Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

Talented cybersecurity professionals are hard to find. Imagination and perseverance can help make the search easier.

2 Min Read
Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap
(Credit: SIAMRAT.CH via Adobe Stock)

Despite recent layoffs announced by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others, some tech professionals remain in short supply, particularly skilled and creative cybersecurity experts. To find the professionals needed to protect their systems against cyberattacks, IT leaders are increasingly turning to various creative approaches.

Cybersecurity talent remains in high demand for 2023 and is predicted to remain in demand for the foreseeable, says Doug Glair, cybersecurity director with technology research and advisory firm ISG. “To address this challenge, companies must leverage traditional HR recruiting, hiring, and retention strategies, along with some non-traditional strategies, to address the ongoing demand.”

Always network with relevant contacts in your field, advises John Burnet, vice president of global talent at AI-based SaaS platform provider Armis. “Whether the need is right now or around the corner, proactivity is the name of the game when looking for great talent.”

To succeed in today's competitive cybersecurity job market, organizations must look for talent in adjacent fields, both externally and within their own organization, says Jon Check, executive director of cyber protection solutions at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Employees who are looking to change career paths, or simply try a different role within the cybersecurity industry, can be ideal candidates for additional security training,” he explains.

Qualifications and Certifications

As always, the most sought-after cybersecurity professionals are those with the strongest credentials.“Certifications such as CISSP and CISM demonstrate that individuals have technical capability and are putting effort into their careers,” says Richard Watson-Bruhn, privacy and cyber security expert at professional services firm PA Consulting.

It pays to be flexible when facing a scarce candidate market. “Over the past few years, we've learned that a cyber degree or typical cyber background isn’t necessarily a requirement to be a successful security professional,” Check says. “What matters … are the characteristics or ‘soft skills’ that an employee exhibits.” An intelligent, promising candidate can acquire specific skills by working alongside experienced colleagues.

Meanwhile, many enterprises will only hire people with proven cyber experience. “This dramatically shrinks the candidate ocean into a candidate pool,” Burnet observes. He notes that it's better to focus on values, traits, and behaviors rather than a degree or dated qualification. Burnet also advises leaders to reevaluate their organizations' onboarding program “to give promising new hires the best experience and accelerated learning journey.”

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek.

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About the Author(s)

John Edwards, Featured Contributor

Technology JournalistA veteran technology journalist, John Edwards has written for a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CFO Magazine, CIO Magazine, InformationWeek, Defense Systems, Defense News/C4ISR&N, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, IEEE Computer, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Law Technology News, Network World, Computerworld and Robotics Business Review. He is also the author of several books on business-technology topics. A New York native, John now lives and works in Gilbert, Arizona.

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