Can cyber-attacks be blamed on the skills gap?

According to the seventh annual Global Workforce Survey, by 2020 there will be a shortage of 1.5 million information security professionals

Half of the cyber-security staff surveyed by Frost & Sullivan cited this shortage as a key reason for data breaches. 44% say it takes up to seven days to correct a data breach with another 19% saying that this takes up to three weeks.  Less than half of organisations across public and private sector said they were confident in ability to recover from cyber-attack.

Dr Arosha Bandara, Senior Lecturer in Computing at the Open University, said: “We are still a long way off having enough of the right skills in industry to stay ahead of cyber-security threats. Aspiring cyber-security professionals need to quickly learn both technical skills and an understanding of the business and human environment in which these threats exist.

“Skills must include understanding how hackers think, being able to assess the risks and understand how staff will respond to new IT and security systems, not just implementing the latest technology. Right now, we simply don’t have enough of these skills to defend ourselves. Curriculum changes may address this long term, but the only immediate solution is to provide the right training to equip people to meet today’s threat sooner rather than later.”