Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

The War for Cyber Talent Will Be Won by Retention not Recruitment

Six steps for creating a work environment that challenges, stimulates, rewards, and constantly engages employees fighting the good fight against cybercriminals.

When it comes to cybersecurity, there are two common truths any executive will tell you. First, there is a well-documented shortfall of 3 million workers in the industry — too many jobs for too few qualified workers. Second, to fill these jobs, we need to think outside the box and look to professionals who aren't in the computer science and IT fields.

There are more articles than we can count that tangentially explore those two points. We need to move past discussing the problem and who may fill these jobs and explore the deeper question of how we get people into these jobs.

Right now, the supply of skilled workers is significantly less than the incredible demand for these positions; thus, the negotiating power is squarely in the hands of the workers. They can set their requirements and can do so with virtually any number of willing suitors. Consequently, how we attract talent and who we recruit will still be an active area of focus. But how we retain these workers should be positioned with equal or greater importance. Here are six steps to keep your cyber talent from running off to the next highest bidder.

Step 1: Stay competitive with compensation and benefits. This should go without saying: The best legacy cyber workers and the smartest professionals that can be upskilled to be cyber professionals are able to name their price. If the wages and benefit packages aren't fair and competitive, they'll find their next opportunity quickly.

Step 2: Have a well-defined hiring strategy. While there are more jobs than can be filled, there is no need to be reckless and hire for quantity versus quality. Clearly articulate what your organization and team is looking for and hire against those needs. This will provide your hire(s) with a sense of purpose toward a specific goal instead of anonymity in some homogeneous group.

Step 3: Provide continuous education. Cybersecurity is a field that is changing by the hour. There are new threats, new advances in technology, new social and political ramifications, and new solutions to constantly stay in front of. By investing in education, you are equipping your new hires and current employees to be the best in their field and provide the best service and solutions to your clients.

Step 4: Redefine purpose. It's very easy once people are hired to give them objectives and leave them to their own devices. While focusing on the objective is great for short-term goals, in the long term, new hires may begin to wonder what their purpose is on the team, what they are trying to achieve, and how their work is affecting the greater good. At the onset, work with employees to create their big-picture purpose and continually redefine their objectives as the work changes. This will allow your employees to articulate how their positions are impacting the company and society. For instance, while the employment objective may be pinhole testing for system vulnerabilities, that employee's bigger purpose is to discover weaknesses in a bank's mobile app and create defenses against those vulnerabilities to allow for a safe and seamless experience for customers while mobile banking.

Step 5: Create an employee career map. Job security and the opportunity for growth are incredible motivators. However, as cybersecurity practitioners are incredibly coveted in the marketplace, it becomes crucial to show them their career trajectory rather than simply saying "you have a future with this company." By creating an employee journey map, you are laying out clear instructions for how they can succeed and grow organically within the organization.

Step 6: Utilize human resource analytics. The use of HR analytics will allow the hiring manager on the team to not only see in real time what the needs of the team are, who's been hired, and where they came from, but it will also measure the ROI of employee programs and overall workforce performance as well as identify where the team is growing and where resources can be allocated. By utilizing this information, hiring managers can make informed decisions possible that will help them hire the best people, reduce costly and morale-damaging turnover, and allow for the proper management of team resources.

Recruiting the best talent is only the beginning. Where we'll win both the battle and the war for talent is by creating an environment that challenges, stimulates, rewards, and constantly re‑engages our employees to fight the good fight against cybercriminals.

The views reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.

Related Content: 

 

Black Hat USA returns to Las Vegas with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions, and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Sundeep Nehra, Principal, Cybersecurity leader,  Financial Services Office, Ernst & Young LLP As a Principal in the Financial Services Office, Sundeep leads the Integrated Cyber and Resiliency Risk practice. He advises clients on issues related to cyber, ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Michael_Coates
50%
50%
Michael_Coates,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/23/2019 | 1:35:45 PM
Agreed!
Great article. I've built security programs at two prominent tech companies, Twitter and Mozilla. We certainly had an advantage of a name brand and a compeling product to attract great candidates. But that alone wouldn't be enough to keep great security staff. I'm glad to see articles like this that stress the importance of the "non-technical" aspects of security. Great teams don't happen by chance. Similarly, great employees don't stick around without a well crafted program that considers elements of retention and career building.

 

-Michael
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17476
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Mibew Messenger before 3.2.7 allows XSS via a crafted user name.
CVE-2020-9525
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
CS2 Network P2P through 3.x, as used in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from an authentication flaw that allows remote attackers to perform a man-in-the-middle attack, as demonstrated by eavesdropping on user video/audio streams, capturing credentials, and compromising devices.
CVE-2020-9526
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
CS2 Network P2P through 3.x, as used in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from an information exposure flaw that exposes user session data to supernodes in the network, as demonstrated by passively eavesdropping on user video/audio streams, capturing credentials, and compromising devic...
CVE-2020-9527
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Firmware developed by Shenzhen Hichip Vision Technology (V6 through V20, after 2018-08-09 through 2020), as used by many different vendors in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from buffer overflow vulnerability that allows unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via ...
CVE-2020-9528
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
Firmware developed by Shenzhen Hichip Vision Technology (V6 through V20), as used by many different vendors in millions of Internet of Things devices, suffers from cryptographic issues that allow remote attackers to access user session data, as demonstrated by eavesdropping on user video/audio strea...