Cybersecurity Worker Shortages Being Matter of National and Economic Security
Pepperdine Graziadio’s Information Systems and Technology Management Professor Charla Griffy-Brown was featured in an Enterprise Security article as she highlighted the urgent need for more cybersecurity professionals in the country’s technological landscape.
“Enterprise security firms, government and education need to work together to deliver a more comprehensive approach,” said Griffy-Brown.
The scarcity of workers presents a multifaceted geopolitical, economic, and social program – it must be addressed with greater urgency through a comprehensive approach. I believe there are three areas in which the U.S. can close the gap in cybersecurity worker shortage:
First, enterprise security firms must be at the forefront of training professionals in critical cyber security areas. They can play a critical role in conducting boot camps in partnership with universities, granting micro-credentials for college graduates who want to reskill, ore recruiting and training professionals who do not want to, or cannot take a traditional college pathway. Students in high school can learn cybersecurity approaches that enable them to enter the workforce, gain on-the-job experience and receive employer-supported, college-level training.
Second, the federal government has a critical role in training cybersecurity professionals through programs like cybercareers.gov. One area in which the federal government could lead the way is in recruiting more women to the workforce. In 2021, women represented just 25% of the global cybersecurity workforce. A survey commissioned by Microsoft Security found that, while 83% of respondents believed there was an opportunity for women in cybersecurity, only 44% of female respondents felt sufficiently represented in the industry. If the federal government made inroads in training, as well as hiring female cybersecurity experts, it could close the job gap considerably.
Third, higher education is also on the hook. In addition to a scarcity of high-wage entry and mid-level jobs in cybersecurity, there is a skills shortage at the manager and senior levels. A report from cybersecurity research firm Stott and May revealed that most cybersecurity leaders are struggling with a skills shortage. The research report “Cybersecurity in Focus 2020” reported that 76% of respondents believe there is a shortage of cybersecurity skills in their organization, which represents and improvement when compared to 2019 (88%). These shortage numbers are only amplified given the increasing attack surface and amplified cyber-criminal activity in 2022. MBA and other post-graduate programs must play a role in filling the management gap by increasing certificates, micro-credentials and degree programs tied to IT and cybersecurity.
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