A new report revealed that organizations continue to fight an uphill battle against cyberthreats including breaches, lack of skilled professionals and filling key positions.

The 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report, released by Fortinet last week, surveyed more than 1,800 IT and/or cybersecurity decision-makers from 29 different locations. Respondents were from a range of industries such as technology (21%), manufacturing (16%) and financial services (13%).

“The cybersecurity talent shortage is one of the top challenges putting organizations at risk, as clearly demonstrated by the results of the latest Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report from Fortinet,” said John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO at Fortinet. “In today’s climate, organizations must choose products that introduce automation to offload overworked teams while continuing to focus on upskilling and cybersecurity training.”

Other key findings from the report included:

  • Cybersecurity skills shortage contributes to critical IT positions not being filled. The report showed 68% of organizations say they face additional risks because of cybersecurity skills shortages.
  • Cybersecurity remains a priority for boards of directors with 83% recommending an increased IT security headcount. In addition, 93% of boards are asking how the organization is protecting against increasing cybersecurity attacks.
  • Technology-focused certifications are highly regarded by employers with 90% of leaders preferring to hire people with technology-focused certifications and 90% would be willing to pay for employees to get certified.
  • More than half (56%) of respondents indicated their organizations struggle to recruit cybersecurity talent, down slightly from 60% in 2021. The majority (54%) indicate retention is also a challenge, up slightly from 52% last year.

The number of organizations confirming five or more breaches jumped by 53% in 2022 compared to last year. The report also showed that not only are breaches more frequent but also more costly with 48% of organizations that suffered at least one breach in the last year saying it cost more than $1 million to remediate. This is an increase of 38% compared to 2021.

The results of the report show that it continues to be important for organizations to remain building cybersecurity defenses to protect networks, systems, data, customers and employees.