With 2,200 cyberattacks happening every day and damages set to cost $10.5 trillion by 2025, cybersecurity is more important than ever for every business. Forty percent of company leaders consider cybersecurity their top concern, followed closely by talent acquisition. These two growing challenges coincidentally go hand-in-hand, with security being a major problem rooted in the fact that there is a severe talent shortage among skilled security workers.
The job market for cybersecurity analysts is expected to grow 35% from 2021 to 2031, massively outpacing other roles and making it the 8th fastest-growing occupation in the U.S. Businesses from small, local shops to public enterprises to even government agencies like the White House are all looking to build up robust information security teams.
While the field is so incredibly in-demand, there is still a massive shortage of skilled workers. Fifty-eight percent of companies say finding security employees is “very” or “extremely” challenging, and data shows a need for 3.4 million security professionals. So, what exactly is causing this talent shortage, and how is this shortage expected to impact businesses now and in the coming years?
While it’s a complex issue, understanding the cybersecurity talent shortage is rooted in a mix of rapidly evolving technology while cyberattacks and remote work are on the rise.
The intense pace of digital innovation is difficult for any company to keep up with, much less the educational institutions responsible for creating skilled professionals ready to enter the workforce. Technology is advancing so rapidly that it’s difficult for skills, certifications, and education to keep up. Take the emergence of artificial intelligence, for example; when ChatGPT exploded onto the scene in early 2023, almost overnight, the adoption went to 100 million users in a single month, changing the landscape of roles in marketing, content writing, administration, and support overnight.
With more cyberattacks comes more demand for professionals trained to prevent and mitigate these breaches proactively. Attackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted and can severely impact vulnerable systems like the global supply chain. These attacks are becoming more detrimental and serious, so naturally, companies seek to secure their own operations with top-quality talent.
With 26% of workers operating fully remotely, unique security and cybersecurity challenges arise. Remote workers might change working locations, log onto unsecured WiFi, and access sensitive company files and data across multiple devices. This is more challenging in regards to maintaining stringent cybersecurity protocols than when all employees were in a physical office.
What are the implications for businesses lacking cybersecurity talent besides having empty desks and vacant roles? Of course, one of the biggest risks is a security program that falls behind standards and competitors, but there are other ancillary implications as well.
The biggest consequence of the cybersecurity talent shortage is that it puts more companies at risk. Cyberattacks come with more than financial loss as well; 88% of consumers won’t use a brand they wouldn’t trust with their data. This increased vulnerability due to a lack of security professionals will inevitably lead to an increase in data breaches and successful cyber attacks, causing a loss in revenue and reputational standing.
Workers might be motivated to job hop frequently to better pay, better work-life balance, and better work cultures since they are in such high demand. This will not only create difficulties in maintaining a consistent security program, but companies will unnecessarily spend money on ongoing recruiting and hiring. Companies need to focus on attracting, retaining, and recruiting diverse talent.
The average cost of a data breach, according to IBM, is $3.86 million, a staggering amount for small to medium-sized businesses. These costs include anything from ransomware demands to revenue lost during downtime to churned customers. Consumers are also becoming extremely selective about brands and companies they trust with their data and information, so the long-term reputational damage of a cyber breach is significant.
For top tech companies able to effectively recruit and engage skilled security workers, they’ll effectively pull ahead of their competitors. These companies will be able to maintain a higher reputational standing, win more customers, and, ultimately, gain more market share and revenue.
For the top 1% of tech companies, Advantis Global is a strategic IT staffing solutions partner for recruiting and hiring the best cybersecurity talent. If you’re looking to mitigate your cybersecurity talent shortage, you might need expert help from an outside resource. For tech companies, we work with a large range of companies from Fortune 50s to start-ups on permanent, temporary, and contract skilled tech talent. Contact us today to see how we can help your business.