There has never been a better or more pressing time to consider a career in cyber security.
Not only is October National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of organisations worldwide have a shortage of IT staff dedicated to cyber security.
As a result, the current workforce gap around the world has widened to three million.
Companies are reporting a desperate need for cyber security workers, with 59 per cent of firms claiming to be at moderate or extreme risk of cyber security attacks due to this shortage.
All these figures surfaced in a report from non-profit association (ISC)², which quizzed almost 1,500 ICT workers around the world.
Close to half of respondents say their organisations plan to increase their cyber security staffing over the next 12 months.
The bulk of the shortage is in the Asia-Pacific region, which is experiencing a talent gap of 2.14 million, due in part to its growing economies and new cyber security and data privacy legislation being enacted throughout the region.
Almost half a million are in the US, while EMEA and Latin America contribute a 142,000 and 136,000 staffing shortfall respectively.
In the UK specifically, the National Cyber Security Centre is suffering from its own digital skills shortage, while security firm Raytheon put its vacancy rate between 20-30 per cent.
Women are being especially encouraged to pursue a career in the cyber security sector, where they make up barely one in four workers.
David Shearer, chief executive of (ISC)², believes his company’s research will foster a clearer understanding of who makes up the larger pool of cyber security workers.
“By broadening our view of the workforce to include those with collateral cyber security duties within IT and ICT teams, we discovered that professionals are still facing familiar challenges, but also found striking differences compared to previous research, including a younger workforce and greater representation of women,” he commented.
Written by Mike Bratby-Bale