Tackling the Cybersecurity Staff Shortages: Hiring and Retaining Talent

3 min read

There is a cybersecurity staffing crisis facing organizations of all sizes due to the crippling shortage of suitably qualified people available in the job market. Many prominent publications have covered the cybersecurity staffing problem, and we summarize the scope of the issue in the next section.

We'll also outline how Critical Insight can fill the cybersecurity gap impacting organizations across industry, healthcare, local government, and other public sector bodies. Plus, we'll highlight the industry training initiatives that Critical Insight is championing to increase the pool of skilled cybersecurity experts.

The Scope of the Staffing Problem

According to this August 2021 article in the Washington Post, there were approximately 465,000 unfilled jobs in the cyber sector. Since that piece appeared, the situation has gotten worse. Accessing the Cyberseek Cybersecurity Supply/Demand Heat Map today (mid-January 2022) shows that the open positions have grown to over 597,000.

The Post article also highlights how acute the cybersecurity staffing issue is in government. At the time of writing, the Cyberseek data shows over 38,000 open public sector cyber-related positions. Up from 36,000 in August.

Clearly, there is a high demand for experienced cybersecurity professionals to fill roles in organizations across the public and private sectors. This shortage impacts the job market by driving up wage costs and encouraging hiring practices that entice experienced cybersecurity professionals to move to roles with enhanced benefits.

The dynamic nature of the cybersecurity job market is often beyond the means of many small and medium organizations. Plus, even if they can recruit a qualified team to fulfill their cybersecurity function, there is a good chance that staff will move on when they get an offer from somewhere else. Many HR teams don't want to deal with this frequent staff turnover, even if they have the resources to fund an internal cybersecurity team.

How Critical Insight Can Plug the Gaps

Critical Insight provides a wide range of cybersecurity solutions and services covering analysis, design, compliance, and protection. Our security program delivers a journey that takes each organization from where they are now to where they need to be on a manageable timeline. All within their operational needs and the budget available.

Our purpose is to remove the cybersecurity burden from businesses and public sector organizations so that they can focus on their objectives, safe in the knowledge that Critical Insight has their back. We Defend. You Thrive.

By delivering the full spectrum of services, solutions, and expertise needed to deliver cybersecurity, Critical Insight can plug the gaps any organization is dealing with in the cybersecurity job market. We can take over full responsibility via a managed service agreement for staffing a cybersecurity team to protect your assets and staff, or we can assist your internal team at whatever level is required.

The Defense Services Wheel infographic below shows the services Critical Insight delivers.

For more details, see the Benefits of a One-Stop-Shop for Cybersecurity page, which outlines what each segment of the wheel and the services entail.

Addressing the Staffing Shortage

Addressing the chronic shortage of skilled cyber-aware IT staff will require a long-term plan at the Federal, State, and local levels. It'll require concerted and long-term funding and training to give people from all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue a career in cyber defense-related jobs. No single organization can hope to solve the problem, but every organization that has a stake in solving it has to do what it can.

Critical Insight founder and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Mike Hamilton first recognized that something needed to change when he was the CISO for the City of Seattle. To try to make a dent in the shortage at the local level, he instigated a unique training program called PISCES (Public Infrastructure Security Cyber Education System).

Under this program, Critical Insight partners with universities to train and develop the next generation of cybersecurity talent. The students hone their cyber skills through an innovative curriculum paired with live-fire training using Critical Insight's tech. As part of this training, they defend small cities which could not otherwise afford the protection provided — all under the supervision and mentoring of expert staff.

In this Solving the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage article, you can read much more about the PISCES program, including how the Wall Street Journal covered it.

Webinar: Hiring and Retaining Cybersecurity Talent

Depending on when you are reading this blog post, you can join us live for a webinar titled Hiring and Retaining Cybersecurity Talent, or you can watch the recording embedded below or via our YouTube Channel.

Details of the webinar:

Hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals has always been difficult. But now, with people leaving their jobs in droves, finding talent is the #1 challenge highlighted in recent cybersecurity surveys.

Join Critical Insight Founder, Michael Hamilton, and staffing and hiring expert, Raleen Gagnon, ManpowerGroup. We will discuss why there's always been a talent shortage and the ways different organizations have attempted to solve it, plus increased education, and credentialing in cybersecurity. We'll talk about ways to train and retain employees.