The cybersecurity industry has been around for more than 30 years and undergone exponential growth, but in many ways it is still defining itself in the face of evolving threats. Technology and process are predictably playing a role. But diversity of talent has also become increasingly important to the success of security organizations and is redefining the role of a cybersecurity professional.
Don’t know what a penetration tester is? You’re not alone; more than 50 percent of U.S. adults surveyed by the University of Phoenix have never heard of pen testers or “White Hat” ethical hackers, among other cybersecurity job titles, and only about one in 10 survey respondents is “very familiar” with the 11 jobs in the industry queried in the survey.
Almost one in 10 U.S. security professionals admits to having considered participating in Black Hat – or cybercriminal – activity, according to the report White Hat, Black Hat and the Emergence of the Grey Hat: The True Costs of Cybercrime, conducted by Osterman Research and sponsored by Malwarebytes.
The cybersecurity skills shortage is not only real – it is one of the biggest challenges IT leaders face today. As the threat landscape becomes more complex, it’s difficult to find and hire trained personnel who are both cyber professionals and affordable. To make matters worse, long-term retention of those employees is almost impossible as they are always being poached by other companies.
For years we’ve talked about the dearth of skilled cybersecurity professionals which ISACA reports is now estimated to reach two million by 2019. Encouraging more individuals to pursue technical and engineering degrees can help address the shortage. But we can also expand the talent pool by thinking more broadly about cybersecurity and what it takes to be an expert.
When it comes to the cybersecurity talent shortage, an already troublesome situation is getting worse: The shortage is expected to grow to 1.8 million employees by 2022, which is 20 percent greater than a forecast from 2015, according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study.
The military has produced many incredible leaders and accomplished business people who have made many noteworthy and life-changing contributions to corporate America. These individuals took what they learned in the military with them into civilian life and their corporate careers.