Before COVID-19 hit the world in an unprecedented crisis, cybersecurity was facing one major problem: a widening talent gap that only became worse with remote working being the new normal. To give you a better idea, the latest report published by ISC(2) says that the world currently needs an additional 4.07 million professionals, the US needs to increase the cybersecurity workforce by 62%, and to make things worse, companies, desperate to have cybersecurity staff, are hiring people who don’t have the right training for the positions they are filling.
As you can tell by the numbers: the problem is real, it has been going on for several years now, and it does not seem as if this trend is going to change soon. So to address an old problem, we need new ways of thinking and acting. But what can be done?
As we mentioned in a previous post, we need first to understand our cybersecurity needs, how we can take care of them, and the real hard and soft-skills associated with them. We also need to promote apprenticeship programs that offer on-the-job experience and cybersecurity certifications.
But our efforts don’t stop there. We should start offering training for people with different backgrounds and help them transition to cybersecurity. Why not consider veterans?
Every year, about 200,000 service members leave the military and look for different ways to transition to civilian life. These are men and women who have had a different experience than the rest of us, who have been trained to think like an adversary, to work under pressure and high-stress environments, that understand work ethics, that have a sense of belonging and responsibility, that have decision-making abilities, discipline, and know how to work as part of a group, have all the great qualities necessary for someone who will be defending your network and system from online adversaries.
Organizations can look over to our veterans and help them reincorporate into civilian life by offering them training (with a foundational understanding of the threat landscape, cybersecurity fundamentals, and skills needed to implement the strategies and concepts), mentoring, and the chance to get a job in their cybersecurity department. It is a win/win situation.