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COMMENT: The cybersecurity industry faces a worldwide shortage of almost 3 million staff

New research from (ISC)² – the world’s largest non-profit association of cybersecurity professionals – reveals a worldwide skills gap of 2.9 million. The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing the highest shortage, at 2.14 million, in part thanks to its growing economies and new cybersecurity and data privacy legislation being enacted throughout the region. North America has the next highest gap at 498,000, while EMEA and Latin America contribute 142,000 and 136,000 to the staffing shortfall, respectively. Ryan Farmer, Compliance Manager, Acumin Consulting, comments:

With such a broad statistic it’s important to contextualise and focus on the local rather than global. The 142,000 shortfall of security professionals in EMEA somewhat pales in comparison to those in Asia and the US.

The relatively small number is reflective of greater market maturity and stability across Europe. Although the gap may seem daunting, findings such as the fall in average age and the increase in women in the industry, reinforces the value of efforts already being made to tackle the general skills shortage and demographic imbalances.

The ongoing supply gap of cyber security personnel is a reminder of the importance of having a strong team retention and effective hiring processes. Measures such as tailoring roles and providing internal mentoring and training, are vital in both attracting and retaining staff. Visibility and proactivity in the market are a must for those organisations seeking to fill roles.

There are also lessons for jobseekers in how they manage their careers moves and development in such an opportunity-rich market. The support and advice of peer networks and mentors can be invaluable in maintaining a clear career path and focused development. Industry reports from reputable sources can also provide up to date insights into the impact of the skills gap in the market.

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