Many thought leaders have approached the skills shortage from a cumulative perspective. They ask “How on Earth can companies afford to keep re-training their teams for the latest cyber-threats?” The challenge, to them, emanates from the impracticalities of entry level training becoming obsolete as new challenges emerge.

Of course, the question of ongoing training is very important, but I believe it has misled us in our evaluation of the growing disparity between the supply and demand of cyber-professionals. What we should be asking is “How can we create a generation of cyber-professionals with improved digital skills and resilience to tackle an enemy that continually mutates?”

Defining the relationship between people and tech is of the utmost importance here. Cybersecurity is not merely a technical problem, it’s a human problem. This is a critical intersection. People are not the weakest link in an effective cybersecurity defense strategy, but the most crucial. However, technology is the apparatus that can properly arm us with the skills to defend against attacks.

The silver bullet

The only thing we can be certain of is that cyberattacks are taking place right now and will continue to take place for the foreseeable future. As a result, cybersecurity will remain one of the most critical elements for maintaining operations in any organization.

There is a growing appetite for reform in cybersecurity training, particularly among higher education institutions (e.g., with the UK’s top universities now offering National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) certified Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. It is in the interest of the British government that this appetite continues to grow, as the Department for Culture, Media & Sport reported there were nearly 400,000 cybersecurity-related job postings from 2017-2020.

In addition, COVID-19 has been a significant catalyst in increasing uptake and emphasis on cyber skills since the steep rise in the use of digital platforms in both our work and personal lives has expanded the surface area for attacks and created more vulnerability.

Overall, though, young people remain our best hope for tackling the global cyber skills gap, and only by presenting cybersecurity to them as a viable career option can we start to address it. This is the critical starting point. Once we do this, the next important step is to give universities and schools the facilities to offer sophisticated cyber training.

The Cyber Skill Gap: How To Become A Highly Paid And Sought After Information Security Specialist! by [Vagner Nunes]