Look beyond traditional channels to close the cybersecurity skills gap

Look beyond traditional channels to close the cybersecurity skills gap


The cybersecurity skills gap persists as threats continue to evolve and grow. According to the latest skills gap report From Fortinet, 67% of leaders agree that cybersecurity skills shortages create additional cyber risks for their organization.

At the same time, the Great Resignation has led many people to leave their jobs in search of something new, which means that more people are looking for new opportunities. For security leaders, this could be an opportunity to attract more people, but that requires more effort to recruit beyond traditional channels.

Understand the skills gap

The global cybersecurity workforce will need to grow by 65% ​​to adequately defend companies’ critical digital assets, according to the (ISC)two 2021 Cyber ​​Workforce Report. Although the number of experts needed to fill the gap has been reduced in the last year, from 3.12 million to 2.72 million, it is still a considerable shortfall that exposes companies to risk.

fortnite world 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report found that 80% of companies surveyed have been affected by at least one breach that they could attribute to a lack of knowledge or awareness of cybersecurity. The survey also revealed that globally, 64% of companies suffered from breaches that resulted in lost revenue, recovery costs and/or fines.

Finding and retaining the right staff to fill important security roles, from cloud security specialists to security operations center (SOC) analysts, has been a major concern for enterprises. According to the report, 60% of leaders admit that their company has difficulty recruiting and 52% have difficulty retaining people.

the great resignation

While ransomware and other security incidents have increased, and the skills gap has persisted – a third phenomenon has also occurred: the so-called Great Resignation. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021, and there were more than 11 million job offers in February 2022. Employers across all sectors have struggled to find and retain employees.

However, there may be something of a silver lining to this situation in terms of filling cybersecurity positions. Many of the people who left their jobs were looking for something new and more fulfilling, which can be a career in cyber security. There are many people who arrive in this field mid-career or through a tortuous route. They may never have considered the field of cybersecurity before, but are surprised to find the rich and varied opportunities that have been waiting for them.

The move to work from home (WFH) or hybrid as a result of the pandemic has helped increase the pool of potential candidates, as location is no longer a factor in job opportunities or hiring decisions. Job seekers and employers alike have literally the entire world to choose from right now.

Recruitment beyond traditional channels

Recruiting women and recent graduates is a top hiring challenge for 7 in 10 leaders globally, and 61% say hiring minorities is a top challenge for their organization. The Fortinet survey also revealed that 89% of global corporations have specific diversity goals as part of their hiring strategy as they seek to build more effective and diverse teams; 75% of companies have formal mechanisms to expressly hire more women, while 59% have strategies to hire minorities.

Hiring teams tend to focus on technical roles when they think of jobs in the cybersecurity field. However, within cybersecurity, many different responsibilities are required, just like in other industries. There are job openings at all levels, from entry-level to executive, as well as technical and non-technical roles. Each department needs qualified personnel, and each member of the company is responsible for the success and safety of the organization.

By seeking more “non-traditional” channels for staffing, organizations open up their staffing possibilities. An example of this is the Fortinet Training Institute Y TAA initiative, which are helping organizations hire skilled people, including the Educational Extension Program, which focuses on nonprofits, women, and veterans bringing people into the industry, training, and certifying them to work in cybersecurity. furthermore, the NSE Certification Program offers 8 levels of certifications ranging from non-technical courses to highly technical courses in key areas such as SD WAN Y Zero Confidence Edge. This allows for opportunities for skill enhancement, continuous learning, and skill updating so that anyone, regardless of background, can pursue a career in cybersecurity or grow in their technical roles.

A new recruiting perspective

Although the cyber skills gap has decreased somewhat, cyber threats are increasing every year and are becoming more sophisticated. Part of the challenge organizations face is keeping their IT security teams staffed so they can combat these threats. But events like the Great Quit and the pandemic have shown that people want more than paychecks and that it’s possible to find talent, or a new job, anywhere in the world.

Still, that gap is large enough that organizations need to add recruiting channels outside of traditional ones to fully staff their cybersecurity functions, including women, veterans, and minorities. Training and certifications they are another way for organizations to upskill workers and solve their own skills gap problems. New ways to staff this critical aspect of modern business need to be thought of.

Learn more about Fortinet free cybersecurity training initiative and fortnite training instituteincluding the SEL Certification Programmeter, Academic Partner ProgramY educational outreach program that includes a focus on veterans.


Sandra Wheatley has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing comprehensive marketing and communications strategies that build brands and drive business impact. Sandra is responsible for global corporate communications, marketing, global threat intelligence, and global philanthropy. Prior to Fortinet, Sandra led communications for leading technology brands including Cisco, NetApp, and AMD. Sandra currently serves as a board member for the IoTTC Consortium and has previously served on several non-profit boards and is a founding board member of US2020, a White House initiative to improve STEM learning and increase the pipeline of workers. STEM in the US She has a Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University, a BA in Community Leadership from Boston College, and a BA in Corporate Responsibility from UC Berkeley.

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