I am sure, like us, you find yourself discussing issues and concerns around cyber skills shortages on a regular basis. For us, it is conversations with our partners around skills gaps faced by their clients, and the ability to consistently keep up with demand. We addressed the same topic over 12 months ago, and we now find ourselves no further forward and with the added impact of a global pandemic, leaving the cyber channel with both an opportunity and a challenge.
So, what seems to be the problem?
A recent Government cybersecurity skills gap study has reported that half (about 680,000) of UK businesses have a shortage of staff with basic cyber skills and often do not have the internal resource to manage many critical cyber functions such as configuring systems, securely storing data, or detecting and removing malware. In addition, more than 40% of businesses are not confident with GRC and developing policies and more than 30% are not confident they could deal with a breach.
Many firms are struggling to retain existing staff, with employees citing lack of career development opportunities and being severely stretched as real issues, or they are lured away by better pay and benefits elsewhere.
At the same time companies are finding it difficult to fill security roles, as candidates lack either experience or specialist technical skills, which indicates that employers need to invest more in training and upskilling staff, rather than try to find candidates with the exact skill set to match unrealistic job descriptions.
Evidently the current cyber skills shortage is having a significant impact, with many organisations leaving themselves hugely exposed to the risks of a security breach. If the issues that have been raised are not addressed the cyber skills shortage is only likely to get worse, as demand for security talent far outweighs supply.
First of all, it’s not all doom and gloom. Things are looking more positive for the future with the recent introduction of the UK Cyber Security Council to provide access to training and guidance, attract talent, and drive-up standards, as well as the NCSC’s CyberFirst scheme that includes financial support for undergraduates, a degree apprenticeship scheme, and free online courses for young people.
In the meantime, companies that are experiencing issues with a shortage of suitably qualified cyber staff will be reaching out to the channel for support and outsourcing to a third party that can provide the necessary specialist capabilities. Not only can partner frameworks and relationships enable the required expertise to be sourced quickly via an existing supply chain, but it is often a very cost-effective method with resource available on either a dedicated or fractional basis.
Whatever the requirements of the organisation, the channel will be front and centre in providing solutions. CBG is certainly ready, willing, and able to continue supporting our partners in this area. So, no matter what you are seeing from your clients, CBG’s comprehensive range of People Services can help fill the gaps as and when required.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kathryn Miller, Business Operations Director
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