trying to encourage more people to develop cyber security skills in the UK by launching various initiatives and university programmes. It has also updated and republished Cyber security skills: a guide for business, which draws attention to important qualifications.
In the US, Washington has called for action to reduce cyber threats and data privacy risks. A proactive approach will inevitably require training professionals that are able to prevent and respond to today’s sophisticated attacks.
CISSP, CLAS and ISO27001 – the most sought-after skills
While it may take some time until the new breed of cyber security graduates is able to fill job positions, businesses should take account of their internal skills and support professional staff to acquire the knowledge and experience to manage cyber threats.
On the other side, obtaining new qualifications will give ambitious IT professionals a competitive edge and opportunities to progress their career and land their desired job within a growing industry.
According to the UK Government’s 2014 Cyber Security Skills report, skills related to implementing secure systems, followed by operational security management, incident management and information risk management are among the cyber security skills that companies find most difficult to recruit.
These findings are in line with data provided by recruitment agencies. Sebastien Cobut, operations director and vice president of European Staffing Services at IT recruitment specialist Volt, said in an interview for Contractor UK, that the majority of clients see CISSP as the most important skill, while other popular skills include CLAS/CESG, ISO 27001 and COBIT certifications.
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