In What Ways Does Global Shortage of Cybersecurity Specialists Cost Businesses?

Michael Finnigan
Aug 26, 2019

Businesses face difficulties when it comes to hiring the right specialists to help them protect their networks from growing hacks and attacks. When surveyed, IT professionals said that lack of cybersecurity specialists was their most important challenge. In addition, the World Economic Forum ranked cybersecurity as one of the “top risks to stability in the world” in its 2019 list.

This lack of cybersecurity could cost mid-sized organizations and enterprises greatly. After 2017’s WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks, the threat of being victimized on the cyber scene has increased considerably, with over 4 billion records being compromised in data breaches. These attacks cost each organization an average of 3.86 million dollars. Large-scale breaches cost up to 350 million dollars (according to the Ponemon Institute).

As per the cybersecurity organization “ISC2”, there is a 3 million security experts shortage in the world, the most identified in Asia, with the region having 2.15 million vacancies. There is a lack of trained professionals to fill an array of essential cybersecurity roles, like intrusion analysis, security education, and threat and incident and risk management.

The Danger of Mistakes

Mistakes made by office staff also expose businesses to bigger risk nowadays. Deceitful phishing scams and suspicious e-mail attachments are at the top of the list, allowing hackers to get unauthorized access to computer networks. What swings the door open to cyber attackers is a lack of security experts to alert office staff of these scam tactics, as well as train them to identify them and avoid them.

The increase in the number of hacking attacks over the last decade is also one of the main risks for businesses. The ever-growing number of networks, as well as the use of cloud services, are music to the ears of many cyber criminals. Originally, cyberattacks were initiatives of individuals and amateurs, but now have increasingly become the result of state-sponsored cyber criminals, cyber-gangs, or even anarchists. Consequently, businesses trying to react effectively to these growing trends have been employing more and more cybersecurity professionals.

Training is a Solution

Of course, the shortage points to one obvious aspect of the issue: lack of adequate education to encourage people to think about cybersecurity as a career option. It is one of the popular fields for youngsters, but most of them are drawn to roles of app designers and developers because those have more glamour attached to them.

However, many initiatives are underway to address this issue. Thankfully, salaries for cybersecurity specialists are on the rise because their shortage makes them more sought-after. Supporting schools to pass on knowledge about prospects in the field is part of a good long-term strategy, which may yet produce positive outputs.