The importance of training in managing the cybersecurity skills shortage

Issue 2 2022 Training & Education

According to a report released by Ireland-based multinational professional services company Accenture, a low investment in cybersecurity, and immature cybercrime legislation, makes South Africa a target for cybercrime, with the country registering the third-highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide [1]. In addition, as with other countries, the cybersecurity skills shortage is hindering the ability of businesses to effectively manage and stay ahead of constantly evolving cyberthreats.


Stefan van de Giessen.

The lack of skills means businesses find themselves on the back foot, looking for individuals who are able to manage and run solutions, manage incident and security teams, and having to ensure the implementation of a strong security posture. This is not isolated to a single partner or end-user organisation but is a global issue.

Last year, CNBC reported that the shortage of technology talent is particularly severe in the cybersecurity field, and that demand for skills is increasing ‘exponentially’ and shows no signs of lessening. This information was reported during a session on the talent shortage at CNBC’s 2021 Technology Executive Council Summit in New York City[2].

Best-of-breed technology alone is not the solution

Many organisations try to alleviate the skills shortage by buying high-end technologies. However, the problem cannot be solved simply by throwing money at it, because, without the skills to understand the inter-operability between the solution, and how it needs to be implemented and managed, the purchase of best-of-breed technology is not enough.

In other words, without the right skills sets, companies remain at a disadvantage and remain vulnerable.

The importance of education in a local context

With regards to Africa, our education systems are often deemed as being less mature than in other, more developed continents and countries. As outlined in commentary from global professional services network Ernst and Young (EY), when compared to their peers in other countries, students in African schools frequently underperform on global benchmark tests[3]. As a result, the market is not always able to keep up with the pace of the technology being created and deployed elsewhere.

On a positive note, the South African government has outlined that it has a vision to address the local cybersecurity skills shortage. In 2019, the then-Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Pinky Kekana, explained that the government planned to create formal education qualifications ranging from diplomas for school leavers at NQF Level 5, to graduate and post-graduate degrees[4].

This included the development of roles and responsibilities for the cybersecurity sector and planning for the engagement of private service providers to develop cybersecurity training programmes. She noted that there was also a need for a concerted and coordinated approach between the private sector, the government and academia to close the cybersecurity skills gap.

Investment required from both customers and system integrators

Over and above this planning, customers need to invest in skilled human capital to ensure they can manage, maintain and secure their own environments effectively, and protect themselves. It is more beneficial for clients to complement the investment they are making on technologies with professionals to advise and assist them in that process.

In turn, system integrators need to invest in training so that they can provide their customers with the skilled technical support they need, in order to provide true value to their customers. Regardless of how good or capable the technology is, there is always a human element backing this and if this is ineffective, weaknesses become apparent.

Companies therefore need to further invest in skilling up their teams to ensure that they are in the best possible position to deal with the ever-evolving threat landscape.

Exclusive Networks Africa, has therefore built its extensive training services, allowing its employees and partners to skill up in a number of different ways. The company’s training services include certified training on Fortinet and F5 solutions, both in-person as well as through virtual instructors. Additionally, it offers non-certified training on over 15 cyber security products within its portfolio.

For more information visit www.exclusive-networks.com.

[1] https://www.accenture.com/za-en/insights/security/cyberthreat-south-africa

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/04/upskilling-better-training-keys-to-increasing-cyber-talent-pool.html

[3] https://www.ey.com/en_lu/education/how-africa-s-demographic-dividend-is-impacting-the-education-sector

[4] https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/governments-vision-address-cybersecurity-skills-shortage




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Tips and tools for trade businesses
News & Events Training & Education
ServCraft brings together trade industry associations and corporations to launch blox, a digital content platform and community impacting lives, businesses and industries across hundreds of thousands of trade business SMEs.

Read more...
Africa Online Safety Platform launched in SA
Training & Education News & Events
Impact Amplifier, with the financial support of Google.org, launched its African Online Safety Platform (AOSP), a platform providing a rich repository of research, education content, funding opportunities and ways to seek help after an online crime.

Read more...
South African Keiron PRO laser target system
News & Events Training & Education
Jacstech, based in Cape Town, South Africa, has been appointed to supply a complete Keiron PRO laser training system to the SIRT Academy. The SIRT Academy is a firearms and tactics training facility in Perugia, Italy.

Read more...
Practical guide to protect data privacy
Training & Education Information Security
The Data Privacy Toolkit, reflecting the evolving landscape of data privacy, includes guidelines and recommendations to safeguard sensitive information crucial for protecting sensitive information from malicious actors.

Read more...
ONVIF releases first add-on for secure communications
Surveillance Training & Education
ONVIF has released the final version of the TLS Configuration add-on to increase the security of communications between devices and software clients within a physical security system.

Read more...
Mastering security awareness in the digital era
Security Services & Risk Management Training & Education
Human error and lack of security awareness remain the first security threat. Companies must consider the importance of managing employee cyber risk and the significance of training and awareness programmes.

Read more...
Preparing young entrepreneurs
News & Events Training & Education
Liquid Intelligent Technologies SA recently announced that its Youth Empowerment Programme is successfully preparing young South Africans with the skills they need to succeed in a digital future.

Read more...
Free South Africa Market Report webinar from TAPA EMEA
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice News & Events Transport (Industry) Training & Education Logistics (Industry)
October 2023 offers TAPA EMEA members and non-members opportunities to increase their knowledge of cargo crime and supply chain security risks in three countries in Europe, the Middle East & Africa region, where supply chains are most targeted by both organised crime groups and other offenders.

Read more...
Empowering the new team of trailblazers in cybersecurity
News & Events Information Security Training & Education
Fortinet is committed to creating more opportunities for women in cybersecurity in South Africa as it actively fosters a culture of inclusion by expanding access to training and career advancement through its training institute.

Read more...
Digital transformation is dependent on engaged leaders
Training & Education Infrastructure
Having a digitisation strategy in place is the starting point, but to truly activate a digital transformation programme, organisations need a strong leadership team that has acute self- awareness, and can positively contribute and direct their influence toward the people affected by change.

Read more...