Bridging the Gap Between Vacant Cybersecurity Jobs and Candidates Who Need Training

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According to the global Fortinet 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report organizations surveyed say that the cybersecurity skills gap has contributed to 80% of their documented breaches. Clearly, the cyber talent shortage is severely hampering business productivity and progress. The survey of organizations highlighted in the Fortinet report also reveals that globally 64% of organizations have experienced breaches that resulted in loss of revenue, recovery costs, and/or fines.

It’s no wonder that the lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals has become a major concern for leaders everywhere. The lack of cyber skills across the workforce is having many negative effects on organizations, including damage to their reputations and financial losses.

More Stats to Contend With

The cybersecurity workforce needs to expand by 65% to adequately defend organizations. This is a fact according to the (ISC)2 2021 Cyber Workforce Report. While the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs went down around 400,000 in 2021, there are still 2.72 million unfilled positions that need individuals with the appropriate cybersecurity skills. This is still a significant void in skills that leaves organizations around the world ill-prepared against cybercrime threats. Something must be done to address this shortage of qualified cybersecurity personnel or the working world will face the future shorthanded and very vulnerable to attacks from aggressive and evolving cybercriminal.

The global 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report also found that 60% of executives surveyed confessed that their organizations are struggling to recruit qualified individuals as well as hang on to current cybersecurity staff. The competition for the cybersecurity talent to fill critical roles ranging from cloud security specialists to SOC analysts is so fierce that more than half (52%) of the same surveyed executives say they are having significant trouble retaining their valuable employees.

What the Numbers Tell Us

The Fortinet skills gap research also indicates that globally 70% of leaders see the recruitment of women as a hurdle, 71% find recruiting new graduates as challenging and 61% say hiring minorities is difficult. All organizations should be focused on developing better ways to recruit women, new graduates, and minorities.

Growing the candidate pool for filling cybersecurity openings by proactively pursuing those in under-represented communities is an excellent method for bridging the gap. The report provides evidence that organizations are doing more than just providing lip service to building more diverse teams:

  • 89% of the surveyed companies have explicit diversity goals as part of their hiring strategy.
  • 75% of these organizations have formal structures to specifically recruit more women.
  • 59% of these organizations have strategies in place to hire minorities.
  • 51% of these organizations are focused on hiring more veterans.

In addition to proactively recruiting individuals from under-represented communities, providing training and certifications is another method for expanding the cybersecurity candidate pool. The report also reveals that offering employees continuing education and rewarding them for their efforts are effective ways for organizations to counteract the skills gap. The report says that:

  • 95% of the surveyed organizations believe technology-focused certifications have a positive impact.
  • 81% of these organizations prefer to hire people with certifications.
  • 91% of respondents said they are willing to pay for an employee to receive cybersecurity certifications. 

Something Must Be Done

Fortinet is committed to addressing the problems outlined in the skills gap report. The Fortinet Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs are initiatives focused on educating anyone who is exploring a career change and helping current cybersecurity professionals, who want to expand their knowledge base, achieve certifications. As part of this commitment, we have pledged to train one million professionals by 2026 in cyber skills and awareness. Key to achieving this goal is recruiting more women into the cybersecurity industry.

Fortinet is preparing the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow through our various Fortinet Training Institute programs, including the award-winning NSE Certification program. The Fortinet Training Institute relies on public and private partnerships to help address the skills gap by increasing the access and reach of its cybersecurity certifications and training. For example, we work with organizations like the World Economic Forum on the most pressing cybersecurity issues. Other partnerships include leaders in industry, academia, government, and nonprofits to reach as many interested parties as possible and help remove the wedges issues that create the cybersecurity skills gap.


Learn more about the Fortinet free cybersecurity training initiative and Fortinet’s Training Institute, including the NSE Certification programAcademic Partner program, and Education Outreach program which includes a focus on Veterans.




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