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Cybersecurity Skills Gap 2024: Key Needs for Tomorrow’s Workforce

The cybersecurity skills gap is predicted to grow in the coming years. As a result, it is a significant concern for business owners. According to reports, it is estimated that there will be 1,800,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2024. This presents several challenges to the workforce of tomorrow. 

Organizations are increasingly looking at training programs and hiring more graduates with the correct skillset. Companies are also increasing their investment in cyber security solutions that can help them detect data breaches sooner.

The next generation of workers will need to have specialized knowledge about cyber threats and combat them. The Cybersecurity talent gap is an industry crisis, and the workforce must have a great skill set to stay competitive in the industry. This blog post will explore the critical needs for tomorrow’s workforce in Cybersecurity!

How to Bridge the Skill Gap for Tomorrow’s Workforce?

The National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) predicts that there will be 1.8 million unfilled jobs by 2024. The right security-oriented culture in an organisation can significantly mitigate significant cybersecurity risks. Here is how you can help your workforce:

1. Invest in Employee Training Programs

The Fortinet survey finds that 68% of organisations struggle to recruit, hire, and retain cybersecurity talent. One way of closing the skill gap of the workforce is by investing in employee training programs for people who are not working in the field. The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity emphasises future cybersecurity challenges and groom the next generation of cybersecurity talent through training programs. 

Training programs will help fill this skills gap by teaching students about best practices in the industry. An employee training program will:

  • Build a stronger workforce 
  • Better protect valuable data 
  • Bridge the cybersecurity skills gap
  • Provide hands-on experience for new employees
  • Maintain employee development and employee retention

Employee training programs are a great way to train your staff members through various methods so that there are always qualified workers available when needed. 

2. Offer Cybersecurity Awareness

To ensure Cybersecurity for the future, we need to take action now and make cybersecurity awareness a priority. Cybersecurity awareness programs must be engaging and interactive for employees of all levels. According to recent studies, this will help increase cybersecurity knowledge to protect their networks from cyberattacks better.

Rockwell Automation, a Global Leader in Industrial Automation, formed an information-sharing group. The group is meant for cybersecurity awareness with strategic customers and subject matter experts in it. Information sharing and awareness talks can build your workforce efficiently. Also, IBM is introducing a “new collar” approach to address the cybersecurity skills gap. 

Another most prominent challenge is that cybersecurity experts are retiring, and there’s not enough cybersecurity awareness to fill their shoes. To help meet this demand and ensure understanding in the workforce, organisations must keep cybersecurity awareness programs frequently according to changing trends.  

3.Enrol in Cybersecurity Certification Courses 

Cyber security certification courses are a great way to make sure you are prepared for this ever-changing field. There are many Cybersecurity Certification Courses available now that offer training in this area. These courses will provide you with the skills needed to take up one of these cybersecurity jobs. An IT training center with EC Council approval will help you enroll in cybersecurity certification courses. In addition, cybersecurity Certification Courses teach students how to respond to cybersecurity threats, identify vulnerabilities, protect data from theft or damage, and more. Some popular certifications are:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): The CEH program includes training in detecting and mitigating risks by using the latest hacking tools and techniques. The course teaches techniques for finding vulnerabilities in software systems like Microsoft Windows, Linux, Android OS and Apple iOS. 
  • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA): This certification validates an individual’s skills in the areas of Network Security, Compliance and Operations, Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures, Computer Forensics and Investigations. The program has been designed to provide students with the knowledge to identify their organisation’s security needs through risk assessment, policy development, cryptography, and network infrastructure protection.
  • Certified Network Defender (CND): Certified Network Defender (CND) certification is an advanced level of cyber security training that focuses on preventing, detecting, and responding to network attacks. The certification provides a framework for understanding how networks work and what can protect them from hackers. Certified Network Defenders are essential assets in any business because they have the skills needed to identify weaknesses in their company’s network defenses before an attack occurs. 
  •  Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst (CTIA): The Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst certification teaches individuals how to identify risk factors and interpret threat intelligence. It includes aspects related to hacking techniques, malware, system vulnerabilities, incident response procedures, social engineering methods used by hackers. This certification will help protect your business against attacks like ransomware or phishing scams, which are some of the most significant ways cybercriminals steal money from their victims.
  • Certified Penetration Testing Professional (CPENT): The CPENT Certification is designed to provide information security professionals with hands-on experience in penetrating and defending networks. This certification will help you understand how attackers think and do and teach you how to defend against them. The CPENT exam covers information gathering, network surveillance, vulnerability mapping, exploitation techniques and much more.
  • Advanced Penetration Testing (APT): Advanced Penetration Testing certification is an advanced course on penetration testing for those experienced in the field. Advanced Penetration Testing certification provides you with the knowledge and skills to conduct advanced penetration tests, like those performed by security professionals who specialize in testing the effectiveness of IT infrastructure. The course will teach you how to use various attack vectors to identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited for information gathering, data destruction, or denial of service attacks.
  • Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO): The Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO) certification is a globally recognized credential for executives responsible for information security. The CCISO certification was created by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). With this certification, you will demonstrate your knowledge and experience in all aspects of cybersecurity. The exam covers topics like Access Control Systems; Network Devices; Cloud Computing; Information Security Governance & Risk Management; Cryptography and more!
  • Certified Blockchain Professional (CBP): Certified Blockchain Professional (CBP) certification is a new credential introduced by IBM to help professionals understand the complexities of blockchain. The CBP certification program will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of distributed ledger technologies, consensus mechanisms, and other vital concepts.
  • Certified Network Defender (CNDA): The CNDA course prepares students with comprehensive knowledge of network security concepts and skills necessary to defend against cyber-attacks. The CNDA certification is a new and innovative way for IT professionals to prove their skills in the cyber security field. The CNDA exam has been designed by leading cybersecurity experts and offers candidates an opportunity to get certified. 

The Fortinet survey reports that technology-focused certification can help bridge the gap. They said that 82% of organisations prefer to hire credentials and 63% benefit from accreditation. 

4. Enrol in Hands-On Security Training

One solution to bridge the skill gap of the workforce is to provide hands-on training for people interested in getting into the industry. Hands-on security programs are already being developed worldwide, and there is an increase in employment opportunities for those who enrol. Apart from freshers, the growing need for hands-on security training will benefit investigators, vulnerability analysts, network engineers, malware analysts/reverse engineers, information security administrators/specialists and incident responders/forensics experts. 

Hands-on training programs are not only for those currently working in the cybersecurity field but have potential and interest in becoming a part of the sector. The goal of the program is to develop and promote talent within cyber fields. Among the collaboration with educators to teach cyber security roles, more prominent organisations like IBM have taken the step to create more security products and solutions for clients. 

5. Develop Foundational Cybersecurity Skills

Apart from the technical program learning, a candidate must also have solid soft skills and cybersecurity skills essential for the future. There are few people with the right soft skills to fill all the open positions in this field. Companies need to take time and invest in training employees on new soft skills, even if they don’t have an extensive background in Cybersecurity. The most important soft skills for a cybersecurity professional are: 

  • Good communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Quick learning skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Observation skills

6. Develop Technical Skills

Yes, there is a vast prominence for technical skills. One has to be updated and always be aware of the new things happening in the cyberworld. Here are the most sought after technical skills required for a cybersecurity professional:

  • Technical skills: Technical skills of the workforce include knowledge of the management of operating systems and visualisation software. Antivirus and security analysis, risk analysis and mitigation are also essential technical knowledge. 
  • Cloud Security Skills: Many companies cannot find qualified candidates to fill their staffing needs with an increased demand for cloud security skills. As more organisations switch to cloud-based systems, they need professionals to protect their data and networks from cyber-attacks. 
  • Computer Forensics Skills: The demand for computer forensics experts will continue to grow in response, but there are only 30,000 individuals with the knowledge and experience. Employers need to train their staff on computer forensics skills to bridge this gap and meet the future demands of security initiatives.
  • Programming Skills: Companies are looking for new ways to protect their data with limited resources with major hacks like Equifax and Yahoo. The best way to solve this issue is by educating more young people about programming languages like Python and Java. 

To Conclude

Lack of education in schools and universities, lack of cyber security awareness and the ageing workforce are the primary reasons for the skills gap in the cybersecurity sector. In an ever-evolving digital world, the cybersecurity skills gap continues to be a pressing issue for organisations. However, an organisation’s workforce can attain the required skill set to bridge this gap with appropriate guidance and training sessions!

Also Read: Why Cybersecurity is Important for Businesses

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