June 21, 2021


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With ‘Massive’ Cybersecurity Labor Shortage, Will Corporations Compete with Local Governments?

With ‘Massive’ Cybersecurity Labor Shortage, Will Corporations Compete with Local Governments?

it’s high time for companies to start adding cybersecurity professionals to their teams, reports CNN. “The only hitch: There’s a massive, longstanding labor shortage in the cybersecurity industry.”

“It’s a talent war,” said Bryan Orme, principal at GuidePoint Security. “There’s a shortage of supply and increased demand.”

Experts have been tracking the cybersecurity labor shortage for at least a decade — and now, a new surge in companies looking to hire following recent attacks could exacerbate the problem. The stakes are only growing, as technology evolves and bad actors become more advanced. In the United States, there are around 879,000 cybersecurity professionals in the workforce and an unfilled need for another 359,000 workers, according to a 2020 survey by (ISC)2, an international nonprofit that offers cybersecurity training and certification programs. Globally, the gap is even larger at nearly 3.12 million unfilled positions, the group says… The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects “information security analyst” will be the 10th fastest growing occupation over the next decade, with an employment growth rate of 31% compared to the 4% average growth rate for all occupations.

If demand for cybersecurity professionals in the private sector increases dramatically, some experts say talented workers could leave the government for more lucrative corporate jobs — a risk that is especially acute for smaller, local government agencies that manage critical infrastructure in their communities but have limited budgets. “Think of the criticality of what your local government does: water purification, waste treatment, traffic management, communications for law enforcement, public safety, emergency management,” said Mike Hamilton, chief information security officer at Critical Insight. “But Amazon is out there waving around bags of cash to protect their retail operation.” Hamilton — who was the former chief information security officer for Seattle, Washington, from 2006 to 2013 — added that local governments “cannot attract and retain these people when the competition for them is so high, which is why we’ve got to make lots of them.”

The article notes educational training/up-skilling programs working to address the shortage, including GuidePoint, which helps train veterans leaving the military for cybersecurity careers. CNN also notes U.S. President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan included $20 billion for state, local and tribal governments to update and improve cybersecurity controls for their energy systems.

“Still, experts say more needs to be done, suggesting a broad rethinking of education systems from elementary school through higher education to include more cybersecurity training.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.