By Merlin Piscitelli, Chief Revenue Officer, EMEA at Datasite
Sophisticated cyber warfare and mounting geopolitical tensions are driving cybersecurity threats to evolve at an even faster pace, affecting entire companies, their operations and their hard-won reputations.
Major microchip and electronic powerhouses were recently hit by cyber-attacks, with parts of their businesses completely compromised, taken offline for a few days and employee accounts exposed. Some of these offenses were even committed by the same extortion group.
As a result, the need to fight cybercrime has become even more important in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. This is resulting in record levels of investment in cybersecurity as it becomes a top priority for business leaders, boards of directors and investors, especially as governments warn of an increased threat of cyber-attacks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The cybersecurity boom
In the past 12 months, the cybersecurity industry has achieved double-digit growth and there are now nearly 2,000 companies operating in the UK providing cybersecurity products and services. In fact, the UK cybersecurity industry contributed around £5.3bn to the UK economy in 2021, up by a third from 2020, and cybersecurity firms have raised more than £1bn in external investment across 84 deals.
Simply put, the demand for cybersecurity increased dramatically as the pandemic sent the digital revolution into hyperdrive. The pandemic not only accelerated consumer adoption of digital solutions, but also accelerated enterprises’ digitization strategies.
As cybercriminals rise to the challenge, businesses now need cybersecurity solutions to protect a myriad of new entry points. With more than 2.5 million cybersecurity jobs and the war for talent rapidly gaining momentum, the industry is feeling the pressure as the pressure for more defenses mounts.
Tackling the ‘skills gap’
Despite rapid market growth, the UK’s cybersecurity talent pool is falling short at around 10,000 people a year. The UK cyber skills shortage has increased by more than a third in the last 12 months and cybersecurity is now the most sought after tech skill in the UK.
With more than half, 54%, of UK CEOs believing that cybersecurity offers the best opportunity for TMT dealmaking in the coming year, demand will quickly outpace supply of expertise unless drastic action is taken.
Market demand and the war for talent
Companies have responded to this in different ways. When asked what the key strategic drivers of recent and future cross-border technology acquisitions are, a third of UK M&A professionals surveyed mentioned access to skilled/specialized talent.
To stay ahead of cyber-attacks and manage risk, companies also need to invest in their workforce to ensure they have access to the resources necessary to protect their digital ecosystem and support business operations.
Upskilling those already working in the tech space, and attracting new entrants, will be key to addressing the current professional shortage. To truly win the war for talent, companies will need to recognize the correlation between skills shortages and lack of inclusiveness and bring more meaningful levels of diversity to the industry.
However, tackling this current skills gap cannot be left to businesses alone and requires a united effort from governments, industries and academia. Awareness campaigns that encourage universities, schools and training organizations to promote cybersecurity as an exciting area and one with huge career opportunities can also go a long way in addressing the current imbalance.
Only by investing in cybersecurity talent will we have enough people with the expertise needed to protect organizations’ digital ecosystems as the threat landscape becomes more diverse.
This article was submitted by a third-party contributor and may not reflect the views and opinions of Benzinga.
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This post Cybersecurity in a digital world and the war for talent was original published at “https://www.benzinga.com/tech/22/04/26669657/jr-cybersecurity-in-a-digital-world-and-the-war-for-talent”