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Companies urged to upskill to meet cybersecurity talent shortage

Your company’s next cybersecurity expert could be lurking in the finance department, a new report examining talent shortage solutions reveals.

Rather than publishing dozens of postings that don’t attract the right candidates, companies should focus on re-skilling existing employees to meet their cybersecurity needs, the report by international labour market data experts Emsi ( advises.

The skills shortage in the sector has been further deepened by Covid-19 as millions of people work from home, potentially exposing themselves and their companies to malware and scams.

Emsi reports it would take a staggering 145% increase in the current cybersecurity workforce to meet global demand. In the US alone, there are just 48 qualified candidates for every 100 roles, many of whom are already employed. So, how to solve the crisis? Build, don’t buy, according to the data company’s findings.

The report, ‘Build (Don’t Buy): A Skills-Based Strategy to Solve the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage’, offers suggestions regarding which candidates are ideal for reskilling, as well as which skills companies and regional training and workforce partners should develop.

In an introduction, Josh Bersin, global industry analyst and dean of the Josh Bersin Academy, points out that searching for people with the perfect skills is often one of the most expensive ways to fill these jobs – and the right candidates may be already working for you.

“Yes, companies need to help find, develop, and promote the need for certified professionals in this role. But for a larger company, the far easier approach is often to build these skills internally; leveraging people you already have in the company,” Bersin writes.

“Emsi’s research clearly points this out. Cybersecurity experts have broad backgrounds: they understand IT, math, business, as well as accounting and engineering.

“In fact, a large financial services company conducted a detailed analysis of its workforce and found that the most ready professionals for this role were financial auditors.

“These professionals already knew a lot about IT systems, they had immense attention to detail, and they understood how to track a chain of events to identify the cause of a problem. Most big companies have lots of staff in these roles, so moving them into cybersecurity can often be a tremendous career boost.”

Download the full report here:

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