A career in cyber security: how to attract the best talents?

Cybercrime is considered the biggest emerging threat of the 21st century. It costs the global economy at least $450 billion every year. This impressive number clearly indicates that something has to be done.

The main problem governments and enterprises always face is the lack of cyber security professionals. Technologies are developing and advancing at breakneck speed so it is quite difficult to keep up with the changes or better yet, to stay one step ahead. To fill demand in this increasingly challenging field we need more highly skilled specialists.

The shortage of security staff is very acute today thus many companies are simply unprepared for cyber threats. According to Rodney Peterson, director of NICE, there are more than 200,000 unfilled cyber security positions only in the USA. This problem has also been highlighted within European Cyber Security Month. The conclusion that can be drawn is that the issue of skills shortage is totally global and truly troubling. So what efforts should be made by employers to bring in new IT talents?

Some companies have already realized the importance of having a cyber security strategy to respond to potential threats. Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half, says that “in order to successfully confront a proliferating breed of cyber attackers, companies need skilled IT talent who understand the current and evolving cyber threat environment.” Employers should depart from the traditional requirements and ways of searching for security talents. They need to change their strategies and recognize that there are new, alternative skills and modern ways to validate them. Potential employees should also be prepared for the competitive cyber security labor market and know how to demonstrate their experience. For this, young people should seek internships, university security courses and trainings, paid competitions or volunteering which can give the necessary experience and eventually lead to a cyber security position.

And the cyber security world is gradually getting the idea. For example, in the UK there is a government sponsored initiative called National Cyber Centre or Cyber Security Challenge competitions and programs where participants can interact and game in a virtual space. It is designed to spot talented individuals and gives a better overview of the cyber security career. There is also a Cyber Boot Camp run in California where students receive intense education in cyber security.

It could therefore be concluded that with those steps being made and employers recognizing and valuing skills and fresh insights, the career in cyber security is an exciting path with great job opportunities and rewarding experience.

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