How Cybersecurity Professionals Can Bridge the Talent Gap

Dan Fox

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The demand for cybersecurity professionals has been growing for years and there is no sign that it will let up anytime soon. According to Cyberseek, there are just over 1 million cybersecurity professionals currently working, but there are also a staggering 597,000+ total job openings. That is roughly a 60% ratio of openings for active cybersecurity professionals, or inversely, 1.6 jobs for every 1 cybersecurity professional.

The challenge is only growing as companies like Microsoft and Google commit to spending 4x more annually on cybersecurity. A huge resource gap exists and needs to be filled by both technology and people, while professional ransomware, phishing, and other cyber threats continue to grow at exponential rates.

Though we would love to see half a million new and seasoned cybersecurity professionals arise from the junior ranks, the reality is we need experienced professionals with the right solutions to meet the challenges to increase the cybersecurity posture of millions of small and mid-sized businesses.

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As a rule of thumb, there are a multitude of strategies you can employ to fill the talent gap. Here are some common ones to consider:

  1. Evaluate your organization’s talent. Take a hard look at your team’s skills and identify gaps between those skills and company objectives. This is the best place to start to ensure your future cybersecurity team is effective at driving the business forward.
  2. Review your tools and resources. Look over what resources you’re using to see how you can streamline processes. From project management to compliance software, rethink how you can utilize these assets to take you the farthest.
  3. Build your network. Join groups within your niche and find ways to contribute to the overall community that you serve. From Slack to LinkedIn to Lunchclub, there are many ways to connect with professionals and learn about strategies to build your organization’s muscles.
  4. Level up your existing team’s skills. Your success starts with your team. By investing in your current workforce, not only will you be better equipped to navigate this fast-moving industry, but you will also build loyalty within the organization. Start with creating a culture of learning and watch as your success increases.
  5. Use different methods for sourcing talent. Job boards that we all visit certainly have their advantages, but it doesn’t have to be boxed into those sources. There are plenty of opportunities to partner with recruitment agencies and tech-specific networking platforms like Dice. Also, consider reaching out to universities to identify interns that are in cyber programs. While interns may not be ready for a full-time position, they will be hungry to learn and you’ll have the opportunity to guide them in becoming irreplaceable team members.

The challenge may seem daunting, but this is also a great opportunity for every existing service and support company in the tech sector. The cybersecurity consultant community, MSPs, MSSPs, vCISOs, Speciality Consulting firms, and cybersecurity professionals of all walks should embrace this moment.

When it comes to the technology side of the talent gap, best practice frameworks have been utilized and relied upon for years, such as SOC 2 for service organizations worldwide (particularly in the USA), ISO-27001 for international organizations, CIS Security Controls for general business use, TX-RAMP, CMMC and NIST 800-53 for government contractors among many others for speciality industries and regions.

These control frameworks have become foundational for organizations that value their cybersecurity posture, but they require help and resources to implement. This is where the cybersecurity consulting ecosystem at large steps in to help organize, automate and deploy these cybersecurity best practice frameworks for their clients. By utilizing ControlMap, a single consultant can manage several organizations' cybersecurity programs with out of the box policy templates and version control, monitoring with cloud security posture management integrations, control framework mappings, and more.

About ControlMap

ControlMap was established in 2019 and has helped hundreds of organizations improve their security posture through cybersecurity operations management. The ControlMap SaaS platform is designed to help organizations achieve IT compliance with ease, confidence & reliability. It's the easiest, most complete & turnkey Cybersecurity Compliance Assurance Platform designed for anyone who is starting, looking to scale, or automating their Infosec Compliance & Audit processes.

Reach out to us to learn more!