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Cybersecurity market heading for talent shortage

29/03/2016 by


Growth in the cybersecurity market has been huge over the past few years as companies around the world look to shore up their defences and plan for digital attacks. However, Symantec Chief Executive Michael Brown has said that there’s likely to be a shortfall of around 1.5 million skilled workers by 2019 as labour demand rises to around 6 million. This will leave many companies struggling to fill security roles, opening themselves up to higher risks as a result.

It was only in July 2015 that the US State of Cybercrime report revealed that 79 per cent of the 500 respondents had experienced some form of security incident during the past year. Meanwhile, the education of new talent is falling short. Almost 4,000 people between the ages of 18 and 26 were surveyed for the Securing our Future: Closing the Cyber Talent Gap report. It was found that 77 per cent of women and 67 per cent of men said that no career counsellor, guidance counsellor or secondary education teacher had mentioned roles in cybersecurity. This is a bad omen for firms desperate to bolster their defences against possible attack.

However, it’s been revealed that managed security services providers (MSSPs) could be the answer to this problem. Forcepoint Chief Information Security Officer David Barton explained that an MSSP can be a cost-effective way of accessing talent. “With the worldwide shortage of qualified IT security candidates, using a reputable MSSP to help augment internal teams is a very good approach,” he said. Barton added: “Most MSSPs employ highly qualified and skilled talent who are able to manage and protect their customers’ data.”

MSSPs can be extremely useful to have on board, particularly as they cover many security essentials such as intrusion detection, firewalls, incident management, first-level incident response and managed vulnerability features. In a time of severe talent shortage, it can be hard to find candidates qualified in just one of these areas, let alone all of them. An MSSP can also help solve the major integration and compatibility issues that can be difficult to deal with.

Digital Guardian Senior Vice President of Global Services Mark Stevens explained: “There are so many tools for each threat vector – firewalls, data loss prevention, intrusion prevention, an actual breach, malware, viruses, DDoS – so, OK, maybe you go find someone, but that takes time. Suddenly, all the threats have changed, or maybe certain tools don’t work with each other. The complexity becomes a real problem.”

With this in mind, utilising MSSPs to solve the talent shortage, certainly in the short term, can be an extremely good idea.

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