Davos Debrief: Critical Shortage of Cybersecurity Talent

Staff Report

Friday, January 27th, 2023

 Organizations must adopt a multi-pronged approach involving new strategies and tactics to address the growing global shortage of cybersecurity professionals, according to CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.

The world's cyber workforce was among the issues discussed during the recent Cyber Future Dialogue 2023 in Davos, SwitzerlandGordon Pelosse, senior vice president, employer engagement, CompTIA, was among the dozens of executives participating in the conference.

"The cybersecurity workforce problem is real and is being felt globally," Pelosse said. "Every company is scrambling for talent, knowledge and solutions in an ever-evolving environment."

 "The discussion on the cyber workforce elicited a wide range of views; from there is nothing that can be done to leave it to technology to solve," Pelosse continued. "This view is wishful thinking, hoping we can one day automate our way out of this talent shortage. Automation holds promise, but requires human reasoning, strategic decision-making, design, support, and intervention to remediate many of the evolving attacks we see today."

Creating a multi-faceted approach to building or expanding a cybersecurity workforce requires organizations to meld current practices with new thinking. The most expedient solution is to look at the tech talent that they already employ.

"If you have skilled and experienced network administrators and engineers, systems administrators or others that understand the fundamentals of IT and networking, upskilling these individuals into cybersecurity roles may be the best immediate solution to fill these positions," Pelosse said.

Employers must also expand the pool of candidates they are willing to recruit from. While college is an excellent choice for many people, it is not for everyone.

"Boot camps, technical training classes, self-paced study, industry certifications and other methods can produce excellent candidates for cybersecurity roles and other technology positions without the need for an advanced academic degree," Pelosse noted.

CompTIA's latest "State of Cybersecurity" report found that the general state of cybersecurity is making relatively slow progress. Especially in more developed regions, few individuals believe that there is dramatic improvement being made. In most cases, nearly the same percentage of people believe that the situation is getting worse. Nearly everyone feels that there is room for improvement."

A high degree of cooperation among employers, industries, education and training organizations and others is needed to address these challenges.

"With its global presence and history of facilitating collaborative solutions to common problems, CompTIA is uniquely positioned to address cybersecurity workforce challenges," Pelosse concluded.