Computer cybersecurity is the effort to prevent computers in a home or workplace from being attacked by hackers and infiltrated with a virus, malware, or other destructive software. Most businesses now need help from cybersecurity professionals to protect their computer systems from cyberattack and to handle intrusions when they manage to break through.
Cybercrimes cost companies $3 trillion in 2015 and are predicted to soar to $6 trillion in 2021. Leaving your computer network unprotected is simply not an option anymore as hackers get more adept at gaining access to unprotected systems.
Cybersecurity jobs are the largest area of shortage in all of information technology. A worldwide shortage of an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings is projected by 2021, and in the U.S. the shortage may number 350,000 positions.
The Rise of the CISO
A few decades ago, CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) were unheard-of on company boards. But now 65 percent of large U.S. companies have a CISO because of the growing challenge associated with keeping company information secure. Experts predict that CISOs will be on the board of every large company across the world by 2021.
As companies scramble to find employees that can safeguard their networks and information, many are putting their systems in the hands of third-party security companies. Running systems entirely from the cloud, or using MSSPs (Managed Security Service Providers), can be a way for companies to meet cybersecurity needs using well-trained personnel without trying to find their own talent in a scarce market.
Looking Ahead at Cybersecurity
With the proper training, you may have companies fighting for your services. This might explain why the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for cybersecurity jobs is now more than $98,000 per year. As companies continue to compete for scarce cybersecurity talent, salaries are likely to rise even more.
Colleges and universities are increasingly establishing degree programs in cybersecurity, but are not expected to keep up with demand. Technical training schools are also teaching cybersecurity courses that can help students learn the needed skills and earn certifications.
One way information technology educators can help to bridge the gap for employers is to make cybersecurity a part of any degree or training program in the IT field. This way, all students will get some training on how to protect and troubleshoot computer systems, and companies may be able to provide further training for their particular needs.
As technology continues to permeate business and companies to a greater degree than ever, technology training that includes cybersecurity skills may need to become a part of the curriculum in nearly every field of study. Standardizing training, so that tech skills improve in many fields, can be one way to solve shortages like the current cybersecurity skills shortfall and make all business employees more aware of how to protect their company’s systems.
PC AGE offers training in cybersecurity and other computer skills, including courses that can lead to security certifications. Request info about the programs we offer and how you can gain cybersecurity skills to help bridge the gap between needs and personnel.