As the threat of cyber attacks grows, you can’t wait until the last minute to find the right talent. Talent’s Cyber Security Practice lead Simon Mansfield explains why.

cyber security

According to data by Symantec, in January 2017 alone, 419,000 web attacks were blocked per day. It’s a number that doesn’t include scams, phishing emails or other security threats and allows an insight into the immense volume of data and attacks we face each day.

Whilst this sends a serious message to all businesses that are challenged by the evolving cyber security threats, it is also driving the demand for experienced cyber security professionals. We sat down with Simon Mansfield, Talent’s Cyber Security Practice Lead-APAC, to get a clearer picture on what prominent trends we can expect to see in 2017, as well as what this might mean for cyber security recruitment and careers in the future.

Here is the first of two articles shining a light on some of Simon’s insights.

The biggest trends in cyber security

Both across Australia and globally, the reality is that there is an increased demand for all cyber security disciplines. From technical roles such as architects, analysts and consultants through to cyber security vendor sales and pre sales staff – demand for skilled talent has spiked alongside the significant increase in global attacks.

Simon emphasised that as a flow-on effect of the ever increasing complexity of cyber security defence systems and the sheer volume of attacks, the number of cyber security vendors has grown exponentially as well. This increased level of complexity requires organisations to recruit cyber security professionals with an ever increasing level of solution specific specialist cyber security domain expertise. Simon suggests this situation affects every [deleted] businesses – be that government departments or private companies – regardless of their size.

“The cyber security defence landscape has become much more complex recently, for the last 20 years, we focused on perimeter defence with firewalls anti-virus software. This security architecture served us well until the attack vectors and technology use landscape changed. As a result of mobile device usage, BYOD polices and move of applications to the cloud, we now have endpoints connected outside of the organisation network. And, the more external touchpoints there are, the higher the potential risk of a cyber security breach,” Simon explained.

The imbalance of demand and supply within the cyber security space has organisations re-architecting their cyber security defence infrastructures. As the likelihood of being attacked increases and recruiting of security professionals becomes increasing difficult, some organisations are turning to outsourcing their cyber security requirements to third party managed security service providers. This is particularly relevant in the small and medium enterprise sector that are struggling to compete with the increasing levels of remuneration offered by the larger Enterprise and Government sectors.

What this means for you

Simon highlights how much of an opportunity the rise in awareness of the cyber attack threats and increasing levels of activity in organisations on cyber security is for industry professionals. The main issue for organisations and talent alike however, is the market supply of experienced cyber security professionals.

As such, he stressed how much of a difference there is between training and real-life experience. Particularly new professionals will need to attain special certifications, attend training and other forms of relevant, further education to adequately equip themselves with the right skills. Then, gain actual real life experience that can only be gained working in the field.

At the moment, Simon suggests that there is currently a massive global shortage of 1 million skilled cyber security professionals, something that is expected to increase by a further 1 million by 2019. This projection clearly highlights that that the hiring of cyber security professionals will become more challenging for the foreseeable future. Faced with this reality businesses will be faced with the choice of hiring for internal teams, or outsourcing to a MSSP solution provider.

“It’s unrealistic to wait until you need to hire contract or permanent cyber security professionals to find the right person for a project anymore. Organisations need to start identifying people in well in advance to ensure they can hire suitable candidates,” he said.

By working proactively with specialised cyber security talent acquisition professionals, organisations can identify cyber professionals to meet their requirements. Industry leading agencies such as Talent are working with clients to develop recruiting models that address outsourcing of projects to the agency.

Simon has a background in cyber security and intelligence and focuses of cyber security talent identification and recruitment to make a real difference. With the ability to approach IT roles from a unique point of view, he is highly skilled at matching the right talent for the growing demand of digital roles.

If you recognise a need for better cyber security, you can reach out to our team at Talent, where we work alongside Simon to find the right talent for you.