- More than 80% of surveyed IT professionals say they are dealing with a shortage of cybersecurity skills within their organization, according to a global cybersecurity workforce report released Wednesday from Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
- Even worse, that shortage of skills is costing companies money, with a quarter of respondents reporting that a lack of cybersecurity skills has "directly led to the loss of proprietary data through a cyberattack."
- The global report also revealed that the talent shortage in cybersecurity is worse than talent deficits in other IT occupations.
The survey of 775 IT decision makers involved in cybersecurity within their organization revealed that a lack of cybersecurity skills is affecting all the countries participating in the report, including the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico and U.K. The report found an average of 15% of cybersecurity positions within companies will go unfilled by 2020, putting companies at risk.
"A shortage of people with cybersecurity skills results in direct damage to companies, including the loss of proprietary data and IP," said James A. Lewis, senior vice president and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at CSIS. "This is a global problem; a majority of respondents in all countries surveyed could link their workforce shortage to damage to their organization."
Respondents also agreed that alternative methods of educating and training people are more effective than traditional education avenues when it comes to quickly bolstering qualified cybersecurity workers.
"To address this workforce crisis, we need to foster new education models, accelerate the availability of training opportunities, and we need to deliver deeper automation so that talent is put to its best use on the frontline," said Chris Young, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security Group.
The study also revealed that 76% of those surveyed don’t think governments are doing enough to help grow cybersecurity talent within their respective countries.
Earlier this month, the White House introduced the first ever Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy. The plan includes a number of actions designed to "identify, recruit, develop, retain and expand" the cybersecurity talent pipeline for the federal government and the nation, including a proposed investment of $62 million in FY 2017 funding to expand cybersecurity education nationwide.