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Thursday, 02 June 2022 23:48

Trellix finds workforce shortage impacts 85% of organisations’ cybersecurity posture

By Trellix
Bryan Palma, CEO of Trellix Bryan Palma, CEO of Trellix

GUEST OPINION: Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), conducted new research into the talent shortage afflicting the cybersecurity industry. Among the key findings, 85% of those surveyed believe the workforce shortage is impacting their organisations’ abilities to secure increasingly complex information systems and networks. Of the current workforce, 30% plan to change professions in the future.  

“Our industry is already 2.72 million people short1. Cultivating and nurturing a cybersecurity workforce for our future requires expanding who we view as talent and changing our practices across the public and private sectors,” said Bryan Palma, CEO of Trellix.

“Closing the cybersecurity talent gap is not only a business imperative, but important to national security and our daily lives. We need to remove barriers to entry, actively work to inspire people to do soulful work and ensure those in the field are retained.”  

The findings are based on a Vanson Bourne survey, commissioned by Trellix, of 1,000 cybersecurity professionals in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K and the U.S. across a variety of sectors. 

The survey found that as threats from nation-state actors and cybercriminals grow in volume and sophistication, 97% of Australian cybersecurity respondents report and are aware of current skills gap across the profession amid a growing demand to fill security-related roles. 

Key Australian findings include:

  • Educational programs need to be introduced early to help fill gaps: 
    • Encouraging students to pursue STEM-related careers throughout the education process (41%), and further funding support (28%) are believed to be one of the key areas in which would foster participation of employees into a cybersecurity career. 
    • 96% of cybersecurity professionals believe that greater mentorship, internships and apprentices would encourage and support participation of workers into cybersecurity roles-based roles. 
    • However, 58% agree that people don’t actually need university or college degrees to have a successful career in cybersecurity. 
  • A career path in cybersecurity is purposeful and motivating: 
    • 95% of respondents believe that the role of those working in cybersecurity is greater now than ever before, while 96% have said that cybersecurity is purposeful work that motivates them. 
    • Half of the Australian respondents (50%) enjoy challenging new trends whilst 44% feel a sense of motivation due to its everchanging importance. 
    • On average, respondents report working within cybersecurity for 9 years.
  • Employees feel frustrations and a need for support within cybersecurity: 
    • Majority (96%) of Australian respondents note at least one frustration, the most common for respondents focusing on limited support for the development of skills (39%), lack of recognition for the good done for society (34%), and limited support with the qualifications and certifications required (38%). 
  • Organisations need to recognise they could be making more progressive steps towards encouraging more individuals into cybersecurity:  
    • Australian respondents agree greater recruitment drives of employees into cybersecurity-related roles (95%), there should be community mentoring programs with a presence in K-12 schools (98%), and there needs to be an openness to considering employees from non-traditional cybersecurity backgrounds (99%).

More Education is Needed. As threats from nation-state actors and cybercriminals grow in volume and sophistication, the worldwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals grows as well. While some countries like Russia and China invest deeply in nurturing cybersecurity talent through state-funded education, many nations are without dedicated programs. Trellix sought to understand education levels and found over half (56%) believe that degrees aren’t needed for a successful career in cybersecurity. The survey also found:   

  • Support for development of skills (85%) and the pursuit of certifications (80%) were selected as highly or extremely important factors for the industry to expand the workforce.  
  • Employers could be doing more to encourage community mentoring programs with a presence in K-12 schools (94%). 
  • Areas most likely to attract people to cybersecurity included efforts to promote the soulfulness of cybersecurity careers (43%), encouragement of STEM students considering cybersecurity careers (41%), and more financial support for students in cybersecurity career paths (39%). 

Diversity Drives Better Outcomes. Of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed, 78% are male, 64% white and 89% straight, and a large majority of respondents (91%) believe there needs to be wider efforts to grow the cybersecurity talent pool from diverse groups. When it comes to encouraging more people to consider a career in cybersecurity, respondents reported inclusivity and equality for women (79%), diversity of the cybersecurity workforce (77%) and pay gaps between different demographic groups (72%) as highly or extremely important factors for the industry to address. Additional findings include:   

  • Most respondents (92%) believe greater mentorship, internships, and apprenticeships would support participation of workers from diverse backgrounds into cybersecurity roles.  
  • 85% believe individuals are discouraged from entering the profession simply because they lack perspective into the field’s various potential roles and opportunities for upward mobility. 
  • 94% of those surveyed believe their employers could be doing more to consider employees from non-traditional cybersecurity backgrounds and 45% report having previously worked in other careers. 

Cybersecurity is Soulful Work. The survey found the vast majority (94%) believe the role of those working in cybersecurity is greater now than ever before and a similar amount (92%) report cybersecurity as purposeful, soulful work that motivates them. However, cybersecurity professionals are hungry for recognition, with 36% noting they feel a lack of acknowledgement for the good done for society. Of those looking to leave the field, 12% say it is due to lack of feeling appreciated. The survey discovered:

  • More than half (52%) report working within cybersecurity because it’s progressive, evolving and they enjoy exploring challenging new trends.  
  • 41% report cybersecurity is continuously growing in relevancy and roles will always be accessible as a reason for staying in the profession.  
  • Around one in five (19%) note they value doing something to help society for the greater good. 

On Tuesday, June 7, Trellix CEO Bryan Palma will deliver a keynote, “Soulless to Soulful: Security’s Chance to Save Tech,” at the RSA Conference in San Francsico, Calif. Palma will address the growing cybersecurity talent gap while providing recommendations to build a larger, stronger cybersecurity workforce. RSA Conference attendees can attend the address at 10:50 a.m. PDT at the Moscone Convention Center West Hall, others can view virtually or on-demand.   

The talent gap survey follows the release of Trellix’s In the Crosshairs: Organisations and Nation-State Cyber Threats report which found organisations report limited cybersecurity talent as the greatest barrier to protecting themselves against nation-state cyber threats. Trellix also recently published Path to Cyber Readiness – Preparation, Perception and Partnership, which cited 49% of U.S. government agencies felt their internal cyber security skills were inadequate.

Additional Resources

·      Blog: Trellix Survey Findings: A Closer Look at the Cyber Talent Gap

·      (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 2021

About Trellix 

Trellix is a global company redefining the future of cybersecurity. The company’s open and native extended detection and response (XDR) platform helps organisations confronted by today’s most advanced threats gain confidence in the protection and resilience of their operations. Trellix’s security experts, along with an extensive partner ecosystem, accelerate technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower over 40,000 business and government customers. More at https://trellix.com

About Vanson Bourne 

Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis is founded upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. 

For more information visit www.vansonbourne.com



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