Closing The Cybersecurity Skills Gap

The World Economic Forum’s COVID-19 Risks Outlook found that 50% of enterprises were concerned about increased cyberattacks due to a shift in work patterns, which will lead to an increase in cybersecurity spending. In fact, eight of ten cybersecurity markets are projected to grow faster than the market average.

Yet there is a serious lack of qualified candidates to fill important cybersecurity positions, with the global skills gap at around 4.7 million professionals. A recent survey by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) found that seven out of ten respondents say that their organization has been affected by a worldwide cybersecurity skills shortage, while 45% believe that the skills shortage has gotten worse over the past year.

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“The data uncovered in this research year-over-year also demonstrates that there are multiple issues contributing to the problem of ‘a cybersecurity skills gap,’ including that businesses don’t understand the role of information security, there is no clear and agreed upon career map within our profession, and cybersecurity professionals are under constant stress of attempting to improve collaboration efforts with IT,” wrote Jon Oltsik, ESG Senior Principal Analyst.

Now, two companies are looking to come up with a solution. Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, just announced it is integrating its Network Security Expert training and certification curriculum with IBM’s SkillsBuild, a digital platform for users to develop technology and professional skills, including cybersecurity.

The goal of the pairing is to provide cybersecurity training that develops skills, reskills, and upskills to help untapped candidates launch their careers and connect learners to employers. In addition, users will be able to earn badges—including a cybersecurity badge—to demonstrate their expertise to current and future employers as well as to prepare learners for technology-focused certifications. A recent survey found that 82% of organizations prefer to hire candidates with technology-focused certifications.

With a focus on jobseekers who are currently unemployed or who may be otherwise overlooked for cybersecurity positions, this training platform will help companies to find the skilled cybersecurity candidates they need while also helping individuals to build and advance their careers in this field.