Abundant scarcity

Issue 1 2023 Training & Education

The cybersecurity workforce gap expanded by a concerning 26,2% in 2022 compared to 2021. That is around 3,4 million people needed to ensure that the security of assets is managed effectively. These statistics from the (ISC)2 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study (available via www.securitysa.com/*isc2) are why the dearth of security professionals is described as a critical need, one that has to be resolved at speed to fill the gaps, manage the threats, and transform the security landscape.

Innocent Baloyi.

Perhaps one of the most common issues in the industry is that organisations have high, often unrealistic, expectations when it comes to hiring security talent. They want degrees, years of experience and certifications and so much more, the problem is that most candidates do not have that experience, or those qualifications, so they do not apply. The result is a circle of unfulfilment, where organisations cannot find talent because talent does not apply for roles where they feel underqualified.

The solution to this conundrum lies in a shift in thinking across organisations, from finding talent that fits extensive expectations, to curating talent that can grow within the business and the roles. Taking this approach asks that companies take on people with an interest in security, and the potential to really shine in this space, and then build up their skills through dedicated in-house training.

The forex attraction

Another issue that is emerging now is that people are increasingly opting to work for international companies because of the exchange rate and how this affects their income. As more people are drawn to the dollar and the pound, we need to create local working environments that attract and retain talented security people so that we do not lose them overseas. Again, in-house training and opportunities are key here – people given the chance to expand their certifications and skill sets will be more engaged with the company and their roles.

Training and development are not just crucial to enhancing skillsets; they are an essential part of security development as a whole. Security technologies and threats are changing every day, which means that security teams must have the right resources to ensure that they remain ahead of trends, threats and technologies. This focus on strong corporate culture, a clear training mandate, a solid skills development platform and obvious career growth will also help mitigate the challenge of security people chasing salaries rather than settling into their roles for the long term.

Healthy workplace culture

A healthy working environment that keeps its people happy will be far more likely to retain the talent it trains. If people are happy where they are and enjoy what they are doing, they are less likely to be wooed away from the business. So, upskilling and reskilling talent is as much about creating a healthy workplace culture as it is about creating the next generation of security professionals.

This aligns with creating a culture of skills development within the company. If people feel that they are rewarded and motivated for engaging in training and development opportunities, they will be more inclined to take advantage of them. Companies should also be inspiring the next generation of security personnel by providing younger people with mentorship opportunities.

Assigning a mentor to someone new to security will fundamentally change how that person engages with the role and their future. Having someone on their side who can help them manage training and overcome obstacles to growth will inspire them to take their career further, and to potentially stay within the organisation.

It is important to weave together all these facets to ensure that the organisation meets the security needs of the present without compromising on the talent of the future. Smart training, consistent support, clear career pathways, and a focus on empowering from within will give the next generation of security talent the space and opportunity they need to bridge the ever-widening skills gap.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Revised ASIS Security Risk Assessment Standard
Training & Education
ASIS International has released a revised American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - approved standard for security risk assessments. The revised standard provides a comprehensive overview of conducting a thorough assessment to manage security risks.

Gallagher Security launches Augmented Reality Training in Australia
Gallagher Training & Education Access Control & Identity Management
Gallagher Security has announced the latest addition to its innovative suite of training solutions, Augmented Reality Training, demonstrating its continued commitment to innovation and improving access to security training opportunities.

SAIDSA achieves ISO 9001 certification
SAIDSA(SA Intruder Detection Services Association) Associations News & Events Training & Education
The South African Intruder Detection Services Association (SAIDSA) has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification. This milestone reflects its commitment to quality management and excellence in the security services industry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.