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5 Ways to Close the Cyber Security Skills Gap Within Your Organization

5 Ways to Close the Cyber Security Skills Gap Within Your Organization
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Cybersecurity is one of the most critical aspects of an organisation. Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated, so every business must plan to protect their company from cyber-crime.

Cybercrime costs the global economy about $600 billion annually, according to McAfee’s 2016 Threat Report.

Yet, according to Gartner, demand will exceed the supply of cybersecurity professionals by 260%.

Cybersecurity is a topic discussed at all levels of an organisation, including executives, managers, technical staff members and employees. Cyberattacks can come from various sources, such as inside or outside your company’s network.

Therefore, it’s essential to educate yourself about cybersecurity trends and changes to close your organisation’s cyber security skills gap. The cybersecurity skills gap presents an organisation with many problems, such as

  • Lack of talent to perform security tasks
  • Expensive hiring process
  • Complex training processes for new staff members
  • Low employee morale because of lack of progression opportunities

Cyber attacks are increasing, and hackers are becoming more sophisticated, so companies must stay up-to-date on the cyber security skills gap within their organisations. Cybersecurity must be a culture and not a product anymore.

The cyber security skills gap is the difference between what your company needs now versus what you have on staff or can access through training programs.

In this article, you will read about the steps you can take to close this gap within your own company:

How to Close the Cyber Security Skills Gap In Your Company?

Cyber security skills shortage is not going away soon. It’s time we accepted this reality and took steps towards closing the cybersecurity skills gap within our organisation. Here are a few:

1. Have a Practice Lab for Entry-level Employees

Cyber security is a massive concern for businesses of all sizes. Cyber-attacks have been on the rise in recent years, and companies need to be prepared. However, there are many ways organisations can close the cyber security skills gap within their organisation. Still, one solution is to have a practice lab for entry-level employees. This practice lab would allow new hires to get used to working with sensitive data while also learning about cybersecurity best practices.

Entry-level employees are not being trained on cybersecurity practices, leaving the organisation vulnerable to security breaches. Implementing a Cyber Security Practice Lab will allow your new hires to learn the ins and outs of cyber security from seasoned veterans. In addition, it will provide them with hands-on experience before they start their job.

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2. Educate Employees through Training Programs

Cybersecurity skills shortage is becoming a bigger problem for organisations. The cyber security skills gap in North America has reached 3 million positions. This number is expected to grow unless action is taken. Educating employees through training programs can help close this skill gap within your organisation.

Employees in organisations need to be cyber-security trained if they are going to work on cyber-security related tasks. There are several responsibilities of cyber security professionals with a unique skill set. Employees who receive training will have knowledge of cyber-security that can help them protect themselves against cyber attacks. They should be informed and educated about the different malware or cyber-attacks that an organisation will face. Also, tell them about the common mistakes that can commit, resulting in massive data threats.

3. Help Employees Upskill into New Cybersecurity Careers

One best way to close your organisation’s cyber security skills gap is to help employees upskill into new cybersecurity careers. Cybersecurity is a high-growth industry with a shortage of qualified professionals. As a result, the demand for cybersecurity knowledge and skills will grow by 20% over the next year. Yet, organisations are still struggling to find enough cybersecurity talent. To help combat this issue, organisations must encourage employees and upskill them into cybersecurity roles.

Cybersecurity professionals need to stay current with trends, tools, techniques, and technologies to be successful. Organisations can help employees upskill into new cybersecurity careers by providing them with opportunities for training on-site or through e-learning courses. So they may keep pace with this ever-changing industry.

4. Promote Willingness to Learn among Employees

The most effective way to close the cyber security skills gap in an organisation is to promote employee willingness to learn. Cybersecurity professionals need constant training and development to keep up with new threats and vulnerabilities that arise daily. Here are some ways by which organisations can promote employees:

  • Create cybersecurity awareness programs
  • Promote education opportunities
  • Offer incentives
  • Create cybersecurity learning modules on the company intranet
  • Offer virtual training courses

Since different and novel threats can pop up daily, the employees must have a mindset to learn new tips and techniques to protect their data. Therefore, willingness to learn is essential for employees to close the cyber security skills gap within an organisation.

5. Use AI and Machine Learning-driven Automation

The skills gap has been growing for years and is an issue in many organisations around the world. Many companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-driven automation to close this skills gap. Organisations should have a cybersecurity strategy that integrates Artificial Intelligence into their IT infrastructure to address the shortage of cyber security skills while simultaneously implementing new technologies.

Organisations that want to keep their data secure will highly require automation tools to find vulnerabilities in systems without exposing them to hackers. It can also help predict when recent attacks will happen, select candidates based on their cyber security expertise, and fill gaps in cybersecurity teams with automated systems.

To Conclude

The cyber security skills shortage is a well-known problem that has been the subject of many studies and articles. The situation gets worse each year as technology advances, leaving organisations vulnerable to attacks. The first step to close the cyber security skills gap is accepting the skills gap and thinking about how to fill it up.

Jon Baleva, IT Trainer with Edoxi Training Institute, Dubai

Jon is an IT professional with 20 years of experience in programming and networking. He has trained professionals and students in IT Programming courses. He also writes on tech-related topics for various tech magazines. 

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