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Jul 24th, 2021

3.5 million Cybersecurity job is predicted in the UK by 2021

Cyber Security Skills Gap – An Opportunity

The US and the UK are also among the countries with a huge shortage in cybersecurity skills. The (current) cybersecurity workforce gap in the US is estimated at nearly 500,000. As per Cybersecurity Professionals, a job vacancy of 3.5 million is predicted in the UK by 2021 (again, a number that could now be a lot higher).

Source – cybersecurity-professionals.com

COVID has redefined the way we live, radically changing the way we work, learn and socialize. And as we get used to living in a virtual world, we are also grappling with the challenges such an existence brings. Cyber security is one such challenge. From hackers trying to Zoombomb meetings, to trying to sell the Statue of Unity – the incidents of security breaches are rising and there’s a dire need to create safe ecosystems that enable a virtual living.

It’s no surprise then that hiring for cyber security professionals is on the rise – making it one of the few COVID-proof jobs.

India has had its fair share cyber security problems, being the second most cyber-attacked country in the world.  Between April 2017 and January 2018 alone, over 22,000 websites in India were hacked, which included 114 websites run by the government. One that caused a huge outcry was the (alleged) data breach in February 2019 faced by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), where Aadhaar details (name, addresses and Aadhaar numbers) of over 6.7 million users were leaked on Indane’s website.

But, the problem is a global one. Countries like the United States have also faced threats. In September 2017, EQUIFAX  had one of the worst cyberattacks, where personal information of 145 million users was compromised, which is nearly half of the US population. Since February, IBM X-Force has observed a 4,300 percent increase in Coronavirus-themed spam. According to World Economic Forum, cyberattacks are the second biggest risk for businesses across the globe (see chart).

And therein lies the opportunity

As risk rises, so does the requirement for cybersecurity professionals.

And there’s a huge skills gap here –  76% of cyber security leaders face skills shortage, as organisations struggle to find cyber security professionals. This gap is an indication of the career opportunities that can be explored in this field.

According to (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2019, there are over 4 million unfilled vacancies in the (global) cybersecurity sector; the current cybersecurity workforce is estimated at 2.8 million professionals (and this was before COVID, so the gap would only have widened).

The Asia-Pacific region is reported to have the highest skill gaps which could be attributed to the increased use of web technologies in the region. Another obvious reason is the increase in cyber-threats, which has caused an increased demand of cybers security professionals. Asian countries like India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and China, to name a few, are among the few facing a skill gap in this field.

 

What do the work opportunities look like?

Cyber security professionals are faced with the unenviable and rather challenging task of protecting their organization’s critical assets (in their networks) from intruders, attackers or hackers.

The career paths include:

Exec/CXO
Chief Information Security Officer(CISO)
IT Director
IT Security Director
IT Manager
IT Security Manager
Security Architect/Engineer
Security Specialist
Security Consultant/Advisor
Security Analyst
Security/Compliance Officer
Security Administrator
IT Staff
Application Developer/Tester