In the fast-paced world of cybersecurity, the recently released 2023 ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study paints a bright future for the industry although significant obstacles remain including a workforce and skills gap. Conducted by ISC2, the leading nonprofit member organization for cybersecurity professionals, this study examines critical aspects of the cybersecurity landscape. When examining cybersecurity resilience these insights can be important for organizations to better understand the challenges within the workforce and how best to to keep pace with this dynamic landscape. This year’s study includes a record 14,865 cybersecurity respondents. Let’s look at the key findings from the report and how that might impact your organization’s cybersecurity resilience strategy.
The Increasing Size of the Cybersecurity Talent Pool
As of 2023, ISC2 estimates that the global cybersecurity workforce has surged to a staggering 5.5 million individuals, showcasing an 8.7 percent increase from 2022. This growth, representing 440,000 new jobs, marks the highest cybersecurity workforce ever recorded by ISC2. However, amidst this expansion, a glaring reality surfaces – demand is surpassing supply, leading to a record-high cybersecurity workforce gap of 4 million professionals needed to adequately protect digital assets.
“While we celebrate the record number of new cybersecurity professionals entering the field, the pressing reality is that we must double this workforce to adequately protect organizations and their critical assets.”
– Clar Rosso, ISC2 Chief Executive Officer
Talent Deficiencies in Workforce Expertise
A staggering 92 percent of cybersecurity professionals report skills gaps within their organizations which could impact their cybersecurity resilience. Cloud computing security, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and zero trust implementation emerge as the top three skills gaps. Notably, organizations that experienced cybersecurity layoffs were more significantly impacted by skills gaps (51 percent) compared to those without layoffs (39 percent).
Faced with economic uncertainty, 47 percent of respondents encountered cutbacks, including budget reductions, layoffs, and hiring freezes. Crucially, 35 percent experienced cuts to vital cybersecurity training programs, impacting skills development and workforce growth. The repercussions of these cutbacks resonate through negative impacts on productivity, team morale, and increased workloads. Also observed was a 57 percent drop in threat response, and a 52 percent surge in insider risk-related incidents.
Newly Emerging Technologies
A considerable 47 percent of respondents admit having minimal or no knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI). Simultaneously, 47 percent view cloud computing security as the most sought-after skill for career advancement, while 45 percent foresee AI as their top challenge over the next two years.
A Call to Action
ISC2 CEO Clar Rosso emphasizes the urgency of investing in cybersecurity teams. She highlights, “While we celebrate the record number of new cybersecurity professionals entering the field, the pressing reality is that we must double this workforce to adequately protect organizations and their critical assets.”
Strategies for Enablement
The study found that organizations that proactively address cybersecurity resilience have the most success in addressing staff shortages. By investing in training, offering flexible work conditions, funding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, supporting certifications, and expanding teams through recruitment many organizations can mitigate staff shortages and skill gaps.
Hiring Beyond Technical Ability
Employers are not just looking for technical skills but also stress the importance of non-technical attributes, with problem-solving skills, curiosity, willingness to learn, and effective communication topping the list. These are all encouraging signs for business professionals seeking advancement or a career change. In a matter of months, cybersecurity job seekers can parlay their professional skills with new training either with certifications or 2-4 years if they pursue a college degree.
Outsourcing Cybersecurity to a Managed Security Provider (MSP)
In an effort to strengthen cybersecurity resilience, one additional strategy to help mitigate skills gaps and talent shortages is to use a managed security provider like 11:11 Systems. As the shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals continues to rise your IT staff resources may pose significant challenges in keeping your business-critical data secure and your network safe. To obtain some degree of cybersecurity resilience, consider leveraging 11:11 Managed Security Services to respond more effectively to internal and external threats.
With an MSP an organization can gain immediate access to specialized expertise. Managed Security Providers, like 11:11, can boost internal IT teams with skilled cybersecurity professionals versed in most industries which in turn can offer valuable insights into current threat trends that might directly impact your business. Save on costs by outsourcing cybersecurity needs, eliminating the need to hire, train, and retain in-house experts. MSPs also provide access to the latest tools and technologies, ensuring organizations stay ahead of threats while staying informed about industry trends and best practices.
Above all, MSPs can streamline processes for managing and responding to cybersecurity threats, resulting in faster response times, reduced downtime, and optimized resource utilization filling skill gaps that are often hard to find and retain. Managed security services are highly scalable with flexible solutions that keep your cyber resilience robust and evolve with the changing needs of your business.