Business, Career, Tech

Hoping to Hire Top Cybersecurity Talent?

Students that are interested in pursuing careers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, management) will have near-guaranteed employment prospects if they study cybersecurity methodologies. Data breaches and hacking attacks are increasing exponentially in every industry sector and among all sizes of businesses. But those businesses are having little luck in finding the talent and skills they need to manage their internal cybersecurity operations. Given the talent shortage, salaries for cybersecurity specialists in some larger cities are now exceeding $120,000 per year.

What’s more, the talent shortage is anticipated to produce more than 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2020. Organizations looking to hire cybersecurity professional will face a lot of competition for that talent. Sure, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may be able to outsource their cybersecurity needs. But competing with larger companies for in-house personnel will be tough. Especially when enterprise giants offer commensurately larger salaries. In response, SMBs will need to expend extra effort to find the right employees for their internal cybersecurity needs.

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Apart from just offering large salaries, SMBs can adopt a few policies that will make their environments more attractive:

  1. Begin to build a hiring pipeline sooner rather than later. Offer internships to undergraduate students who demonstrate the desire and ability to learn cybersecurity practices. Do not confine hiring to computer programming specialists. Look for native intelligence and strategic thinking abilities coupled with an ability to learn.
  1. Do not reject older candidates. Employees that have 20+ years of experience in IT services might be perceived as being out of touch with newer network systems and environments. But the opposite is just as likely. Older IT workers have experience with the tools and techniques that hackers ply to break into corporate networks. That experience can be very valuable, particularly for businesses that are running legacy systems.
  1. Work with the HR professionals in your organization to define the cybersecurity position correctly. Human resources hiring practices may use filters and keyword recognition software to screen resumes. If those filters and keywords are not properly applied, your organization can miss some very good talent. Take the time and effort to define the cybersecurity position properly to get the best candidates for the job.
  1. Do not settle for “good enough.” Haphazard cybersecurity employment practices lead to data breaches and successful hacking attacks. Even if a cybersecurity position remains open for a long time, work to find the most skilled cybersecurity professional that fits your organization’s needs and work environment. SMBs and larger organizations can rely on contract cybersecurity professionals until they find the right person.
  1. Make sure that cybersecurity is not a dead-end job. Professional employees need new challenges and opportunities for promotion to keep them engaged with their job responsibilities. Cybersecurity professionals should not be shunted off to a dark corner of an organization. Instead they should have possibilities for training, lateral moves, new job responsibilities, and advancement within a salary grid.

The Most Critical Skills Gap: Cybersecurity

Seasoned cybersecurity professionals will assure you they can improve the organization’s cybersecurity environment. But they will also tell you they cannot prevent every data breach or cyberattack. Any professional who tells you otherwise is likely blowing smoke. This is why many industry professionals recommend cybersecurity quotes from data breach insurance companies.

Cybersecurity insurance will protect an organization from the losses and liabilities that flow from a data breach. Businesses that don’t have this essential service could face significant financial damages or even bankruptcy. Procuring cybersecurity insurance is as important, if not more important, than hiring the right person. So, do your homework to find the right policy and right employee. Your company’s health and longevity could depend on it!

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