Security breaches have increased by 67% since 2014, and (ISC)2 have reported that the global security workforce has to increase by 145% to cope with a surge in demand for cyber security professionals. This rise in demand has resulted in a cyber security skills gap that is consistently growing. Over half of cyber security professionals (51%) have claimed that their organization is at moderate or extreme risk due to staff shortages, with over 4 million positions in the industry left unfilled. Companies in industries from healthcare to government are facing the global scarcity of properly trained cyber security personnel, and it threatens to drive the number of damaging data breaches, particularly for small and mid-sized businesses.
Additionally, in an industry that evolves so quickly due to digital transformation initiatives and innovative technologies, it’s hard for organizations and individuals to keep up with relevant training. 67% of cyber security professionals admit that training is hard to keep up with because of the demands of their jobs, and only 38% say that their organizations provide training and education on the latest threats. A lack of formal cyber security education also contributes to the skills gap; only 42% of the top 50 computer science programmes in US universities offer three or more information security-specific courses for undergraduates.
The skills shortage exacerbates the number of data breaches that occur, with the top two contributing factors to security incidents being a lack of adequate training of non-technical employees (31%) and a lack of adequate cybersecurity staff (22%). Small and mid-sized businesses are especially vulnerable to the side effects of the cyber security skills gap. In 2017, 61% of data breaches were directed at companies with fewer than 1000 employees.
Attackers exploit these smaller organizations because they know that there are fewer employees with the right skills to defend against them; only 30% of smaller companies have an employee-training program in place to guard against and recover from breaches. As well as losing revenue on damage control and non-compliance fines after a data breach, one in four organizations say that insufficient cyber security staff strength has damaged their reputation with customers. This, in turn, increases the workload on existing employees, leading to high stress working environments, with 38% of cyber security professionals claiming that the skills shortage has led to high burnout rates and staff attrition.
With fewer employees and less revenue than larger organizations, small and mid-sized businesses cannot divert time and money away from business operations to hire new staff or continuously train existing employees. Centripetal’s CleanINTERNET bridges the cyber security skills gap by leveraging our experienced team of cyber threat analysts that act as an extension of your security team. By operationalizing over 70 core Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) providers that contain over 3,500 cyber threat feeds, our elite cyber threat analysts create and update policies to increase your cyber security posture and alleviate the burden of recruiting and retention in a highly restricted talent market. From the onset, our team delivers the required experience and skill to realise your cyber security strategies and initiatives.