The must-have cybersecurity skills for 2024
Cybersecurity is one of the hottest topics at the moment. With cyber attacks only on the up, the right people are needed at the helm to shore up company systems and protect against threats. This calls for cybersecurity professionals who are skilled in everything from penetration testing through to AI and are always able to stay one step ahead of malicious players.
So, which cybersecurity skillsets are in highest demand and where should you focus your efforts as a cyber professional as we move into 2024? Our recruitment experts and clients (whose insights are so exclusive we’ve had to conceal their identities!) have weighed in to help you best navigate the cyber job market. Let’s get into it.
Cloud Computing Security
As cloud applications are increasingly relied upon with the growth of remote and hybrid work, the threat of cyberattacks is ever present. As a result, cloud computing security skills are highly desired. A global survey found 50% of companies are looking for cloud security specialists, yet this talent is in short supply as 57% of IT and cybersecurity managers have noted that cloud security roles are the most challenging to fill. One of Talent’s clients, an Information Security Governance Manager from a major bank, stated that “as more organisations are migrating applications and data to the cloud – they face new challenges in securing their cloud environments. Since cloud security is a niche set of skills, I believe many organisations will look to offer greater opportunities to upskill their employees in this specific area of cybersecurity.” Brush up on your cloud computing skills and they’ll hold you in good stead when searching for your next cyber role.
Monitoring company systems and ensuring there’s no way for cyber criminals to break through, is key as threats only become more sophisticated. So, it’s no surprise that endpoint security and security operations centre (SOC) skillsets are highly sought after. 42% of global companies are seeking to hire Security Operations Analysts, yet 50% cite difficulty in recruiting these professionals. According to our Talent Sydney cybersecurity recruitment expert, Elliott Howard, SOC roles top the list when it comes to professionals in demand, particularly as cyber threats only grow in number. Cyberattacks increased by 7% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period the year prior, with 1 in 31 global companies experiencing a ransomware attack per week during this same time period. Elliott notes, “the cybersecurity roles most in demand by our clients are Cyber Engineers (SOC, Cloud Security and DevSecOps), GRC Consultants, and Cyber Architects.”
When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s not only about building a strong defence – constructing a strong offensive strategy is just as important to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Strengthening systems by proactively searching for vulnerabilities is currently a key focus area for companies, with penetration testing and threat intelligence experts in high demand. According to a 2023 survey, 94% of cybersecurity professionals cited that penetration testing was either somewhat important or important to their company’s cybersecurity strength. However, 63% of survey respondents noted that hiring enough skilled professionals to carry out penetration tests was their top challenge when implementing a penetration testing program in their company. A Cyber Director at a Talent government client also notes that they are in search of tenured professionals with offensive security skillsets, citing that they are looking to hire “Offensive Security and Cyber Threat Intelligence Analysts including threat modelling, with 10 years’ experience and certified OSCP, GPEN, GCTI”. So, if you’re skilled in locking down systems and are an expert pen tester, you’ll be in a good position when it comes to securing cyber opportunities in 2024 and beyond.
As AI takes off, the need for professionals who understand the ins and outs of this technology – and can remain ahead of cybercriminals who are leveraging its capabilities – is higher than ever. With the global ‘AI in cybersecurity’ market valued at over $10 billion in 2020 and projected to reach $46.3 billion by 2027, companies are increasingly integrating AI into their cybersecurity operations and need skilled professionals to lead the charge. One Talent client, an Information Security Manager from a major bank, shares that they are in need of “experts with Artificial Intelligence skills, where AI is used for SOC”, however, they note that this skillset is challenging to hire for, with demand for this talent far outweighing supply. After all, it’s estimated that there is a shortfall of 3.4 million cybersecurity candidates globally.
Beyond technical skills… it’s time to talk the talk
While technical skills are key when it comes to cybersecurity, there are also those less technical skills that can be deal-makers or deal-breakers for employers when it comes to making a hire. Looking to 2024, strong communication skills are a non-negotiable. A Cybersecurity Architect Manager at an IT services client company, shares that “candidates who have the technical acumen are aplenty, however the ability to communicate in literal and verbal mediums, combined with a good set of interpersonal skills, differentiates the good from the not so good candidates.” Communication skills are so important and in such high demand, that candidates who possess both this technical AND non-technical expertise can find themselves in a stronger bargaining position when it comes to salary. A Cyber Services Manager at a cyber consultancy cites that their preference is “to hire those who are a bit consultative in nature with a good degree of interpersonal skills in managing clients. Such candidates are certainly in short supply, but if you find one, it’s often worth paying that little bit extra given the benefits they can provide.”
The skills and hiring landscape
As new technology continues to enter the market and cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated, the skills and hiring landscape will continue to shift.
Here at Talent, we know that keeping up with current trends in cyber skills and getting ahead of rapidly evolving cyber threats is tough. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Working with hundreds of employers across every industry from Tech through to Telecoms, we can set you up with your ideal cybersecurity role. Check out all our job opportunities in cybersecurity here.