Global cybersecurity skills shortage incoming, committee warns Britain’s House of Lords

A special Parliamentary Select Committee has told peers in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords that there will be a global shortage of ” no less than two million cybersecurity professionals” by the year 2017, IT Pro Portal reports.

This cybersecurity skills shortage seems to be triggered by the small number of university leavers entering the field, with just 0.6 percent of those graduating from 2012-13 choosing a career in cyber security.

“The money is there, the careers are there, and on face of it should be popular choice. But there’s a gap,” Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge, explained. With the internet essential for the majority of personal and professional activities, the gap between the numbers required in cybersecurity, and the number actually entering it is becoming a serious concern. “We don’t have sufficiently number of skilled people to do that protection piece; there aren’t enough people with those skills,” Daman added.

SC Magazine reports that speakers were particularly concerned with the shortage, given the “rapid rate” cybercrime is growing at. “I think that it’s a challenge for all of us. If you look at the landscape the last few years you’ve seen more sophisticated targeted attacks with a different number of motives and from a variety of sources,” said Nick Coleman, global head of cyber intelligence at IBM Service.

The experts seemed to be in agreement that a greater emphasis on security issues within school and university courses was imperative in order to close the gap in the long run, but some highlighted retraining as a possible short term solution, with “no obvious pathway” into the industry as things stand. “In many ways it’s the career transitional that can fill our shortage,” Daman explained.

National Audit statistics states that the cybersecurity skills gap “could take 20 years to rectify,” according to SC Magazine.

Author , ESET

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