3 steps to smarter cybersecurity hiring and team building

Amid the global cybersecurity skills shortage, organizations and security leaders must shift their hiring and team development approach to have fewer barriers, be more diverse, and take the long view.

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A global cybersecurity skills shortage continues to plague the industry. An estimated three million-plus cybersecurity roles are unfilled across the globe. That gap is unlikely to shrink without intervention from hiring companies and CISOs. Organizations and security leaders must therefore adopt smarter approaches to hiring and team building.

That’s a notion put forward in a new report from the non-profit International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2. The 2021 Cybersecurity Career Pursuers Study details actionable steps for the staffing up of balanced and diverse cybersecurity teams, based on insight from more than 2000 individuals working in and pursuing a career in cyber across the US and Canada.

“The reality facing organizations today is that there are simply not enough skilled cybersecurity professionals to adequately defend their critical assets,” the study read. “Consequently, more organizations need to shift their mindset when it comes to recruiting for cybersecurity roles.” To that end, the report sets out a 10-point plan for smarter cybersecurity team building, outlining the key factors businesses should consider.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Department for Economy has announced a new project in partnership with cyber skills training provider Immersive Labs providing free access to an enterprise-grade cyber skills development platform for 16- to 25-year-olds who might not otherwise have been able to afford specialist training or education. The aim is to inject necessary skills into previously under-represented groups to prepare them for job opportunities in cybersecurity and help organizations in Northern Ireland hire more effectively.

“Development programs such as these afford young people from an array of backgrounds the opportunity to step onto the cyber career ladder, which will ultimately bolster the hiring pipeline, close the chronic skills gap and brighten the future of cybersecurity,” James Hadley, CEO and founder of Immersive Labs, tells CSO.

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