In a world where people are expected to have top-of-the-line smartphones on them at all times, when so many companies operate on a work-from-home basis at least partially, there’s no getting around it: The business world is firmly in the digital age.
That’s both good and bad news for the cybersecurity industry. Technology is constantly evolving as we develop a better understanding of what people want, need and expect from their systems. Right now, the cybersecurity industry is expected to grow at a healthy 31% rate over the course of the next decade. Yet as more jobs become available, companies have to ask themselves: Are we hiring the skills we actually need?
The Rise of Digitization
As technology becomes more integrated into every aspect of life, both personal and professional, we can assume that there’s no stopping people from using IoT devices, cloud services, A.I. and other convenient inventions that nevertheless present certain inherent security risks. Instead of encouraging people to stop doing what’s convenient, the most effective cybersecurity practices involve a smart approach to the inevitable.
Hiring skilled, knowledgeable candidates into the cybersecurity field go a longer way toward combatting the evolving threats of modern technology. The rise in people working from home because of Covid has already contributed heavily to this one particular job market.
Meanwhile, cybercrime is growing approximately 15% each year. That rate is a grim prognosis for what threats will come in the next ten years, but it can likely be contributed to many of the same reasons. Clearly, there’s jobs available and a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals as technology advances.
Diversity in the Workforce
So, how can you guarantee that you’re building the strongest possible team and equipping them with the skills necessary to become great at what they do?
Firstly, homogenized groups never work as effectively together as those with a variety of worldviews and backstories. Everyone has something unique to contribute; and we need to all make sure we’re giving them the space to use that voice.
What does this mean? It means actively seeking different candidates. Consider these statistics:
- Men make up 71.3% of cyber security analysts.
- The average worker is in their forties.
- 72.6% of cyber security analysts are white, followed by those of Asian descent at just 9.6%.
- For context, there were over one million people working in the U.S. cybersecurity industry in 2020.
- Half of interviewed organizations report having one or fewer marginalized people in executive positions.
- The average wage gap between men and women is small compared to other industries, around 3%.
There’s always room for improvement, and that starts with providing a safe environment for a diverse workforce were everyone feels free to give their unique opinions and out-of-the-box solutions that may be harder to come across with a closed-bubble team.
Modern technology is always changing; that means modern consumer expectations are, too. Fresh faces help organizations keep up with the ever-evolving demands of the technological marketplace. Keep all of these ideas in mind as you’re training the future of cybersecurity.
What to Look For
When focusing on cultivating necessary skills, it’s not purely about creating jobs and technological advancement. What makes a truly valuable team member runs deeper. Place weight on skills like:
- Critical thinking
- Analysis and problem-solving
- Computer literacy
- Ability to see how their work fits into the larger goals of the organization
- Working well under pressure
Abilities like these don’t go on a resume, but they’re undoubtedly important in the people that you expect to rely on in a crisis. Now that you know the industry expects to see this growth, you can prepare to train smart and loyal people to become better at their jobs over time so you don’t suddenly find yourself fighting for quality candidates in a more competitive market ten years from now.
The more technology becomes part of our lives, the more important it will be for the cybersecurity industry to grow with talented and diverse individuals. Everyone in an organization needs to know how to recognize and respond appropriately to threats, though, not just I.T. teams. Consultants and other dedicated personnel can be very useful in adopting and onboarding the latest technology with the whole staff.
When it comes to the evolving world of technology, you can never be too prepared. Make sure you’re hiring the right personnel who will prove a long-term asset to your cybersecurity, no matter how those needs change in the next ten years.