Bridging the cybersecurity skills gap

Bridging the cybersecurity skills gap

The escalation in cybercrime is creating an unprecedented need for tech professionals with the cybersecurity skills and talent to respond to the ongoing threat. In the UK alone, supply continues to outstrip demand as 1.5 million jobs are predicted to be vacant globally by 2019, according to Indeed.

As well as the ongoing requirement for hard-to-source skills, the GDPR also places greater pressure and accountability on UK businesses to strengthen their security networks. From May 2018, employers will be required to ensure that all data breaches are notified to affected parties within 72 hours of the breach being identified. Failure to comply risks your business being exposed to significant fines.

In addition to creating a robust hiring process, HR has a key role to play in the adoption of effective policies relating to cybersecurity and exposure to data breaches. The majority of data breaches involve security issues, such as viruses, malware or spyware or fraudulent e-mails sent to employees. However, a ‘sizeable proportion’ of UK employers still don’t have basic protection against cybercrime and only one third have a company policy relating to the risks.

In order to address this issue, the recruitment of cybertalent is becoming critical.
The following strategies are among those explored in our new eBook in more detail

Tap into the UK’s cybertalent pool

A new report suggests that the UK has the third largest cybersecurity talent pool in the world, after India and the US (Capgemini, Cybersecurity Talent: The Big Gap in Cyber Protection, February 2018). Tapping into that talent requires an understanding of the challenges that are preventing you from attracting talent. An ATS can help your business to identify those issues and streamline your hiring process.


Identify people with transferable skills within your pipeline

Consider candidates with transferable skills, including problem solving and numerical ability, for your cybersecurity vacancies. Again, your ATS can screen candidates based on your specified criteria.

Creating a better retention strategy

Recruiting cybertalent is the first step but cybersecurity specialists are on the receiving end of approaches from employers and recruiters on a daily basis. Creating a robust retention strategy is essential to hold on to your new hires. Ongoing learning and development opportunities coupled with flexible working and a clear and open path for career progression are vital to retaining your cybertalent. This is especially important for millennials with cybersecurity skills who highlight a lack of career progression as their number one cause for concern in their job search.

Strengthen your digital capabilities

The digital skills gap costs the UK an estimated £63 billion per year yet investing in skills training remains underfunded:

  • One fifth of employees lack basic IT skills (Advorto, HR in Crisis: Planning for the Skills Shortage, 25th August 2017)
  • Over half of employees believe that the lack of digital skills is their biggest challenge facing them in their job.
  • One third of employees aren’t provided with digital training yet the UK had the lowest ranking in a table of 19 countries covering computer problem solving skills.

Strengthening the digital capabilities of your existing employees will also help to improve engagement and build a positive employer brand.

Your ability to attract talent to your brand and respond effectively to the growing cyberthreat are inextricably linked. Discover the vital role HR has to play.

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