The cybersecurity skills gap – widely recognized as one of the biggest challenges facing the IT security industry – is only going to continue to widen in the years to come, a recent report found.
The deficit of cybersecurity professionals is now expected to grow to more than 1.8 million workers globally by 2022, according to the Global Information Security Workforce Study, sponsored by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education and surveying over 19,000 cybersecurity professionals. That is a 20 percent increase over what the same study predicted two years ago.
The study also noted that the security industry seems to have a challenge recruiting millennial workers in particular, with only 12 percent of the workforce under 35.
Many security solution providers cite the security talent shortage as one of the greatest challenges facing their businesses today. Global Managing Director of Accenture Security Kelly Bissell said there simply isn't enough talent to go around in the security industry.
"The war for talent is on," Bissell said.
That war for talent is leading to real-world implications when it comes to security effectiveness, the study found. It said the skills deficit is already starting to impact businesses, with 46 percent of companies saying that it is already causing a "significant impact" on customers and leading to increased security breaches.
However, Bissell said the gap is so large that it is no longer enough for companies like Accenture to recruit personnel from the competition. He said Accenture has doubled down on its investment in training and security boot camps to develop the next generation of security practitioners in the marketplace.
The talent shortage is particular hard on the SMB side of the market, the study found. It said only 23 percent of security professionals work for companies with fewer than 500 employees, although SMB companies make up the majority of the business market.
Sam Heard, president of Lakeland, Fla.-based Data Integrity Services, said he has also seen the talent shortage accelerate.