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Workforce Shortage Impacts 85% of Organizations’ Cybersecurity Posture

Bryan Palma, CEO, Trellix

Trellix conducted new research into the talent shortage afflicting the cybersecurity industry. Among the key findings, 85% of those surveyed believe the workforce shortage is impacting their organizations’ abilities to secure increasingly complex information systems and networks. Of the current workforce, 30% plan to change professions in the future.

“Our industry is already 2.72 million people short. Cultivating and nurturing a cybersecurity workforce for our future requires expanding who we view as talent and changing our practices across the public and private sectors,” said Bryan Palma, CEO, Trellix. “Closing the cybersecurity talent gap is not only a business imperative, but important to national security and our daily lives. We need to remove barriers to entry, actively work to inspire people to do soulful work and ensure those in the field are retained.”

The findings are based on a Vanson Bourne survey, commissioned by Trellix, of 1,000 cybersecurity professionals in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K and the U.S. across a variety of sectors.

As threats from nation-state actors and cybercriminals grow in volume and sophistication, the worldwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals grows as well. While some countries like Russia and China invest deeply in nurturing cybersecurity talent through state-funded education, many nations are without dedicated programs. Trellix sought to understand education levels and found over half (56%) believe that degrees aren’t needed for a successful career in cybersecurity.

The survey found that diversity can drive better outcomes. Of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed, 78% are male, 64% white and 89% straight, and a large majority of respondents (91%) believe there needs to be wider efforts to grow the cybersecurity talent pool from diverse groups. When it comes to encouraging more people to consider a career in cybersecurity, respondents reported inclusivity and equality for women (79%), diversity of the cybersecurity workforce (77%) and pay gaps between different demographic groups (72%) as highly or extremely important factors for the industry to address.

The survey found the vast majority (94%) believe the role of those working in cybersecurity is greater now than ever before and a similar amount (92%) report cybersecurity as purposeful, soulful work that motivates them. However, cybersecurity professionals are hungry for recognition, with 36% noting they feel a lack of acknowledgement for the good done for society. Of those looking to leave the field, 12% say it is due to lack of feeling appreciated.

Trellix CEO Bryan Palma is slated to deliver a keynote on June 7 on “Soulless to Soulful: Security’s Chance to Save Tech,” at the RSA Conference in San Francsico, Calif. Palma will address the growing cybersecurity talent gap while providing recommendations to build a larger, stronger cybersecurity workforce. RSA Conference attendees can attend the address at 10:50 a.m. PDT at the Moscone Convention Center West Hall, others can view virtually or on-demand.

The talent gap survey follows the release of Trellix’s In the Crosshairs: Organizations and Nation-State Cyber Threats report which found organizations report limited cybersecurity talent as the greatest barrier to protecting themselves against nation-state cyber threats.

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