Finding the right security professional: The true skills challenge

August 28, 2016

Backed by a $19 trillion industry, cyber criminals are finding new and complex ways of compromising systems and are evading detection more than ever before. In fact, Cisco alone blocks more than 20 billion threats a day and 1.5 million of these are unique malware samples.

With the media landscape dominated by high profile attacks, it is clear that no company is immune to cyber threats – to put it simply, it is not a case of if a company is hacked, but when. In order to survive and thrive in this landscape, companies need to have a cyber security strategy in place. That includes hiring the right staff with the right certification to keep up with evolving threats, while also putting in place the right security architecture to free them up to focus on innovation and creating business value.

However, demand for talented security professionals far outweighs supply. Cisco predicts that there will be a shortfall of 2 million by 2019. If businesses are to protect its customers, employees and importantly brand confidence against potential cyber attacks, there is a vital need to increase the number of skilled security professionals in the cyber security sector.

In this digital era, a comprehensive and agile cyber security policy empowers organisations to not only protect themselves, enable trust, be more agile and ultimately to add value to the business and grow. However, with the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks continuing to rise, it is essential that we readdress the balance and invest in talent to lessen the shortage.

Why the fuss?

The estimated annual cost of cyber crime to the global economy is predicted to be anywhere between $375bn, to as much as $575bn. As such, significant cyber threats and ongoing attempts to breach network security and capture data are outpacing the ability for businesses to address these threats, leaving themselves vulnerable to attack.

By 2019, there will be approximately two million cyber security jobs available around the world without enough talent to fill them. The lack of trained personnel and the skills deficit of existing personnel represents one of the greatest barriers organisations face to securing and safeguarding their own and their customers’ information.

According to Cisco’s 2016 Annual Security Report, businesses are struggling to keep pace with the rapid advancements of attackers for three main reasons. The first is that a typical enterprise has 30-40 different security vendor products in its network due to the increasing complexity of the security landscape.

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