Could military veterans stop the cybersecurity skills shortage?

A look at why ex-military professionals may be the future of cybersecurity

As cyberattacks become more commonplace, organisations of all shapes and sizes now understand the importance of securing their data, meaning cybersecurity skills continue to be in high demand.

Analyst firm Frost and Sullivan has forecast a shortage of 350,000 cybersecurity professionals in Europe by 2020 and a quarter of those surveyed for the ISACA’s State of Cyber Security 2017 report noted that they’d found many current cybersecurity candidates lacking technical skills. Furthermore, over a quarter reported it often takes them more than six months to fill priority cybersecurity positions.

Could the answer to this skills shortage lie with the military; where service leavers eager to learn already have a gamut of soft skills essential to the sector?

How is the industry responding to the cybersecurity skills shortage? Check out: Critical lack of skills could be the biggest security challenge

Through their experience in the armed forces they’re able to deal with complex situations, keep calm when the worst happens and are used to following a set of structured processes, but also have the confidence to use their initiative when needed.

Stuart Lythgoe, a retired army lawyer, highlights that there’s more to an ex-service jobseeker than “a well-ironed shirt and a pair of shiny shoes”.

“There’s a limited understanding of the skill set service people bring. A broad one is their adaptability. In the services, one’s familiar with moving from job to job, interspaced with short notice deployments to uncomfortable environments. Then there’s resilience. These combined provide a really robust and strong foundation to build upon,” he points out.

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