Cloud

11/9/2017
08:50 PM
50%
50%

Cybersecurity Staffing Shortage Tied to Cyberattacks, Data Breaches

Short-staffed cybersecurity teams contribute to data breaches and cyberattacks levied against their organizations, a survey finds.

Organizations with understaffed IT security teams face a double-whammy – not enough employees to bear the workload and a greater potential they will be hit with a cyberattack or data breach, a new survey found.

The Life and Times of Cyber Security Professionals report, which surveyed 343 global infosec workers, found 22% of respondents cite their IT security team as understaffed and that the shortage of people contributed to a security event at their organization in the past two years.

"The shortage is creating massive problems for businesses," says Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), which conducted the survey on behalf of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA).

Indeed. A total of 70% of survey respondents say the cybersecurity skills shortage, which is expected to create a deficit of 1.8 million infosec jobs by 2022, has an impact on organization.

The impact these organizations are facing:  increased work among existing IT security staff (63%), the need to hire junior employees in the absence of enough available senior IT security workers (41%), and a work environment where infosec pros are constantly addressing high-alert threats, rather making long-range strategic security plans (41%).

Acute Shortage of Cybersecurity Skills

One-third of organizations say security analysis and investigations as well as application security both topped the list of IT security skills in acute shortage, followed by cloud security.

"I would focus on filling app security positions," says Candy Alexander, ISSA Cyber Security Career Lifecycle chief architect. "It's been an issue for a while and it isn't going away."

Security analysis investigation requires a special skillset, making it even more difficult to find such professionals in an already tight IT security market, she says.

In situations were certain job skills face an acute shortage, companies tend to poach another organization's IT security staff, or use an outsource service, Oltsik says.

Training 

Cybersecurity skills development is critical to keep team members sharp, 96% of survey participants agree. But 67% note that learning new skills is difficult to achieve given the heavy workload.

A lot of the headlines in the past decade have been about the cybersecurity staffing shortage, Alexander says, adding that there is not necessarily a staffing shortage but rather a problem of having a deficit of workers with the appropriate skills.

Businesses, she adds, tend to view training as sending employees to a class to listen to an instructor. But just-in-time training - where trainees get only they information they seek when they need it regarding risks they want to mitigate - is a better training method.

Just 38% of respondents say their employer provides the cybersecurity team with the right level of training to stay abreast of business and IT risks.

Job Satisfaction

The vast majority of IT security pros are very satisfied, 40%, with their current job, or at least somewhat satisfied, 48%, the survey found.

Financial compensation topped the list of job satisfaction drivers, according to 42% of survey respondents. That was followed by support and financial incentives to advance IT security careers, 38%, and business management expressing a commitment to strong cybersecurity, 37%.

These job satisfaction drivers may be important to note for retention efforts, given nearly half of the survey respondents have been approached by cybersecurity recruiters at least once a week, the survey notes.

"For businesses this is bad because it can lead to a high level of attrition and inflated salaries," Oltsik warns.

Related Content:

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two days of practical cyber defense discussions. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the INsecurity agenda here.

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
NoahData
50%
50%
NoahData,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/14/2017 | 4:27:32 AM
Cybersecurity Staffing Shortage

Real fact about the employee skills and the industries requirement seems to be a big gap in CyberSecurity.
vasukivasudav
50%
50%
vasukivasudav,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/13/2017 | 7:15:49 AM
Re: Pending Review
Great
Herve-FR
100%
0%
Herve-FR,
User Rank: Author
11/13/2017 | 3:46:02 AM
Cybersecurity Staffing Shortage
With GDPR to be live in May 2018 it is going to we worse as lot of organizations in Eruope are not really ready for !

 
'Hidden Tunnels' Help Hackers Launch Financial Services Attacks
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/20/2018
Inside a SamSam Ransomware Attack
Ajit Sancheti, CEO and Co-Founder, Preempt,  6/20/2018
Tesla Employee Steals, Sabotages Company Data
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  6/19/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-12716
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-25
The API service on Google Home and Chromecast devices before mid-July 2018 does not prevent DNS rebinding attacks from reading the scan_results JSON data, which allows remote attackers to determine the physical location of most web browsers by leveraging the presence of one of these devices on its l...
CVE-2018-12705
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
DIGISOL DG-BR4000NG devices have XSS via the SSID (it is validated only on the client side).
CVE-2018-12706
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
DIGISOL DG-BR4000NG devices have a Buffer Overflow via a long Authorization HTTP header.
CVE-2018-12714
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 4.17.2. The filter parsing in kernel/trace/trace_events_filter.c could be called with no filter, which is an N=0 case when it expected at least one line to have been read, thus making the N-1 index invalid. This allows attackers to cause a denial o...
CVE-2018-12713
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
GIMP through 2.10.2 makes g_get_tmp_dir calls to establish temporary filenames, which may result in a filename that already exists, as demonstrated by the gimp_write_and_read_file function in app/tests/test-xcf.c. This might be leveraged by attackers to overwrite files or read file content that was ...