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The last few years have seen our investment in security technologies and controls grow – the challenge now is how we use those investments to protect our assets and manage risk, in an increasingly uncertain world. If you can’t attract, develop and retain highly valuable cyber resources, then it’s wise to work with organisations who can.

Empty seats

Currently, there are millions of unfilled cybersecurity roles throughout the business world today. And the Center for Cyber Safety and Education predicts a 1.8 million shortfall in the number of information security workers by 2022.

As a result, almost 75% of organisations say it’s getting harder to hire skilled security staff. Geography adds another dimension with many skilled cybersecurity professionals tending to be clustered in just a few countries: the UK, the US, Germany, and Israel especially. If it seems hard to hire cybersecurity skills in these countries, the market is even tougher elsewhere.

The cost of ignoring the problem

A recent survey by the Information Systems Security Association found that 70% of respondents said the shortage of cybersecurity skills has affected their organisation.nMore worryingly, almost 62% of respondents said that training hadn’t kept up to speed with business and IT risk. That number is up almost 10% from the previous study.

Building skills takes time

When it comes to training, the industry is playing catch-up. But there are some encouraging signs to overcome the skills gap: in the US, a pilot programme is re-skilling military veterans in cybersecurity. And the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre is working to encourage young women into the industry, as well as running school holiday courses to encourage school students to consider cybersecurity as a career.

Elsewhere, there’s a longer-term move to transform cybersecurity into a ‘trade’, one that can be taught far more broadly than it is at the moment

What is the solution?

Some of the industry’s focus on building capacity is encouraging, but the truth is that there’s no quick fix to the skills shortage. In the meantime, there are certain steps you can take.

Tell key suppliers you expect them to embed security (and prove it) into the services they offer today, so that there’s less 'bolting on' of solutions. Look for opportunities for the automation of tasks, so you are able to point your skilled resources at value-added activities instead.

Supplement skill gaps with services. You can better recognise and bridge the gaps by working with trusted cybersecurity partners who already possess the skills needed.

Until the supply of talented cybersecurity professionals improves, taking these steps and ensuring you have the right security partners is key. Work with partners who can help you to identify what you need to protect your business and, critically, can equip you to bounce back from the worst – don’t be held back by a lack of skills in the short term.

Vodacom Business: Award-winning cybersecurity capabilities 

Vodacom has yet again been the proud recipient for the Fortinet Managed Services Provider of The Year Award during Fortinet’s Partner Sync Conference in South Africa. Vodacom has over a decade long history of supporting perimeter security solutions across Africa and Europe with Fortinet as the lead technology for Firewalls, Load balancers, Layer 7 Security protection and DDOS protection. Vodacom’s advanced reporting capabilities using the Fortinet FortiAnalyzer gives customers both real-time alerts and historic reporting to better understand the types of the attacks they are under and where they are being attacked from.

Protecting devices, networks, data and apps is an essential component of doing business. Vodacom Business provides security products and services to businesses of all sizes, helping you secure your business anywhere because we are everywhere.

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