Cybersecurity Labor Shortage and COVID-19

Gartner TalentNeuron™: What’s trending?

As the COVID-19 crisis spread globally, so did cyberattacks. The increase in virtual activities such as remote work and online shopping have made enterprise networks and popular websites a breeding ground for cybercrime. According to an advisory from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), cybercriminals are targeting individuals, businesses and organizations of all sizes with these attacks, including phishing attempts and trying to exploit security lapses in remote meetings. 

In early 2019, Gartner TalentNeuron™ data predicted that there would be a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by the end 2019. The global pandemic has further escalated this situation. In spite of a decline in new job postings between February 1 and April 10, both the U.S. and the U.K. saw a surge in demand for infosecurity roles. There was a 65% upswing in demand in the U.S. and an increase of more than 5% in the U.K., driven by big banks, technology giants and niche infosecurity companies.

Below is the breakdown of talent supply, demand and hiring difficulties by country in real time.

Cybersecurity talent market in the U.S.
Hiring difficulty for cybersecurity roles in the U.S.
Cybersecurity talent market in the U.K.
Hiring difficulty for cybersecurity roles in the U.K.

Here’s how the skills life cycle evolves for Infosec roles across the U.S. and the U.K. The evolution of skills provides plenty of opportunities to upskill the current workforce, renew workforce planning efforts and create stronger job descriptions to attract the right talent. 

Skills life cycle for cybersecurity roles in the U.S.
Skills lifecycle for cybersecurity roles in the U.S.
Skills life cycle for cybersecurity roles in the U.K.
Skills lifecycle for cybersecurity roles in the U.K.

In spite of the shortage in talent supply and increasing overall demand, HR leaders can consider strategies for both short- and long-term workforce planning in this tight and volatile labor market: 

  • Retain and reskill by identifying adjacent skills available within your organization.
  • Expand your labor market by offering remote and flexible work.
  • Track your peers hiring for similar profiles.

Learn how to close the critical skills gaps by utilizing skills adjacencies.

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