Why a lack of Cybersecurity Talent Retention can put your Business Continuity Planning at Risk

Cybersecurity Talent
Image Credit: Funtap / Getty Images

A good cybersecurity specialist is difficult to come by. As cyber-attacks continue to rise, retaining cybersecurity talent is more critical than ever. However, the number of cybersecurity experts in the sector has not expanded at the same rate, resulting in a skills deficit that can be disastrous for corporations and other organizations.

Enterprises are usually understaffed, exacerbated by the necessity of cybersecurity being undervalued by individuals making employment decisions within firms. It is all too usual for IT departments to lack sufficient committed professionals to meet their needs.

However, the issue is not restricted to recruiting cybersecurity expertise. Retaining talent is another significant difficulty. Talent with the necessary skills is in high demand and so operates from a position of strength in the employment market. Because of supply and demand, good talent can charge a premium for their services.

The threat of poor Cybersecurity Skills

Ideally, every company would have enough talent to fill every needed position. However, some issues are more critical — or urgent — than others. A lack of cybersecurity talent can put firms at risk due to the hazards inherent in poor cybersecurity hygiene.

Cybersecurity professionals will handle everything from installing encryption tools and firewalls to identifying and reporting breaches, maintaining up-to-date on patches and emerging trends in the industry, and creating detailed contingency plans that may be implemented if necessary.

Cyber attacks can potentially leave services inoperable, sensitive data breached, and other problems.

RELATED: Data Breach Plan: 5 Points businesses must consider

This can cause significant harm, whether in the form of unwelcome downtime, theft, reputational loss, or significant financial fines. As a result, business continuity is jeopardized.

Because many businesses do not completely comprehend the significance of cyber security, they may believe that it is something that can be handled by even relatively novice IT staff.

This, however, is not the case. Because of an absence of specific cyber skill sets and chronic understaffing, firms are unprepared to identify, analyze, remediate, and prevent assaults.

Remedying the Situation

There are various initiatives that businesses and other groups can take to address this issue. To begin with, cybersecurity must be emphasized.

This entails acknowledging that it is more than just another task to be added to the responsibilities of ordinary IT employees.

If hiring a top cybersecurity specialist is genuinely out of your budget, consider hiring one part-time to assist in putting in place the required safeguarding mechanisms. This isn’t as ideal as having a full-time person on staff. Still, one outstanding part-time cybersecurity specialist is preferable to a full-time employee without the necessary abilities.

Organizations should also cultivate their subject matter experts.

There is a clear distinction between an IT employee who, for example, sets up new employees on office computers and someone who works in cybersecurity. However, you can take advantage of the opportunity if you have IT workers who want to learn more about cybersecurity.

Collaboration with IT security training companies can assist staff in receiving the necessary security training.

Closing the Cybersecurity Talent shortage

The first thing that needs to be done is to figure out which capabilities directly affect the systems that drive your business. These are your most important assets, data, and applications to the value and operation of the business.

Using a risk-based approach to protect these assets means making a map of the needed controls and choosing the right people to put them in place.

This self-evaluation helps determine which employees need more training and which need to be replaced.

  • Determine activities to be prioritized: Through risk modeling and scoring potential vulnerabilities, talent-to-value protection identifies top objectives for executing the security strategy. Each organization rates risk differently, but all should include business or operational consequences. Risk scores combine an attacker’s likelihood and intent to act with the organization’s vulnerability.
  • Identify priority roles: Define and prioritize the security jobs required to address the highest risk-based priorities. Once priority roles have been identified, it is possible to establish the job descriptions for what each position requires.
  • Create job descriptions and determine whether to upskill or hire: Determine whether to upskill existing personnel or hire fresh talent to fill the priority role. These can be constructed around cybersecurity operations, governance, engineering, cloud security, or data governance. Jobs are organized by families, functions, positions, and roles. Frameworks like NIST can help categorize roles.

Each job description for a priority role should include a high-level summary of tasks, skills, background; role details; and tasks, knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the function.

In-house or outsource?

An in-house cybersecurity team may not be practical due to skill, resources, or other reasons. Outsourcing talent can speed deployment and grow security support.

By knowing what is required and where to employ individuals vs. buy services, your business can hit its cybersecurity maturity targets and grow its operational-technology security.

RELATED: Outsourcing your IT: What are the Pros and Cons?

Retaining Cybersecurity Talent: Preparing for the future

It is tough to close the cybersecurity skills gap. However, with the proper measures, it is possible. You should concentrate on ensuring that this is a topic taken seriously within your firm. It would help if you also made sure that you have the necessary tools and procedures in place to optimize the impact of a small security team.

A robust business continuity strategy that analyses potential threats and the harm they may do, as well as a well-defined chain of command, disaster recovery plans, and other measures, will ensure that you can respond rapidly to all cyber attacks.

RELATED: Business continuity and crisis management

Unfortunately, the threat of such attacks is not going away anytime soon. However, taking the necessary safety measures can help protect yourself from them.

Leaders of organizations can keep their cybersecurity hires in several ways to avoid a talent shortage. Professionals in security and development listed the following qualities as proactive ways to keep people:

  • Strong emphasis on both personal and professional growth
  • Community atmosphere is maintained even when employees are working from home
  • Market competitive salaries
  • Additional alternatives for monetary remuneration, such as bonuses and stock options
  • Care for the physical and emotional health of the workforce
You might also like