Yes, there is a cybersecurity drought looming over the horizon. The data coming in is alarming; according to Cybersecurity Ventures, by 2020 there could be a shortage of cybersecurity experts by up to 1.5 million, worse yet, the shortage could reach 3.5 million by 2021.
How is a global economy about to connect from 20 to 50 Billion IOT devices in 2020 alone can allow this to happen? The jobs are there, the colleges are ready, but the numbers are not growing fast enough.
Some Facts to Consider About the Impending Cybersecurity Drought:
- Spending on cybersecurity in the United States grew up to 66 Billion dollars by 2018.
- The amount of Mobile Malware Attacks Doubled from 2017 to 2018.
- While some attacks carry a monetary loss, others carry more sinister distress. One example is the threat of leaking personal photos or documents if a ransom is not paid.
- Alone in the US, more than 14 million businesses are at risk of cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, many have to close their doors once it happens.
Why is There a Cybersecurity Drought?
Some people think that maybe the lack of professionals is due to the fact that as an industry, cybersecurity has done a poor job of communicating job opportunities to seasoned IT Professionals. These professionals have the prerequisite experience. However, many might be from other segments of the industry and simply require an update of skills. Additionally, the number of certifications needed to get a job after completing a bachelors or master’s degree may be a significant hindrance.
However, possibly the most important cause of the cybersecurity drought is the necessity for previous experience in a related occupation. It is the perfect catch-22. You need a job to gain experience but you need experience to get a job. This can prove to be exceptionally difficult when you factor in student loans that a fresh college graduate needs to pay off.
Let’s Crunch the Numbers
According to the United States Department of Labor, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow yearly by 28 percent up to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Given the impending cybersecurity drought, we will have difficulty meeting the demand for information security analysts. Indeed, the demand is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.
The median salary for those who fill all the requirements is around $95,000 dollars, the bottom 10 percent making close to $55,000. Nevertheless, while the salary is quite reasonable, we still need to fill a lot of positions. Interestingly enough, one field is making an offer to help with the cybersecurity drought. That field is artificial intelligence.
The promise of artificial intelligence to detect and contain threats is one to be considered, more so when there are more than 4,000 cyber-attacks per hour but one question remains on the table.
If a considerable number of security breaches are due to human error, can artificial intelligence offer a 100 percent solution? This is another reason to worry that a cybersecurity drought is coming.