Managing talent shortages in data security
Prior to the pandemic, the IT field was already experiencing a shortage of cybersecurity skills and struggling to fill in the gaps. The evolving patterns of remote work, along with the sophistication of cyber criminals, have only exacerbated the challenges. Trust issues can arise for organizations bringing freelancers aboard, outsiders who will be handling sensitive security issues. Perhaps they haven’t received the exact training pertinent to your company’s security structure, or perhaps it’s more difficult to monitor activity among a diaspora. Either way, comfort levels may be lacking with this new work pattern.
Comfort goes both ways, of course. Both the complexity of their tasks, and the responsibility that comes with keeping data secure, can make cybersecurity jobs stressful. And even if news headlines focus on the organization as a whole or executive culpability in the event of a breach, internally the hammer often falls hardest on the security division. Small wonder there is burnout.
Another challenge is that the attack surface for a company’s network grows exponentially with each new computer, each new device that connects from someone’s home or Starbucks, stressing the talent shortage further. After all, the set of skills that data security experts need to do their jobs are not mundane, but require specialized education and ability in the field. Nevertheless, the effort to shore up all the weak spots, as well as combat the bad actors out there, is still often perceived as solely an IT problem, rather than something that affects and must be dealt with by the organization as a whole. Across all levels, it is imperative that everyone is integrated into the overarching data security strategy: one direction, with everyone moving accordingly as one.
For better or worse, solutions to these issues haven’t changed much over time. Along with integration, training and education of all employees, not just dedicated cybersecurity staff, remains a solid defensive measure. Another point, which Security Boulevard raises, is to include more educators on the team, who can help train others. Developers knowing how to spot and avoid vulnerabilities in code, for example, is a beneficial factor.
Filling in the gaps will likely remain a challenge for companies in the future, whatever the realities of work and commuting end up becoming. Take advantage of any and all opportunities to maintain a well-trained staff, integrated as a vital part of the organizational framework in order to be successful in information security.