Fortinet warns that 64% of Australian and New Zealand organisations agree that the cybersecurity skills shortage creates additional cyber risks for their organisation compared with 80 per cent globally.
Fortinet says its report demonstrates multiple risks resulting from the cybersecurity skills gap along with the increasing costs of security breaches on organisations’ profits and reputation.
And according to Fortinet, given the increasing costs of breaches on organisations’ profits and reputation, cybersecurity is becoming more of a board-level priority.
Fortinet notes that in Australia and New Zealand, 85% of organisations that have a board of directors reported that their board asks questions specifically about cybersecurity compared to 88% globally - and 66% of organisations have a board of directors that has recommended increases in IT and cybersecurity headcount compared with 76% globally.
Fortinet says its skills gap report demonstrated that training and certifications are critical ways organisations seek to further tackle the skills gap and revealed that 94% of Australian and New Zealand leaders believe technology-focused certifications positively impact their role and their team compared to 95% globally - while 73% prefer to hire people with certifications compared to 81%of leaders globally
Additionally, 84% of respondents are willing to pay for an employee to achieve cyber certifications compared with 91% globally, and one major reason certifications are highly regarded is their validation of increased cybersecurity knowledge and awareness - and 81% of organisations have a security awareness and training program in place to ensure their employees have proper cyber hygiene compared with 87% globally.
Almost half (43%) of Australian and New Zealand decision-makers believe that their employees lack knowledge when it comes to cybersecurity awareness compared with 52% globally, which Fortinet says raises questions around the effectiveness of their current security awareness programs.
Jon McGettigan, regional director Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, Fortinet, said, “The report suggests ways the skills gap can be addressed such as through training and certifications to increase employees’ education.
“Locally, Fortinet has seen growth in training and certifications through its NSE Certification program training courses, with the self-paced catalogues currently offered free of charge.
“Fortinet works with its partners to understand how the training is used and where the gaps still exist to help address those. In addition, it is currently working with 27 education institutions across Australia and New Zealand to upskill the next generation of the cybersecurity workforce.”
Sandra Wheatley, SVP marketing, threat intelligence and influencer communications, Fortinet, said, "According to the Fortinet report, the skills gap isn’t just a talent shortage challenge; it’s also severely impacting business, making it a top concern for executive leaders worldwide.
“Through Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs, we are committed to tackling the challenges revealed in the report through various initiatives, including programs focused on cybersecurity certifications and recruiting more women into cyber.
“As part of this commitment, Fortinet has pledged to train one million professionals to increase cyber skills and awareness and make a dent in the skills gap by 2026.”
Fortinet says a significant challenge for organisations has been finding and retaining the right people to fill critical security roles ranging from cloud security specialists to security operations centre (SOC) analysts - and the report found that 51% struggle to recruit cybersecurity talent and 34% say they struggle to retain that talent compared to 60 per cent and 52 per cent globally respectively.
As organisations look to build more capable and more diverse teams, 87% of respondents say that they have diversity goals as part of their hiring practices over the next two to three years compared with 89% globally.
“For organisations looking for security awareness training, Fortinet offers a Security Awareness and Training service through the award-winning Fortinet Training Institute. The service further protects organisations’ critical digital assets from cyberthreats by building employee cybersecurity awareness,” says Fortinet.
“This service receives updates from Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs threat intelligence so that employees learn and keep up with the latest evolving cyberattack methods to prevent company breaches and risks from being introduced. “
The Fortinet skills gap survey was conducted among more than 1,200 IT and cybersecurity decision-makers from across 29 different locations, including Australia and New Zealand - and survey respondents came from a range of industries, including healthcare, professional services, retail, manufacturing, and financial services.