SailPoint points towards “frightening” shortage of cyber security professionals

With October being ‘Cyber Security Awareness Month’, Charles Poff (Chief Information Security Officer at SailPoint) has stressed that it’s important to take a hard look at the “frightening” shortage of cyber security professionals currently operational in the industry’s workforce.

According to research conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures, the shortfall is expected to leave 3.5 million jobs unoccupied in the cyber security industry*.

Poff stated: “There’s no ‘quick fix’ to closing this gap, but steps can be taken right now in schools with children who show interest in technology to teach them the value of becoming part of the security industry. It’s up to parents, teachers and even members of the security community to nurture a child’s natural desire to tinker with technology so that he/she will have a greater interest in pursuing a cyber security career as an adult.”

He continued: “Every industry has a security element so, even though a job may not be technical in nature, the chances are that an organisation’s employees must deal with cyber security on some level. For this reason, it’s important for companies to hire interns or entry-level candidates with degrees in maths and/or philosophy, since these degrees teach people logic and problem-solving techniques. The valuable skills that all cyber security professionals must possess.”

In order to truly stay one step ahead of today’s cyber breaches, Poff firmly believes that security professionals need to participate in all of the options associated with cyber security (such as learning a programming language).

Back in August, the Conservative Government orchestrated a further audit of the nation’s cyber security labour market in a determined bid to ascertain exactly how companies operating across the country are presently dealing with the employment and training of IT professionals.

The inaugural study in 2018 highlighted the fact that most organisations lacked the skills to conduct more high-level technical tasks. Penetration testing was an area that businesses expressed the most concern about, with 42% of larger companies commenting that they didn’t feel confident when it came to conducting their own test regimes.

*Cybersecurity Jobs Report 2018-2021

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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