Blog · 09 Mar 2018

Is there a solution to the security skills gap?

The new IDC InfoBrief revealed a worrying fact — the security skills gap is growing. What can we do to fix this problem? Read on to find out.

Mind the gap

When IDC recently asked security stakeholders and decision makers from 450 global organisations* whether or not they thought there was a security skills gap, their collective answer was decisive. Ninety-seven per cent said their company had felt the ramifications over the past few years.

It’s not often that this kind of research gets an answer that’s so unambiguous.

Clearly, the overall lack of security skills is a serious problem for the industry. But that’s not all the research revealed. Dig a little deeper into companies’ answers and you’ll discover that one of the biggest challenges companies face regarding this skills gap isn’t actually finding the talent — it’s retaining it. Sixty-two per cent said that retaining the security talent they have is an issue.

Of course, recruitment is a problem, too. Just under half of the companies that were asked, said they struggled to hire the skilled workers they need.

Is there a solution to the security skills gap?

The question is: what can we — as organisations that desperately need to secure our networks against the growing threat of cyber crime — do to close this gap?

The answer comes in two parts.

Secure the skills you need

Apprenticeships

We’ve written about it before, but it’s worth repeating that apprenticeships are a fantastic way to overcome the skills gap. The results aren’t immediate, but with time, apprenticeships provide you with a steady influx of skilled, educated and specifically-trained security workers. We know it works because we run a scheme ourselves. In fact, BT is the biggest employer of security apprentices in the UK private sector, taking on up to 75 people a year — when the average in tech companies is around 12.

Automation and managed security services (MSS)

These are the technological solutions to the skills-gap challenge. By automating security processes, a company can free up a lot of the work that would previously have been done by people. And by outsourcing the management of security services to a third-party provider, they can reduce the need for in-house skills.

Clearly, the skills gap is a problem. But, in answer to the question we posed in the title of this blog, thankfully there are ways to fill this gap. And it’s important that we do. After all, cyber crime is on the rise, so now is not the time to leave gaps in your defences.

If you’re struggling to access the skills you need to meet your security needs, remember that we can help. We employ a large number of security experts, all experienced in protecting critical networks around the globe. 

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