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Still no end in sight to the cybersecurity staffing gap, survey finds

About 85% of cybersecurity pros across 10 countries think understaffing is harming their security posture
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Almost everyone agrees that there aren’t enough security pros to go around, according to a Trellix survey of 1,000 members of the field in nine countries released this month. Nearly a third are thinking of jumping ship themselves.

Roughly 85% of respondents reported that the long-standing cybersecurity staffing shortage is “impacting their organization’s abilities to secure increasingly complex information systems and networks”—a situation that probably isn’t helped much by the 30% of respondents who said they planned to switch professions in the future. That dismal result follows years of similar findings in surveys conducted by the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), which wrote last year that its 2021 poll continued a “downward, multi-year trend of bad to worse.”

The Trellix survey, which involved respondents from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, and the US, found a number of widespread “frustrations” in the industry–with 89% saying they had at least one major issue. Those included:

  • Limited support for skills development (36%)
  • Lack of recognition for the “good we do” from society at large (36%)
  • Limited support with the required qualifications and certifications (32%)
  • Demographic pay inequity and lack of diversity (29% and 28% respectively)
  • Unfriendly for women (16%)

Moreover, over 9 out of 10 said the cybersecurity field needs to be doing a better job of attracting diverse candidates to the profession. A significant number of respondents identified sexism and pay gaps as major frustrations, as well as recommended solutions like mentorship and apprentice programs or wider consideration of  candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

Despite these trends, there’s a silver lining: an (ISC)² survey published last year found that most working cybersecurity professionals reported being satisfied or extremely satisfied with their job, particularly those working at mid- and large-sized institutions. Just over half of respondents to the Trellix survey said that they found cybersecurity to be “progressive and evolving,”, while 41% reported having few worries about finding new jobs in the profession in the future.—TM

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Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to software development and gaming. Our IT Brew newsletter delivers the latest news and analysis of trends shaping the IT industry, like only The Brew can.