Build a More Cyber Resilient Team: The 4 Keys to Reskilling
For years, CISO’s have focused on investing in technology and advanced security systems to protect networks. Yet, cyber risks persist with Gartner predicting that by 2025, 45% of global organizations will be impacted by some type of supply chain attack.
Even more alarming, according to the 2023 Comcast Business Cybersecurity Threat Report, once threat actors have managed to breach a network they often go undetected by security teams for months, using constantly evolving techniques to remain invisible while stealing data and overtaking systems.
It’s clear that while technology can be a good first line of defense in detecting attacks, there is another crucial element that can significantly impact your organization’s cybersecurity posture: the human factor.
Despite the growing demand for cybersecurity experts, there remains a critical shortage of skilled professionals to meet this need. To tackle this, organizations must consider reskilling as a strategic solution to building a more cybersecurity savvy workforce. In this blog, we’ll explore how reskilling can help fill unfilled positions, address the widening talent gap, increase diversity on your team and ultimately reduce cyberattacks.
The Global Cybersecurity Talent Gap
The global cybersecurity workforce grew to an estimated 4.7 million professionals in 2022, reaching its highest-ever levels. Yet, there remains at least 3.5 million unfilled jobs globally, which is a 26% increase from 2021. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, these statistics are alarming for businesses of all sizes, governments and individuals.
This gap not only poses severe security risks, but can also result in increased operating costs for organizations as they struggle to recruit and retain qualified talent.
Reskilling as a Solution
While recruitment in the cybersecurity and IT industries remains challenging, equipping existing employees with the skills and knowledge they need to transition into new cyber roles can be much more efficient. Data shows that offering training and certification opportunities to existing security professionals benefits both organizations and individuals alike. In fact, nearly 95% of leaders say that industry certification programs have positively impacted their organizations.
Here are key steps to effectively reskill your workforce and bridge the cybersecurity talent gap:
- Identify Existing Talent
The first step is to identify employees who are interested in pursuing a new career path and/or who possess transferable skills that will lead to success in a cybersecurity position. Too often, organizations rule out candidates because they don’t possess technical skills that can easily be taught with fast-paced training programs. Instead, focus on individuals who exhibit problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and a passion for staying updated on technology trends and the latest cybersecurity threats.
- Create Clear Career Pathways
Like any successful journey, the path to a fruitful cybersecurity career starts with a detailed roadmap. Develop a structured pathway for reskilling that outlines the necessary skills, training programs and certifications that candidates will need to enter the field and advance into new positions.
- Invest in Training and Education
Investing in comprehensive training programs that cover fundamental cybersecurity concepts, best practices and help learners develop practical skills is one of the best ways to ensure that your employees are ready to take on the latest threats and advance into new positions. Seek out training programs that offer the opportunity for employees to gain industry-recognized certifications such as CompTIA Security+ or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Perhaps most importantly, don’t forget that cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field. Encourage reskilled employees to stay updated on emerging threats and technologies through ongoing learning, training and webinars.
- Hands-On Experience
Practical experience is invaluable in the cybersecurity field. The very best training programs include real-world simulations that immerse learners in the very latest threat and attack techniques. Beyond training, it’s also important to offer opportunities for your reskilled employees to work on real-world projects, participate in security assessments, and collaborate with other experienced professionals.
- Mentoring and Apprenticeship
Mentorships and apprenticeships are a proven formula to boost the careers of budding cybersecurity professionals and address the hiring challenges faced by organizations. Pair individuals undergoing reskilling with seasoned cybersecurity mentors capable of offering direction, imparting wisdom, and fostering connections. Active participation in the cybersecurity community aids newcomers in acquiring invaluable insights and connections. Establishing such programs internally within a company can also serve as a means to bridge disparities in experience and cultivate a supportive environment for employees to seek guidance and advance in their careers.
At ThriveDX, we’re committed to helping learners launch new careers and also allowing companies to reskill current employees. To that end, the company has launched its Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program, an innovative initiative designed to directly address the skills and diversity challenges that the industry is facing. Working with Apprenti, ThriveDX is training selected apprentices through its immersive cybersecurity bootcamps at zero-cost. To learn more about this program click here.
The Proven Benefits of Reskilling
Reskilling your workforce to fill unfilled cybersecurity positions offers several advantages:
Reskilling is almost always more cost-effective than recruiting external cybersecurity experts. It eliminates recruitment costs, such as hiring fees and relocation expenses, while maximizing the value of your existing talent pool.
Faster Hiring Times
The traditional hiring process for cybersecurity professionals can take months and be extremely time-consuming for a recruiting team. Reskilling allows you to address immediate staffing needs more quickly. What’s more, companies, including ThriveDX, offer programs providing already trained and certified talent to companies seeking to fill hard-to-hire positions.
Loyalty and Retention
Employees who are reskilled and transition into cybersecurity roles tend to be more loyal and committed to the organization. They appreciate the investment in their professional development and are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Reskilling often brings diverse perspectives to your cybersecurity team with members from different departments and backgrounds who can offer unique insights and creative solutions to security challenges.
Prior Organizational Knowledge
Reskilled employees already possess an understanding of your organization’s culture, processes, and systems. This knowledge can be invaluable in designing and implementing security measures that align with your specific needs.
The global cybersecurity talent gap is a pressing issue that demands innovative solutions. Reskilling your existing workforce offers a strategic approach to fill unfilled cybersecurity positions and address this gap effectively, while also boosting diversity on your team.
By identifying and nurturing internal talent, providing comprehensive training, encouraging ongoing learning and development, and creating mentorship and apprenticeship programs, organizations can create a pipeline of skilled cybersecurity professionals from within their ranks.
As cyber threats continue to evolve, reskilling not only benefits organizations but also empowers individuals to embark on rewarding careers in a field that is vital for our digital future.ThriveDX is at the forefront of helping workers launch their careers in cybersecurity. Our innovative partnerships and collaborations including the ThriveDX Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program and our Cyber Academy Training platform offer the very best in cybersecurity education with flexible and cost-friendly options to fit every circumstance. To learn more go to https://thrivedx.com/for-enterprise.
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