Careers & People

9/6/2017
03:21 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases
50%
50%

81% of Infosec Pros Say Required Job Skills Have Changed

The change comes amid a skills gap the industry is facing.

Portland, OR - The digital security skills gap poses a challenge to organizations and their defense strategies in every economic sector. Even so, there’s little consensus on how enterprises should address this shortage of skilled security talent. Some say organizations place too little emphasis on the value of a classical engineering-focused education and that businesses can help close the skills gap by re-conceptualizing security “entry-level” roles. Others feel job seekers and hiring organizations should both do more to reconcile security with existing business needs.

These are all good ideas. But are organizations doing any of them? How are companies actually working to address the security skills gap?

To answer those questions, Tripwire commissioned Dimensional Research to survey 315 IT security professionals at U.S.-based companies with over 100 employees. Their responses reveal that the make-up of security teams is changing and that organizations are having to implement creative strategies to meet security needs.

Overall, Tripwire’s study found that 93% of information security professionals are concerned about the skills gap. This sentiment in part rests on an ever-evolving industry. More than three-quarters (81%) of respondents say the skills required to be a “great” security staff member have changed in the past few years. This development, among others, has helped shape the viewpoint shared by 72% of security professionals that it’s more difficult now to hire adequately skilled security personnel than it was two years ago.

Tim Erlin, vice president of product management and strategy at Tripwire, agrees with this framing of the skills gap:

“It’s evident that security teams are evolving and maturing with the rest of the cybersecurity industry, but the pool of skilled staff and training simply aren’t keeping up. For example, beyond their technical duties, security practitioners may now be expected to spend more time in boardrooms or in the CFO’s office to secure more budget. While the makeup of the cybersecurity workforce may be changing, the fundamentals of protecting an organization have not. It will be critical during this transition to ensure there’s a long-term strategy in place around maintaining the foundational security controls like the CIS CSC.”

Per Tripwire’s survey, organizations are indeed diversifying their security staff. Most companies are supplementing their teams by outsourcing for skills (91%) and are expecting non-security professionals to become more involved in their digital defense strategies (98%). One in five respondents said their organizations have already hired professionals with expertise not related to security over the past few years; about the same proportion of respondents (17%) expect to continue that practice through 2019.

But hiring is just the beginning. Erlin explains that businesses should then work to optimize these heterogeneous security workforces:

“The skills gap doesn’t have to be an operational gap. Security teams shouldn’t overburden themselves by trying to do everything on their own. They can partner with trusted vendors for managed services or subscribe to service plans where outside experts can act as an extension of the team. Organizations should also understand that security is a shared responsibility across different functions, so people from other parts of the business should be involved in the cybersecurity program. And, of course, automation can add value not only in reducing manual work, but also in ensuring that everything is up-to-date and working as it should in real time. Security teams may just need to work more creatively.”

It appears organizations are in agreement with Erlin. Eighty-eight percent of respondents think managed services would help to address the skills gap problem. Even more than that (96%) think automation will help address the digital security skills shortage in the future.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
121 Pieces of Malware Flagged on NSA Employee's Home Computer
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/16/2017
Mobile Malware Incidents Hit 100% of Businesses
Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  11/17/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Managing Cyber-Risk
An online breach could have a huge impact on your organization. Here are some strategies for measuring and managing that risk.
Flash Poll
Surviving the IT Security Skills Shortage
Surviving the IT Security Skills Shortage
Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand -- and short supply. Find out what Dark Reading discovered during their 2017 Security Staffing Survey and get some strategies for getting through the drought. Download the report today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.