The cybersecurity skills gap in the UK has reached a ‘crisis point’, with businesses facing challenges in developing, attracting and retaining personnel with the right skillset to combat threats such as online fraud and cybercrime.
That’s according to a survey of more than 500 CIOs and senior IT professionals conducted by Atomik Research for digital resilience specialist RedSeal.
As many as 87% of those surveyed reported that they are struggling to find cybersecurity professionals with the expertise needed to combat serious and organised online crime.
The research also showed that cybercrime and its impact on UK business continues to grow, with 81% reporting that they have suffered a cybersecurity breach in the last 12 months. And a shortage of skills has contributed to a lack of proper response planning, with almost half (40%) of senior IT pros stating that their business doesn’t have a plan in place to respond to a security breach.
“Across the industry, we have drained the talent pool for security professionals,” said Dr Mike Lloyd, chief technology at RedSeal and expert in the study of the spread of malware. “There’s a global shortage of about 4 million cybersecurity pros, up from just over 3 million last year.
“The UK’s education system can help, but not quickly – professionals agree that it takes about 10 years of real-world experience to develop the skills needed to combat today’s threats, so we’re facing a sustained drought for talent. Automation can help but cannot replace human intuition and insight. We have to build hybrid teams, combining computers for all the drudge work so that the few human analysts can focus on the security tasks that matter.”
RedSeal also urged the next UK Government to create a more robust education policy that will deliver the skills needed in the future.
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