Virtual Private Networks are an excellent way to keep your browsing data private. They create a secure channel over an insecure network, protecting your important data from cybercriminals. Unfortunately, many people store the most sensitive information on their PCs or mobile devices without proper security equipment in place. This may be costly when you consider the harmful outcomes of losing control of your sensitive data, whether it is financial information, health records, personal messages, or something else entirely!
"It may be costly when you consider the harmful outcomes of losing control of your sensitive data" - vpntesting.com
The latest data from the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network AustCyber indicates that the country is facing a serious shortfall of IT security professionals. AustCyber predicts that this shortage will only worsen over time, projecting the skills gap to reach 10,000 by 2022. This equals to three times what was originally estimated by the Australian Government's own National Commission of Audit report in 2014, which means that three people are retiring for every one person getting into cyber security. According to BCG research, global demand for cybersecurity skills will increase by 53% between 2015 and 2022, however, at current growth rates, there will be a worldwide shortage of 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals by 2020.
But where does Australia's shortage currently stand and how can we address it? According to a report published this week, the nation has approximately 80,000 employees working in cyber security across 515 organizations with the average number of employees per organization dropping from 185 to 146 over the last year. A total of 13% of all employees were found to hold senior management level roles; however, only 8% worked as full-time security specialists. It is not necessarily that there are not enough people entering the industry, but they do not have high enough skills or qualifications for available positions. Both students and experienced IT professionals told BCG for short training for relevant security skills by universities and vocational education providers, along with a shortage of professional delegation. IT professionals are struggling to gain the right qualifications, both in terms of practical experience and formal qualifications.
A large number of respondents indicated that they would prefer to get their hands dirty working in cyber security rather than focus on gaining more tertiary qualifications. This is not an issue limited only to Australia however similar concerns have been raised globally. As companies become more aware of this shortfall there will be some hope that it will create new opportunities for professionals across the board from entry-level through to executive management disciplines. With many top companies unable to fill their vacancies for lack of qualified candidates, it will be interesting to monitor whether this shortage eventually leads to a pay rise for those working in the industry. In the meantime, companies are struggling with vacancies and many may need to look at stepping up their recruitment efforts. Professional recruiters will play an integral role in sourcing candidates which is also needed from entry-level through to C-suite so it could be time to consider outsourcing security recruiting.
BCG research suggests that companies increase their headcount by 30% when they outsource their recruiting function so there is certainly no harm in at least getting some advice on how you can address your workforce planning challenges. With many top companies unable to fill their vacancies for lack of qualified candidates, it will be interesting to monitor whether this shortage eventually leads to a pay rise for those working in the industry.