Are you struggling to find and recruit qualified cybersecurity professionals to manage and execute your security strategy? You’re not alone.
The shortage of qualified cybersecurity talent is one of the most significant challenges CISOs face today— and the problem is only growing. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide, up from one million in 2014.
But why is filling your open cybersecurity positions such a struggle?
We’re going to expose the root cause of this problem and share the remedy for your persistent headcount headache.
Why Is There a Cybersecurity Staff Shortage?
Monster’s analysis of cybersecurity roles shows that the unemployment rate has been at 0% since 2011, meaning cybersecurity is probably the most understaffed sector the world has ever seen. Simply put, there are more open roles in cybersecurity than qualified candidates to fill them.
Researchers working on the third annual ESG/ISSA report asked cybersecurity professionals whether the cybersecurity skills shortage impacts their organizations, and an overwhelming 74% of them agreed it does. As a result, finding and hiring people with the necessary cyber skills is especially critical and, at the same time, incredibly difficult— and CISOs are at a loss of what to do to solve this headcount shortage.
Understanding the root cause of why the problem exists is the key to fixing it. Here are the main reasons for the cybersecurity headcount shortage:
1. Too Much Data
Most organizations rely on dozens of tools to fuel their security threat detection, according to Ponemon Institute. Depending on the size of your company and its threat landscape, each tool is capable of rounding up billions of potential threat alerts per organization. So even with a modest average of 30 cybersecurity tools, it’s no wonder you need to hire more staff to review the data manually. And the staff that is already in place? Alert fatigue, to say the least.
2. Disjointed Tool Stack
These dozens of tools usually work independently of one another, without any cohesion. That means alerts found in one software solution may or may not be represented in another, and correlating them is usually a manual task. Some cybersecurity professionals only leverage a few of the tools in their cybersecurity stack to avoid the inevitable data overload. Some of these tools also require niche certifications and skills to run them. Individuals without these credentials are probably not making it past the applicant tracking system (ATS) for an interview.
3. High Demand and Dollar for Expertise
The cybersecurity tools process the data, and some may even categorize it, but you need a set of human eyes to assess the results manually. As we mentioned, not just any security novice can translate the results and implement them into tangible remediation procedures. This is why CISOs are constantly searching for more senior, expert staff. But these tenured cybersecurity professionals come with high demands and high salaries. As a result, it’s not always feasible for organizations to recruit the expert labor they need to put a dent in the data overload— or prevent a breach.
Accidentally Adding Fuel to the Fire
The omnipresent digital world we live in makes cybersecurity one of the most critical aspects of our personal and professional lives. As a result, and to fill the vacancy of expert hires, companies keep investing in new tools, solutions, and programs, hoping they will solve the challenge of ever-growing cyber threats.
No matter how many cybersecurity experts you have, it is simply impossible for them to review billions of log files each month. Even with unlimited budget resources, the demand for cybersecurity jobs exceeds the number of available professionals to fill them. This headcount gap is very unlikely to change soon.
But there is a solution...
The Power of Automating Cybersecurity
Automation can categorize much of the data that previously required manual organization with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
As a result, automation dramatically reduces the need for multiple employees to spend hundreds of hours doing manual analysis. Instead, automating the most manually intensive parts of your security processes reduces the need to hire people for data organization alone. So you can focus on hiring highly qualified analysts to apply the results and improve your security posture.
Download A CISO’s Guide to Improve Security Through Automation to see how.