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Bridging the Cyber Security Skills Gap in 2020

Bridging the Cyber Security Skills Gap in 2020

Cybersecurity refers to the techniques of protecting computers, networks, and programs from unauthorized access aimed to extort money or leak data. The OWASP Top 10 refers to the top application security issues businesses face today. The prevalence of cyber warfare has become more important than ever.

There were numerous top-level cyber breaches this year that not only exposed confidential information but also cost millions of dollars to several organizations. At the same time, the shortage of talented cybersecurity workers has become a big concern for every organization.

Cyber security skills gap is increasing

A survey conducted by ESG in 2018-2019 revealed that 53% of organizations are facing a cybersecurity shortage.

As a result, the current cybersecurity professionals are facing serious pressure from their employers. However, companies have started to figure out different solutions to handle this. One of the solutions is broadening the talent pool by giving proper training to new employees.

Even Government organizations have also started taking measures to develop a skilled cybersecurity workforce for the future.

Why cyber security experts are in demand?

Cybersecurity experts help businesses develop new ways to combat cyber threats. They are also the go-to person in case of phishing, spamming, or other information security breaches.

They do this in various ways such as monitoring systems and networks for attempted breaches (both of the organization and outside the organization) and probing for weaknesses in the current system. They also keep an eye on the recent cyber-attacks to prepare a strategy to protect their organization from similar threats.

Email is the top channel for data breaches. With a cleverly crafted email, cyber criminals convince users to share confidential credentials or install malware. Additionally, they use the name of any top executive of the organization to make the email look legit.

Count of Data Breaches


Most of the cybercriminals target low-level employees to get into the network, therefore, it is important to educate them about the possibilities of cyberattacks and how to tackle them.

Moreover, you also need to educate them about what to do in case they feel like they have been a victim of cyber-attack or if they have installed the malware in the organization’s system by mistake.

A cybersecurity expert can do all of that for you. Most MNCs have a team of cybersecurity experts who educate other employees about cyber threat possibilities and how to tackle them.

Taking collective responsibility

The responsibility for bridging the cybersecurity skills gap does not fall to a single party (i.e. employers). We as individuals should also work towards it. Since it is one of the higher-paying careers in the world, it is a win-win situation for both the employees and employers. Usually, cybersecurity professionals earn $12,700 more per year when compared with other IT workers, as cited by Maryville University.

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Starting a career in cyber security

Before you learn how to secure programs and networks, you need to learn how each of them works. If you’ve any experience in the below-mentioned fields, then it would be a little easier for you.

  • Systems administrator
  • Database administrator
  • Web administrator
  • Web developer
  • Network administrator
  • IT technician
  • Security administrator
  • Network engineer
  • Computer software engineer

Joining a course to learn about cybersecurity in detail would not only equip you with the required skill set but it will also make your resume stronger. In fact, 35% of security jobs require industry certification.

Choosing expertise is equally important. There are four popular security courses and you might need to complete a course to become successful in it.

To work as a cybersecurity professional one of the key requirements is a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science or a related field. However, if you have enrolled in a different field, you must try to gain equivalent experience with relevant industry certifications.

Security architect

As a security architect, you will need to create complex security structures and make sure that it functions properly. To start a career in cybersecurity as a security architect, you can:

  • Join an organization as a security administrator or network administrator and work until you get promoted to a security engineer or analyst.
  • Take professional cybersecurity training and obtain accredited security certifications.
  • Use the experience to enter a security architect role.
Security consultant

As a security consultant, you will need to help organizations in protecting and securing their data. To start a career in cybersecurity as a security consultant, you can:

  • Pursue an entry-level job in general IT or security
  • Earn a mid-level role as a security administrator or engineer or analyst
  • Join relevant cybersecurity training to master your skills
  • Use the certifications and skills to enter an organization as a security consultant
Penetration tester / ethical hacker

Penetration tester or ethical hacker is responsible for looking for weaknesses in the current system. To join as a penetration tester, you can:

  • Join an entry-level role as a security administrator or network engineer
  • Master specialized ethical hacking skills with proper training and certifications
  • Design and implement your learnings after discussing it with management and IT teams
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

A CISO is responsible for building security teams and manage all initiatives related to an organization’s security. You can join an MBA or obtain certifications with an IT security and/or management focus to enter a management position overseeing a security team. Also, you must have at least 7 to 12 years of experience to become a CISO.

Future of cybersecurity

As mentioned above, cybersecurity jobs are on the rise and it doesn’t seem like the demand will decrease any time in the foreseeable future. In fact, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021.

Final thoughts

Cyber-attacks and breaches are increasing day by day. No country or organization or individual with an online presence is immune to cyber-attacks.

Educating employees and offering advanced training can help organizations close the cybersecurity skills gap. Individuals looking for a high-paying and secure career can sharpen their cybersecurity skills and start their career in it.


Staff Writer at CPO Magazine

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