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Cyber Security Expertise: Demand Outweighs Supply

Posted May 8, 2018by Britany DiCicco


In a world of increasing data breaches and security threats, the need for talented cyber security professionals has never been more essential. However, many companies—and those who are responsible for protecting them—are quickly realizing that finding these tech-savvy and qualified candidates is a bigger challenge than they initially thought.

What does this cyber security skills gap mean for the businesses you serve, and for you as an IT service provider? Keep reading to explore more.

The Cyber Security Talent Gap

Every year, ESG does a global survey on the state of IT which includes a variety of topics such as new initiatives, areas of concern, and market changes. In this year’s survey, respondents were asked to identify areas in which they are experiencing a “problematic shortage” shortage of a certain skillset or expertise. As was repetitive in previous years, survey respondents indicated that cyber security talent is the most prominent area where their organization is struggling to acquire talent.

What’s particularly interesting is that this is a trend that has seen consistent growth in the past several years.

  • 2014: 23 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2015: 25 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2016: 46 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2017: 45 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills
  • 2018: 51 percent of respondents claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cyber security skills

As of January 2018, there was a total of 285,681 cyber security job openings. What’s more, the ratio of existing cyber security workers to cyber security job openings is only 2:6. The national average for all professions is 5:6, which indicates how tremendously low the cyber security workforce ratio is.

What Does This Mean for Your Customers?

As cyber criminals become more sophisticated—and cyber attacks more frequent—the IT security talent shortage is a tremendous problem. Organizations of all sizes need cyber security professionals to ensure their security infrastructure is intact and strong enough to withstand cyber threats. This issue is particularly challenging for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who do not have a significant amount of budget to spend on security. As the basic supply vs. demand law dictates, when the supply of a certain good or service is extremely low, and the demand is extremely high; the price of that good becomes astronomical. With that said, the limited cyber security talent that is available is extremely expensive—much beyond the budgetary restrictions of SMBs.

What Does This Mean for MSPs?

The SMBs you serve have rapidly become the principal target of cyber criminals. For these businesses to survive, it’s very important that they acquire the proper security services needed to protect themselves.

Many SMBs will look to outsource their IT security needs to managed services providers (MSPs) like you, but they’ll be seeking out those who are able to offer advanced security services managed by top cyber security talent. Therefore, MSPs need to respond to this heightened demand for advanced security in a timely manner, or risk losing clients to their competitors.

But what can you do if you, too, lack the IT security talent needed to support the services you offer? To bridge this skills gap, MSPs can gain the security knowledge and expertise they need through a Security Operations Center (SOC). In addition to providing monitoring and remediation services to address known threats as quickly as possible, a SOC enables MSPs with an expert cyber security workforce—acting as an extension of your team and eliminating the need to build and maintain costly in-house security teams. In turn, this helps you enhance your security service capabilities while offering your customers with a heightened level of security and protection.


Want to learn more about how to deliver comprehensive security to your customers? Download the eBook below:

Download Cyber Security eBook

Britany DiCicco is a senior manager of product marketing for Continuum’s security offerings. She has extensive work experience in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Austria. She is experienced in doing strategy and product marketing for companies that provide security software to highly regulated industries such as healthcare, legal, and financial services.

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