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Grow Your Way Out of Your Cybersecurity Skills Problem

Global Knowledge
  • Date: 03 October, 2018

“Cybersecurity is everywhere.”

Cybersecurity - Grow Your Way OutThat’s a quote from Dave Buster, Global Knowledge’s senior portfolio director for cybersecurity, from the Global Knowledge 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report.

And he’s right. Cybersecurity is the top technology investment area around the globe—with half of our survey respondents saying it’s a priority.

It’s no longer a niche skill—every IT professional needs some cybersecurity knowledge.

And while “cybersecurity is everywhere,” people with a strong security skillset aren’t everywhere … and that’s a growing problem.

Help wanted: Security professionals needed

More than 16,200 people took part in our IT Skills and Salary Survey, and 50% of them said cybersecurity is a top investment area.

The main reason it’s such a priority is because of a growing skills gap—there just aren’t enough cybersecurity professionals to fill the open positions.

“Companies thought they could hire their way out of the problem,” Buster said. “They just ended up hiring people away from each other.”

With low supply and high demand, cybersecurity salaries continue to rise while the industry skills shortage expands.

The real solution isn’t to hire; it’s to grow your way out of the problem. Organizations need to train their current IT people and train them into cybersecurity roles.

The industry is in a tough position. As cyberattacks escalate in scale and scope, a large number of professionals is needed and currently, there’s not enough people to do the job.

The highest-paying certifications in the industry

The cybersecurity skills shortage is bad news for organizations but good news for cybersecurity professionals, especially those who are certified.

Of the 20 top-paying certifications in our IT Skills and Salary Report, six are in cybersecurity:

Certification Average salary worldwide
CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional
CRISC - Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control
CISM - Certified Information Security Manager  $86,234 
CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker  $76,852 
CISA - Certified Information Systems Auditor  $75,300 
CompTIA Security+

The high salaries are indicative of a strong global need for security professionals. But tenure also plays a part. IT professionals tend to have several years of experience before moving into cybersecurity. Thus, they tend to make more. Overall, cybersecurity professionals have the highest global salaries in IT.

Certified security professionals are the real money-makers—their salaries are 15% more than the average certified IT professional in North America. Compared to non-certified individuals, security-certified professionals earn 41% more.

In particular, CISSP from (ISC)2 has been a consistently one of the top-paying certifications worldwide, as it validates years of experience and has become the de facto credential for cybersecurity managers.

Consumers aren’t willing to put their data at risk

Security breaches are becoming more rampant, but consumers aren’t willing to stand pat and risk hackers accessing their information. A recent analysis of worldwide identity and access management by the International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that 55% of consumers would switch platforms/providers due to the threat of a data breach, and 78% would switch if a breach impacted them directly.*

Organizations cannot afford to take cybersecurity lightly—it quite simply can lead to a loss of business. Customers are not taking chances with their data.

Don’t bank on your ability to hire a professional to swoop in and solve all cybersecurity problems. There just aren’t enough of them. And the seasoned cyber veterans are in serious demand—don’t be surprised if they leave your organization for a bigger payday.

Build your cyber workforce from the inside

To better prepare for cybersecurity needs, upskill your current personnel. For a typical IT employee, Cybersecurity Foundations is a great place to start. When that course is completed, those who are interested in shifting gears to cybersecurity can progress to more specialized cybersecurity certifications or skills courses. Visit our Cybersecurity Training Courses page for a complete listing of your options or call a training advisor to discuss your needs and goals.

The cybersecurity skills gap is real and it is growing. You can’t hire or outsource away your problems. Look within—current IT employees have the tenure and job experience needed to start a successful cybersecurity career.

* IDC, Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Identity and Access Management, 2018 — The State of Identity, Doc #US44260118, Sept. 2018

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