This week, Cybersecurity Ventures released their latest report, predicting that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs; a dramatic and noticeable increase from previous estimates. Previous reports have estimated much smaller estimates when predicting the skills gap of the future; the 2015 report by Symantec reported a projected shortfall of 1.5 million from the global demand of 6 million for cybersecurity workers, and the 2016 ISACA skills gap analysis predicted a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals by 2019.
Either way, these numbers illustrate pretty clearly that the cybersecurity world is struggling to keep up with the huge increase in cybercrime.
With Cybercrime estimated to cost the World $6 trillion annually by 2021, and that figure consistently rising, the growing skills gap is concerning to many all over the World. NASSCOM estimates India alone will need 1 million cybersecurity professionals to meet the demands of its ever expanding economy; Intel Corp’s 8 nation study suggests a shortage of cybersecurity professional shortage in all countries in the study ((Israel, the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and Mexico). Australia is reportedly the most at risk, and is facing the largest hit; CIO reported that 88% of IT professionals and decisions makers feared the cybersecurity shortage both within their own organisation, and as a nation.
So what can be done to resolve this impending issue?
Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO at Herjavec Group says, ”Unfortunately the pipeline of security talent isn’t where it needs to be to help curb the cybercrime epidemic. Until we can rectify the quality of education and training that our new cyber experts receive, we will continue to be outpaced by the Black Hats.”
He adds, ““I highly recommend pursuing your education in information technology or computer science” says Herjavec, directing his comments at IT workers and new entrants to the field — including college graduates. “There is a zero-percent unemployment rate in cybersecurity and the opportunities in this field are endless. Gone are the days of siloed IT and security teams. All IT professionals need to know security – full stop. Given the complexity of today’s interconnected world, we all have to work together to support the protection of the enterprise.”
The Cybersecurity Ventures report illustrates just how important it is for the industry to pull together and work towards shrinking the skills gap; the future really is not that far away.