Global Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage to Reach 1.8 Million by 2022 | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Global Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage to Reach 1.8 Million by 2022

June 26, 2017
by Heather Landi
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The cybersecurity workforce gap is on pace to hit 1.8 million by 2022, a 20 percent increase since 2015, according to the Global Information Security Workforce study.

The study was conducted by Frost & Sullivan for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, with the support of (ISC)2, Booz Allen Hamilton and Alta Associates, and is based on insights from over 19,000 cybersecurity professionals. The study found that 68 percent of workers in North America believe this workforce shortage is due to a lack of qualified personnel. To help combat the growing gap, a third of hiring managers globally are planning to increase the size of their departments by 15 percent or more.

More than 70 percent of hiring managers will increase their workforce this year: 30 percent wish to expand by 20 percent or more.

Looking at healthcare specifically, employers plan to expand staff by 20 percent or more – higher than any other industry surveyed.

What’s more, the survey found that 66 percent of respondents reported not having enough workers to address current threats. Currently most of the workforce (90 percent) is male with the majority having technical backgrounds, highlighting the issue that recruitment channels and tactics need to change.

The study also found that 87 percent of cybersecurity workers globally did not start in cybersecurity, yet 94 percent of hiring managers indicate that existing experience in the field is an important consideration. Also, 33 percent of executives and C-suite professionals began in non-technical careers.

David Shearer, CEO at (ISC)2 said in a statement, “There is a definite concern that jobs remain unfilled, ultimately resulting in a lack of resources to face current industry threats – of the information security workers surveyed, 66 percent reported having too few of workers to address current threats. We're going to have to figure out how we communicate with each other, and the industry will have to learn what to do to attract, enable and retain the cybersecurity talent needed to combat today's risks.”

The report calls for employers to look for new recruitment channels and unconventional strategies and techniques to fill the worker gap. And, the report calls for employers to consider workers with more diverse skillsets and non-technical backgrounds to attract and retain cybersecurity talent. While survey responders believe the number one reason for the shortage is difficulty to find qualified personnel, they also said that job requirements are not understood by leadership.


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