In our world of ever-increasing connectivity, the potential consequences of a cyberattack have never been greater than they are today. And with parts of the world experiencing major volatility, cybersecurity threats are indeed on the rise. In fact, the White House recently issued new, urgent guidance, calling on businesses to take these cyberthreats seriously and implement strategies to protect themselves accordingly.
Businesses may be left wondering if they have the proper infrastructure to avoid being the target of such an attack and to properly respond if such an attack occurs. After all, cybersecurity is something that companies largely see as a priority, just not one that they’re particularly well positioned to take on. Only 11 percent of CEOs in the U.S. consider themselves well prepared for a cyberattack, according to KPMG’s 2021 U.S. CEO Outlook.
If your business is part of the 89 percent that’s not well equipped to take on cyberthreats, now is the time to build out a team of highly qualified IT and engineering talent to ensure you have the right protocols in place.
Whether you’re just getting started or are working to round out an existing team, here are a few helpful things to know about the state of cybersecurity today:
1. Retaining cybersecurity professionals is a challenge for businesses worldwide.
In an international survey of cybersecurity professionals, 60 percent of businesses reported difficulties in retaining qualified cybersecurity professionals. Any positive effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on employee retention has now worn off, and businesses are struggling to retain qualified cybersecurity staff at a time when they need them most.
Among the reasons that cybersecurity professionals left their jobs, the most commonly cited included being recruited by other companies (59 percent), poor financial incentives (48 percent), limited promotion and development opportunities (47 percent), and high work stress levels (45 percent).
2. The rise of remote work has increased cybersecurity risks.
While remote work has allowed employers to save on office space and employees to cut out long commutes, it has also made businesses more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
According to an April 2021 survey of executives, 92 percent reported experiencing a business-impacting cyberattack or compromise within the past 12 months. Of that group, 67 percent said the attacks targeted remote employees.
With remote work here to say, companies must update their approaches to cybersecurity to better account for the needs of all employees, whether they’re working onsite, at a coffee shop, or from a home office.
3. Businesses of all types and sizes are at risk for cyberattacks, but some are bigger targets than others.
Globally, manufacturing replaced financial services as the top industry for cyberattacks in 2021. In the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing companies were the target of 28 percent cyberattacks, followed by professional and business services (15 percent) and retail and wholesale (11 percent).
Experts say that manufacturers are particularly vulnerable to attacks, particularly ransomware, because of the critical role they serve in the global supply chain. Manufacturers may feel more pressure to quickly pay a ransom because of the extreme ripple effect an outage would have on consumers and businesses alike.
4. Demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed in recent years and will only continue to grow.
The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by a whopping 350 percent between 2013 and 2021, according to data from Cybersecurity Ventures. Today, there are 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide, with that number expected to remain steady through 2025.
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks “information security analyst” as one of its fastest growing jobs, expecting a growth rate of 33 percent between 2020 and 2030.
The good news for employers is that the cybersecurity skills gap is finally beginning to close. Tech industry powerhouses including Microsoft, Google, IBM, Apple, and Amazon are spearheading partnerships and initiatives to provide education and training for individuals seeking careers in cybersecurity.
It’s clear that protecting your business against cyberthreats has never been more important—or as big of an undertaking—than it is today. And given the incredibly competitive job market for cybersecurity professionals, finding and securing the most qualified IT and engineering employees may feel out of reach.
Our team at Broadleaf Results is ready to help you land the talent you need to ensure you have the cybersecurity infrastructure you need in 2022 and beyond. Reach out now to learn more.