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How to solve the cybersecurity resources crisis

When it comes to cybersecurity, a lack of resources can be a bigger threat than criminals, writes LUCY KERNER, security evangelist and strategist at Red Hat.

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Resources have always been a problem when it comes to cybersecurity. You are not always rewarded for doing security the way you are when you develop a new business application quickly. This usually leads to security teams being understaffed and overworked. At the same time, skilled cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, and there is significant turnover in cybersecurity positions.

In fact, when it comes to cybersecurity, a lack of resources can be a bigger threat than the criminals who have their sights set on stealing organisations’ data, money, time, and reputation. This has long been true, but Covid-19 turned the cybersecurity resource challenge into a full-blown problem, causing security to be overlooked in many cases.

In the best of times — or, at least, more normal times — talented cybersecurity resources are difficult to find, expensive to procure, and hard to retain. The pandemic has exacerbated the cybersecurity skills shortage as organisations’ focus and resources have shifted to shoring up, or even building from scratch, work-from-home capabilities. Proactive security has been put on the back burner for many companies, exposing big gaps between the cybersecurity resources.

In a pre-pandemic study conducted by (ISC)2, an international, nonprofit membership association for information security leaders, the cybersecurity workforce gap in the United States was estimated to be nearly 500,000. By combining its US cybersecurity workforce estimates and gap data, the association found that the cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 62% in order to meet the demands of US businesses today. Using the workforce estimate of 2.8-million based on the 11 economies it studied and a global gap estimate of 4.07-million, the association estimated that the global workforce needs to grow by 145%.

Indeed, respondents to the survey that was used to develop the study said that a lack of skilled/experienced cybersecurity personnel is their top concern, and that the gap puts their companies at moderate or extreme risk. Research for the Ponemon Institute’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report began months before Covid-19 had widespread impact, but supplemental questions related to the potential impact of remote workforces due to the pandemic revealed that 76% of organisations predict that remote work will make responding to a potential data breach more difficult.

With the Ponemon research estimating that the average total cost of a data breach is $3.86-million, preventing a cybersecurity incident in the first place is critical. But all is not lost. Solving the cybersecurity resource problem outright is not going to happen right away, but there are things that organisations can do beyond adding more security bodies. Here’s how to strengthen your cybersecurity position.

Click below to read on about the four ways to strengthen your cybersecurity position.

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