Cybersecurity is changing. It’s always changing, and it always will. What’s new is the COVID-induced, pressure cooker-type situation that we are currently in. Employees are working in an atypical environment, cybercriminals have increased the volume of attacks and amplified the complexity of attacks, and we are seeing a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. We share the same shiver that went down your spine.
Look, we are all living in a slightly atypical situation. The work scenario that we know from last year has shifted, which means a larger portion of the workforce is working from home. Although that may not sound like a challenging situation, it really poses some issues for the cybersecurity professionals within our organization. Their list of responsibilities has increased exponentially. Many businesses may not have been prepared to transition to a remote-work scenario. Employees may not know what cybersecurity rules apply at home. And, cybercriminals are capitalizing on the sudden shift. Yep, it’s atypical for employees, businesses, and the cybersecurity team trying to layer in as many protections as possible.
According to research executed by Arkose Labs, 445 million cyber-attacks have been detected since the beginning of 2020. And we just hit the half-way point in the year! Need a bit more data? A report from Varonis indicates that there are approximately 7 million data records compromised each day. Cyber-attacks are happening. They are happening more often, and cybercriminals are leveraging tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning to make the attacks more complex and less detectable.
Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals
Here’s the kicker with this scenario that we are in. In addition to the modified workforce, and the uptick in cyber-attacks, we are also starting to see a shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Consider these details:
- The current cybersecurity professional workforce is approximately 2.8 million people
- An additional 4.07 million professionals are required to close the gap of needed cybersecurity professionals
- From a percentage point of view, there needs to be an increase of 145% (globally) in the cybersecurity workforce
- The estimated number of cybersecurity positions that will likely be unfilled will grow to 3.5 million in 2021
These stats paint a pretty bleak picture.
What Organizations Can Do
Although it may feel like the deck is stacked against organizations. There are quite a few things that can be done to help prevent cyberattacks. They protect the cybersecurity professionals that may be on staff.
- Embody a cybersecurity mindset across the organization. Although an employee may not have a cybersecurity title, they can still play a significant role in cybersecurity. They can use strong passwords/passphrases, being skeptical of suspicious emails, and downloading the latest security updates and patches.
- Host cybersecurity training sessions frequently, and keep employees up-to-date on new forms of cyber-attacks and what to look for.
- Provide on-going training opportunities for your internal cybersecurity team.
- Invest in automation and machine learning cybersecurity technologies.
- When hiring, consider non-traditional backgrounds for cybersecurity positions.
- Augment their role with an outsourced IT team.
A Unicorn Is Hard To Find
Often times, organizations look for that one person that can do it all. Although those types of cybersecurity professionals exist, it may not be in the best interest of an organization to hire one, for various reasons. An alternative to finding that one right person is to work with an outsourced IT team. An outsourced team will employ multiple cybersecurity specialists, each with different skills that can benefit the organization when those skills are needed. Whether its project-type work, deploying cybersecurity for a remote workforce, or needing on-site support, an outsourced team can align the right person, with the right skills, at the right time. And, an outsourced approach can oftentimes be more efficient and cost-effective for an organization.
Cybersecurity is changing (yep, we came back to our original statement). It will continue to change, and morph, and twist. We encourage you to stay ahead of the curve with the tips noted above. And for added peace of mind, we strongly recommend a cybersecurity assessment. An assessment can locate potential cybersecurity holes that a hacker could find and exploit. Not something you want or need. We promise, the assessment part is not painful, but it can provide valuable insight that you can use to protect your business. To get started, simply contact us. We’ll walk you through the rest.