Cybersecurity In-Depth

The Edge

What's Really Happening in Infosec Hiring Now?

As the pandemic continues, security teams still need help they can't get. But the "skills shortage" is only part of the story.

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That is reflected in government agencies' cybersecurity hiring needs now.

"We are seeing more need for cyber jobs because of insufficient cybersecurity staffing within the government compared to the increased cyber risk profiles and an expansion of the threat vector," she says. "Hiring more cyber pros will ensure the government gets ahead of the curve on the implementation of Risk Management Framework and cybersecurity."

...And because they are behind, there are many job openings in government

McGregor says BAE's government customers are beginning to utilize commercial IT infrastructure and systems traditionally off the table in agencies, including cloud tools, and virtual desktop infrastructure. And that's led to a massive need for skilled talent for implementing, architecting, delivering, and securing these solutions. As a result, they are also looking for applicants with appropriate security clearance.

And another trait government agencies are more interested in now is leadership – and an understanding of the "soft skills" needed to work on security projects, says McGregor.

"We're also looking for those with experience developing external customer relationships and ability to communicate cybersecurity concepts and requirements with senior leaders; and have effective organizational, time management, and communications skills, written and verbal."

Infosec may no longer be a 'hot career'

Despite the need for skilled security pros, the career is apparently not attractive to many who are pursuing a change in career paths. New research from (ISC)2 finds attitudes toward infosec as a career are lukewarm. A survey of 2,500 outsiders to the field in the US and UK found 29% say they are looking for a career change, but infosec is not on their radar.

The poll was "conducted during a period of high unemployment created by the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the (ISC)2 description.

"Even though a solid majority of respondents view cybersecurity as a good career path, they are not drawn to it," the report states.

Instead, respondents say they are more interested in careers in other fields, including education (24%), healthcare (22%), general technology and IT (22%) and finance (21%).