Why overcoming the cybersecurity workforce shortage is important to business success

Rende is the founder and CEO of rhymeteca cybersecurity company that provides cybersecurity, compliance and privacy requirements for SaaS companies.

The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a chronic labor shortage in most industrialized countries. This, coupled with the lack of talent – particularly in the cloud security space – has had a major impact on cybersecurity circles.

Statistics show that 52 million data breaches occurred worldwide in the second quarter of the year. The problem is driving demand for cybersecurity talent across all industries, but with more than 700,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the US, companies could suffer serious losses if they don’t find a satisfactory solution soon.

Quantifying the shortage of cyber security forces

As of March 2022, more than 60% of company data was already stored in the cloud. This percentage is steadily increasing as companies shift digital operations to cloud computing environments. Cyber ​​security is already at an all-time high with around 4.7 million employees.

In addition to the labor shortage in this area, the 2022 Global CISO Survey showed that Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in the United States were working under a cloud of burnout (53%) and work-related stress (60%). These challenges are direct consequences of labor shortages, the growing trend toward cloud computing, and the increasing number of cyber threats facing organizations.

The impact on the operation of the company

As the shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers persists, it has begun to affect organizations’ ability to achieve compliance. Businesses need to achieve or maintain compliance, and their consumer data needs to be secure. Businesses that do not have sufficient resources to achieve compliance and ensure the security of customer data could face challenges in marketing their products and services, which in turn impacts growth and expansion efforts.

Why compliance is important for companies

Compliance is an important factor in any business, but it is not always driven by the need for cybersecurity. The main drive for compliance, especially for startups, currently comes from their customers who require them to have certain security frameworks and controls in place in order to sell their products to consumers. Before customers are likely to upload their data to a system, it must meet certain strict security standards.

For example, before users were ready to upload their photos to Instagram, the platform had to provide all the necessary controls and guidelines to make people feel safe. Achieving this type of compliance takes work, and if companies don’t have the resources to fill vacancies, they can’t get the job done. The result is that many initiatives do not materialize, or even if they do, the market will not adopt them because they are not sufficiently secure.

Given the consequences of the labor shortage

Organizations that cannot recruit skilled professionals to fill their cybersecurity roles are likely to suffer productivity losses that could slow down the overall tech landscape. Many companies may not be able to bring their products to market. Without SOC 2 or ISO compliance, they don’t have the credibility needed to thrive in the crowded marketplace. And as demand increases, the cost of cybersecurity personnel will increase well beyond current levels.

Even companies with established cybersecurity teams can be at risk if the CISO and his team have more experience with on-premise systems than cloud computing. These employees may not have an in-depth understanding of cloud architecture and are often more used to securing physical servers than SaaS-driven systems hosted in the cloud.

development of possible solutions

Finding and hiring cybersecurity professionals is a challenge right now, and many organizations cannot afford to wait for the situation to change. With current teams stretched too thin to function effectively, standard solutions such as on-the-job training, hiring incentives, and employee rewards hardly scratch the surface.

While solutions such as outsourcing certain items are available to address some of these issues without incurring unmanageable costs, there are also steps that make it possible Businesses can focus on identifying internal solutions and ensuring compliance in the meantime. Businesses looking for possible solutions should first try the following steps.

1. Determine your current compliance level.

Determining your organization’s current compliance level is the best way to measure compliance status by developing a clear understanding of all assets, resources and systems and assessing their security posture against a compliance framework.

2. Identify internal security responsibilities.

Appoint senior executives with responsibility for identifying all internal security roles. For example, a CISO understands compliance requirements and would be able to implement the protocols required to achieve compliance.

3. Conduct regular gap assessments.

Conducting regular gap assessments and implementing continuous monitoring can also help organizations maintain compliance. These solutions monitor the security controls of a cloud-hosted infrastructure against various frameworks such as NIST 800-53, ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type 2, PCI and others.

4. Develop appropriate security documentation.

This is a crucial aspect of building an information security management system. This documentation describes each employee’s responsibilities, enables organizations to determine whether tasks are being assigned to the right people, and identifies whether additional human resources are required. Many compliance frameworks require a detailed and comprehensive Roles and Responsibilities document.

Find a path to compliance

Overcoming the shortage of skilled cybersecurity personnel is vital for any organization operating in the technology environment. Organizations that have moved their operations to the cloud or plan to do so in the near future must find a way to achieve the compliance required in their industry or they could face monumental consequences and roadblocks. In the absence of adequate human resources, organizations must take action internally or seek external solutions to ensure they implement essential compliance practices.

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