A CISO’s Guide to Successfully Solving the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

Cybersecurity Talent Gap

The cybersecurity industry continues to grapple with a dire talent shortage that is impacting not only the security of organizations but also the CISO role itself.
CISOs are having to navigate a massive increase in workload as cyberattacks continue to evolve with a lack of skilled talent to address the threats. The stakes are higher than ever, and organizations need to develop solutions to supplement the talent gap.

This is where reskilling comes into play, offering a powerful solution to build a strong security team, close the cyber talent gap and bolster security awareness across the entire organization. 


The Ever-Evolving Threat Landscape

From phishing attacks and ransomware to insider threats and zero-day vulnerabilities, the cybersecurity threat landscape is vast and constantly evolving. The global cost of cybercrime is expected to top $8 trillion by the end of 2023, and will continue to steadily increase. To protect against these threats effectively, organizations need a well-trained and dedicated workforce. 

CISOs recognize that security isn’t solely their responsibility; it’s a collective effort. Unfortunately, there are currently more than 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs across the globe. Moreover, The World Economic Forum reports that 34 percent of cyber leaders they surveyed reported training and skills gaps exist inside their organizations. 

From a CISO’s perspective, the cybersecurity talent gap is more than just a staffing problem; it’s a critical security risk. They face the challenge of finding and retaining talent while also strengthening their organization’s cybersecurity posture. 



Why Reskilling is the CISO’s Best Strategic Solution

1. Nurturing In-House Talent with Tailored Training

Reskilling initiatives are a proactive approach to nurturing in-house talent and addressing the skills gap. Instead of solely relying on external recruitment, CISOs can identify employees with potential and provide them with the training and tools necessary to transition into cybersecurity roles. This not only bridges the talent gap but also fosters loyalty among existing staff. In addition, CISO’s can tailor training to the specific roles they are seeking to fill, ensuring that candidates are gaining the specific skills they’ll need to address the threats they are likely to encounter.


2. A Cost-Effective Solution

Recruiting and hiring experienced cybersecurity professionals can be expensive and time-consuming, especially at a time when the industry’s unemployment rate is sitting at zero percent. Reskilling existing employees is a cost-effective alternative. It minimizes the overhead costs of recruiting and frees up your hiring team to focus on other tasks.

3. Fostering Loyalty and Retention

Investing in reskilling programs demonstrates a commitment to employee growth and development, which can significantly enhance employee loyalty and retention. When employees see that their organization is willing to invest in their professional advancement, they are more likely to stay and contribute to the company’s success.

4. Building a Multifaceted Team of Talent

Cybersecurity is not a one-size-fits-all field. Different roles within the cyber team require various skill sets, from threat analysis to network security. Reskilling programs can be designed to provide employees with a multifaceted skill set, allowing them to take on a range of roles and continue building their careers as they receive new training and certifications.


Developing an Effective Reskilling Strategy

To successfully address the cybersecurity talent gap through reskilling, CISOs need a strategic approach that aligns with their organization’s goals. Here are some key things to consider:


Identify Potential Talent 
The first step to a successful reskilling strategy is to identify employees with the right aptitude and interest in cybersecurity. There is no need for employees to have specific technical skills, as these can be taught with targeted training. However, look for individuals with a strong foundation in technology, a passion for learning and problem-solving, and an interest in cybersecurity. 

Customize Training Programs
Tailored training programs are vital to successfully upskilling and reskilling employees. This can be time-consuming to create in-house from the ground up. However, companies like ThriveDX can help you consider the skills required for different cyber roles within your company and then design custom training modules for your team. Training needs to be hands-on, practical and aligned with industry best practices including the NICE and NIST frameworks. 


Encourage Certification
Many training programs, including ThriveDX’s, offer the opportunity for learners to gain industry certifications once they have finished their coursework. These certifications provide validation of skills and can enhance an employee’s career prospects within the organization.

Provide Mentorship & Apprenticeships
Pairing employees in reskilling programs with more experienced cybersecurity professionals who can serve as mentors is a proven formula for success. Mentorships help accelerate learning and provide employees with guidance on real-world challenges. Apprenticeship programs are another valuable tool in the reskilling arsenal, providing employees with hands-on experience in cybersecurity roles under the guidance of seasoned professionals.
To provide this value to customers,ThriveDX recently teamed up with
Apprenti to launch a Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program that will allow companies to seek out diverse and skilled talent to fill open cyber positions inside their organizations, while also allowing them to upskill current employees who may be looking to move into a new role. 

By combining mentorship and apprenticeships with tailored training programs, CISOs can create a holistic reskilling strategy that not only closes the cybersecurity talent gap but also nurtures a capable and confident cybersecurity workforce. This multifaceted approach empowers employees to excel in their roles, contributes to the organization’s cybersecurity resilience, and strengthens the overall security posture.


Continuously Assess Progress
Lastly, as cybersecurity is constantly evolving it’s important to continuously monitor the progress of employees in reskilling programs and regularly assess their skills. Adjust the training curriculum as needed to address gaps and ensure that employees are developing the necessary expertise they need to evolve into new roles. ThriveDX recently launched its Cyber Academy for Enterprise, an innovative solution that empowers organizations to reskill and upskill their employees into cyber positions while simultaneously attracting diverse external talent.

In the face of the cybersecurity talent gap, CISOs need a strategic approach to bridge the divide and build a skilled cybersecurity workforce. Reskilling, as a key component of this strategy, offers numerous benefits, including nurturing in-house talent, meeting evolving skill requirements, and fostering loyalty among employees.
By investing in reskilling initiatives, CISOs not only address the talent gap but also position their organizations for greater cybersecurity resilience.

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