Closing the cybersecurity talent gap, one woman at a time

November 17, 2015

Sharon Florentine

A few weeks ago, satirical news site The Onion published an article titled, "China unable to recruit hackers fast enough to keep up with vulnerabilities in U.S. security systems." Like most things on the Onion, it's funny because of the (very large) grain of truth buried in the snarky headline. In the face of unprecedented threats from abroad and at home, the U.S. is facing a severe shortage of cybersecurity talent that shows no signs of abating.

According to the 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status report published by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), 86 percent of the 3,436 business professionals who responded to its survey believe there is a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Compare that to the over 300,000 unfilled cyber security jobs in the U.S. -- estimated to grow to 1 million to 1.5 million globally by 2020 -- and it is safe to say we have a talent crisis.

"We really screwed things up this time. Somehow, we are in a situation where the sector of technology with the greatest potential negative impact on our lives, businesses, governments, peace, safety and security happens to have a severe deficiency of qualified people to fill its jobs," says Trevor Halstead, product specialist, Talent Services, with online education and training provider Cybrary.

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