The Cybersecurity Skills Shortage: Threat AND Opportunity for IT?

RET_005To paraphrase iconic singer/songwriter Donovan Leitch, who borrowed the idea from a Buddhist saying, “First, there is a cybersecurity skills shortage, then there is no shortage, then there is.”

A recent Computerworld article highlighted a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) blog post, in which a DHS official argued that the much-publicized cybersecurity skills shortage is a myth.

In that post, the DHS official offered as evidence the 14,000 applicants, including 2,000 walk-ins, who attended a DHS job fair last July. “[W]hile not all of them were qualified, we continue to this day to hire from the wealth of talent made available as a result of our hiring event. The amount of talent available to hire was so great, we stayed well into the night interviewing potential employees.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Computerworld article contrasts DHS’s interpretation of its job fair experience with the findings of numerous others outside of government. “For instance, a report released one day before the government’s job fair in July, Intel Security, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), pointed to a ‘talent shortage crisis’ of cybersecurity skills.”

Of course, the question isn’t whether there is or is not a cybersecurity skills shortage. The real question is, how can your company avoid the negative effects of such a shortage, now or in the future?

If skills are the question, technology is the answer

The right combination of skills, technologies, and processes can maximize the business value of the skills already in place at your organization. That combination can also help your organization to deal with any difficulties in expanding your cybersecurity team, by instead expanding the reach of the people you already have and the knowledge and experience they possess.

These benefits are equally applicable beyond cybersecurity. Technologies and processes that automate mundane tasks effectively and enable well-managed collection, sharing, and application of knowledge can aid your organization’s IT asset management (ITAM), IT service management (ITSM), and other efforts as well.

However, given the highly publicized challenges and risks associated with ransomware and other cybersecurity threats, cybersecurity may be the starting point that delivers the most benefits soonest.

LANDESK, AppSense, and Shavlik solutions—and the skills and experience of their developers, resellers, and partners—can help you to ensure that your business can do business safely and efficiently. No matter how the availability of skilled, experienced personnel may ebb and flow. Visit us online, or contact your representative, to begin implementing the solutions and processes that protect and enable your people and your business.