Our economy is increasingly driven by technology, even in areas that do not at first glance appear to have a technology focus. GPS and AI play a critical role in farming and agriculture, and even the artisanal goods sold at the smallest bodega or gourmet store, pizza joint or coffee shop are part of a sophisticated global supply chain. Quite simply, business processes and technology are at the heart of today’s global economy, and we are falling short.

One area in which we are falling short is in employee cyber skills. Because nearly every job today – from warehouse worker or barista, to real estate agent to lawyer – relies on connectivity and interaction with technology, a baseline level of cyber skill is important. We also need experts to focus specifically on securing our digital enterprises.

The skills gap is especially wide when it comes to cybersecurity

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) says 83% of human resources professionals report having had difficulty recruiting suitable job candidates in the past 12 months. In addition, 52% of SHRM survey respondents say the skills shortage has worsened in recent years. This gap is even more pronounced in the tech industry and in cybersecurity in particular.

how to fill cyber skills

SHRM says the skills gap is visible in the trades, middle-skills jobs and most notably in high-skilled science, technology, engineering and math jobs including the data analysis, science, engineering and medical fields. A study from nonprofit group (ISC)² states there will be a cybersecurity worker shortage of 1.8 million by 2022 – a 20% increase since 2015.

This shortage means that many front-line cyber threats simply go unanswered, creating security and financial risk for our digitally enabled society and economy. Corporations have identified the skills gap as a major strategic issue and potential drag on economic growth, and are aggressively attacking the skills gap to win the talent war.

Businesses are using a variety of methods to find needed cybersecurity talent

Many businesses are offering on-site and off-site training to help employees build the additional skills they require. According to SHRM, 33% of employers say that more work visas are needed for foreign citizens.

Some of today’s employers also are working to fill the skills gap by hiring from “untapped markets,” including people with criminal backgrounds. (ISC)² advises employers to “look for new recruitment channels and unconventional strategies and techniques to fill the worker gap.”

Moreover, some industry experts suggest that new cybersecurity professionals should be recruited from the ranks of ethical hackers and that “vulnerability reports should be the new resume.” There is also a move to embrace emerging cybersecurity talent even if those individuals lack college degrees.

But organizations need all the help they can get

At Entrust , we understand how difficult it is to find the talent needed to secure your enterprise IT environment. That is why, in addition to providing a broad range of market-leading data protection solutions, we also deliver professional data security services and training.

The complete Entrust package of cybersecurity solutions will help your organization safeguard its most sensitive data and business processes, while ensuring your business complies with regulations and industry mandates.

For more information on how Entrust helps businesses protect critical data, check out our product page. You can also follow Entrust on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.