Security skills gap grows, raising fears of cyberattacks

Shortage of workers with cyber defense expertise make organizations more vulnerable to attacks.

Organizations are struggling with a worsening cyber security skill shortage while facing rising threat levels, according to a new study by Crowd Research Partners, an organization that produces peer-sourced market research reports.

A survey of more than 1,900 security professionals showed that more than half (54 percent) say they anticipate that hackers will successfully launch cyber attacks on their organizations in the next 12 months.

Heightening the alarm over all of this is the growing skills gap in IT security. A separate study from the Center for Cyber Safety and Education that was recently released found that gap will grow to as many as 1.8 million IT security workers by 2022. That is a 20 percent increase from the 1.5 million IT security worker shortfall that was predicted by the center in 2015.

The 2017 Cybersecurity Trends Report, produced in partnership with several cyber security vendors, also showed that 46 percent of organizations surveyed for the research are boosting their security budget, by an average of 21 percent.

The focus areas where companies will increase security spending include cloud infrastructure (33 percent), training/education (23 percent) and mobile devices (23 percent).

That study’s findings mirror results of a study released this week by Thales, a security services vendor, and 451 Research, which found that 81 percent of U.S. healthcare organizations and 76 percent of global healthcare organizations will increase information security spending in 2017.

To overcome security challenges and create a stronger security posture, 54 percent of organizations want to train and certify their current IT staff, the study said. Internal training is followed by partnering with a managed security service provider (29 percent), and leveraging security technology solutions (27 percent).

To better manage cyber threats and reduce the risk of a security breach, companies prioritize three key capabilities including improved threat detection (62 percent), better analytical capabilities (43 percent) and threat blocking (39 percent).

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