IT skills shortage hurts security: Report

There’s a shortage of IT pros, in case you haven’t heard. And that shortage is especially bad for cybersecurity pros. Here’s what it means for you.

A McAfee report finds that 82% of IT pros think there’s a shortage of cybersecurity skills in the marketplace today. And almost as many (71%) say that shortage causes “direct and measurable” damage to the bottom line.

Some of these effects:

  • 35% of organizations say they can’t maintain an adequate staff of cybersecurity pros
  • 33% say they’re actively being targeted because of security shortcomings, and
  • 25% have lost proprietary data through cyberattacks.

Writing their own checks

What this means is that cybersecurity pros can essentially choose their landing spot for their careers. Not only do they make 2.7 times the average wage for their country of employment, they also have a lot of negotiating power.

According to the survey, salary was the top means for recruiting and retaining security professionals. That was followed by training, potential for growth and the reputation of their employer.

As a result, many companies can’t afford to keep security pros in house (or choose not to). In fact, more than half of U.S. companies say they outsource cybersecurity services.

What to do

If you have talented security pros on staff, you’ll need to pull out all the stops to make sure they don’t jump ship.

And now may be a good time to vet partners for security – even if you don’t think you’ll need them currently. Because if things stay on the same track, it’s likely you’ll have to have at least some of your security handled by outside experts sooner than later.