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Security

How can companies close the cybersecurity skills gap?

According to statistics from Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, attacks resulted in companies losing up to $11.7 million in 2017. The year before, this number was $9.5 million, so clearly the impact of breaches is worsening. And in the UK alone, more than half of businesses were targeted by hackers between 2016 and 2017.

These statistics mean that businesses need to be alert at all times. But the fact is, staying ahead of hackers isn’t an easy task and companies are struggling. From overstretched IT budgets to a lack of appropriately trained staff, the problems are serious and constantly mounting.

However, the biggest challenge, arguably, is around skills. Companies need access to the right specialists if they want to prevent cyber breaches from happening in the first place. But finding the right employees isn’t easy, and many people are worried that there’s a widening security skills gap. Data from job listing site Indeed shows that while there’s a demand for cyber security specialists, there’s simply not enough suitable candidates out there.

Our annual poll to find out what’s security threats are worrying security professionals: What will be the single biggest security threat of 2018?

Because of this, the majority of companies are investing in sophisticated cyber security software in the hope that it’ll prevent attacks. Yet this isn’t always the case. A report from recruitment firm Acumin claims that when firms end up relying on technology, even more security risks open up. Humans, therefore, are vital. The question is, what must CIOs and IT managers do to close this skills gap and ensure that their staff have the right know-how to fight cybercrime?

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Nicholas Fearn

Nicholas is a technology journalist from the Welsh valleys. His work has been featured on Engadget, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, TechRadar, The Next Web, Forbes, Computer Weekly, Computing, Mail Online, The Telegraph and many other media outlets. In addition, he edits Tech Dragons, a publication covering STEM in Wales.

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