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Cyber skills shortage

To paraphrase iconic singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch, who borrowed the idea from a Buddhist saying: “First, there is a cybersecurity skills shortage, then there is no shortage, then there is,” writes Michael Dortch, Senior Content Development Manager at LANDESK, an IT security management product company.

In a Computerworld post last month, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official offered as evidence that 14,000 applicants, including 2,000 walk-ins, attended a DHS job fair last July.

“While not all of them were qualified, we continue to this day to hire from the wealth of talent made available as a result of our hiring event. The amount of talent available to hire was so great, we stayed well into the night interviewing potential employees.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article contrasts DHS’s interpretation of its job fair experience with the findings of numerous others outside of government. For instance, an intel Security report released one day before the government’s job fair in July, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), highlighted findings that there is a core talent shortage crisis of cybersecurity skills.”

Of course, the question isn’t whether there is or is not a cybersecurity skills shortage. The real question is, how can your company avoid the negative effects of such a shortage, now or in the future?

The right combination of skills, technologies, and processes can maximise the business value of the skills already in place at your organisation. That combination can also help your organisation to deal with any difficulties in expanding your cybersecurity team, by instead expanding the reach of the people you already have and the knowledge and experience they possess.

These benefits are equally applicable beyond cybersecurity. Technologies and processes that automate mundane tasks effectively and enable well-managed collection, sharing, and application of knowledge can aid your organisation’s IT asset management (ITAM), IT service management (ITSM), and other efforts as well.

However, given the highly-publicised challenges and risks associated with ransomware and other cybersecurity threats, cybersecurity may be the starting point that delivers the largest benefits soonest.


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