In response to the labor crunch, the field of managed security services firms is rapidly expanding. Market researcher Gartner reports the IT security outsourcing segment recording the fastest growth (25%) in its Information Security, Worldwide Forecast -- which was updated in the first quarter of 2016. As CISOs remain challenged around recruiting security talent, they are increasingly turning to third parties for help.
Cognitive computing is coming to the cybersecurity industry, and it holds out hope to reduce some of the labor burden faced by corporations and governments. Cognitive computing is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. Cognitive computing involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works. IBM - a major player in the cognitive space -- announced earlier this year it would be bringing its Watson platform to the security market later in 2016.
While cognitive and other technologies including cyber analytics are aimed at automating tasks and finding threats which are currently handled by humans -- the cybercrime wave is expected to keep the pressure on enterprises who must figure out how to recruit cyber defenders or cross-train IT staffers into those roles.
What does it all mean?
Looking at the market expansion and job figures, what's the takeaway? Simply put, the cybersecurity labor shortage is going to get worse before it gets better, and employers need to prepare.
Women and minorities represent an untapped resource, but they need to be proactively recruited and embraced by the cyber community.
IT workers can be cross-trained, but that supposes they are eager to make the switch -- and willing to potentially step down to entry-level security positions before working themselves up to more lucrative pay.
Managed security providers and IT security outsourcing firms are challenged around recruiting as their businesses scale, and many regulated corporations can not hand off their security management so easily.
Wait, we forgot about college grads -- cyber's new market entrants. Surely they will help make a big dent in the labor shortfall - no? Not so fast. Students are graduating from the top 10 U.S. computer science programs without taking a single course on cybersecurity. There's a large influx of tech grads, but they are not necessarily cyber grads.
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