A study by (ISC)² reveals that the shortage of cybersecurity experts is now at 2.93 million, with North American having a shortage of 498K. More than 63% of organizations report a lack of staff dedicated to security and nearly 60% find that the issue puts them at moderate or extreme risk due to the number of security risks they face in this digital era.  With these numbers it is clear what one of the challenges involves for any business to implement an effective cybersecurity posture and why there’s a recurring theme of patching security issues through tools and technology, but not necessarily process and people. So, what can a business do to overcome the cybersecurity workforce shortage?

There are many options to evaluate, but the first one that requires attention is the acceptance of the shortage and therefore the need to consult with experts in the field to know what steps a company needs to take to become secure even if they lack the necessary expert staff.

The cybersecurity workforce shortage isn’t going to disappear

Acceptance means CEOs need to understand that even though they can’t hire cybersecurity experts to work in-house, they can get an outside cybersecurity expert to help them implement risk management from a process and people standpoint with the staff they have and the staff that takes care of using the cybersecurity technology and tools the company adopts for security.

This means finding an external cybersecurity expert that can train employees, set up policies and procedures for the use of IoT devices within the office and outside of the office, and set up a business continuity plan for unexpected events that can disrupt day-to-day operations.

Knowing where your vulnerabilities lie

Next on the list of needs for the risks that come with the cybersecurity workforce shortage is knowing where your vulnerabilities lie.  An assessment is what usually gives companies eyes on what areas require their attention, along with a plan created for those specific weak points found.  Usually, this process is implemented by the cybersecurity expert that works within the company, but seeing as there may not be one onboard, companies have to turn to outside sources once more.  Now, this is where it gets tricky.

The thing is, for any of the areas where a company typically turns to their in-house cybersecurity expert, with the lack of the personnel necessary, the company is brought to turn to an outside expert for help.  If the cybersecurity company you turn to is a patch cybersecurity solution one, and not one that has experience in a holistic cybersecurity process, your company will not become secure, especially without an in-house expert who knows what to look for to ensure every vulnerability has been found.

Say no to patch cybersecurity solutions

One of the biggest problems that comes with the cybersecurity shortage is that while a cybersecurity expert knows cybersecurity is holistic in nature and what holistic cybersecurity means in practice, a business executive may not.

This means that when a CEO or board member is looking to fill the cybersecurity skills gap, they end up getting services and/or hiring a cybersecurity company that only provides one or two solutions to cybersecurity, such as the technology component, but not one that gives them everything to implement a holistic cybersecurity approach.

It is in the hopes of coming across an article such as this one that NCX Group shares this knowledge and highlights this major difference for the CIO, CEO or anyone in the executive team who is looking for effective solutions to the cybersecurity expertise shortage.

Added expertise insights and cybersecurity tips from our very own, NCX Group CEO, Mike Fitzpatrick:  

Cybersecurity must be addressed as a business process that affects your entire organization.  Here are five quick areas of focus for your business.

1.  Start from the perspective that you are a target and you must become secure and resilient, prepared for an attack.  No Business is too small. Matter of fact, Small businesses are the primary target. Easy Targets.

2.  If you don’t have don’t have the Cybersecurity Expertise in-house, partner with a firm like NCX Group to provide the expertise you need.  Outsourcing is cost-effective and has a tremendous bang for the buck. Having a cybersecurity advisor or expert as part of your executive team today is as essential as having attorneys and CPA’s.

3.  Conduct a cybersecurity assessment and determine your risks and exposures.

4. Develop a comprehensive plan for mitigating your risks.

5.  Finally, Realize that somebody someplace wants your data and it’s a matter of time before they reach your business. It’s time to Be Secure and Resilient and protect your business.

It doesn’t require a company to have everything set up and every hand on deck for holistic cybersecurity to take place.  It requires a partner that can show you and teach you how to implement and stick to a holistic cybersecurity blueprint and step-by-step guide with the staff you have that will keep you secure and on the right track.

You will be able to overcome the cybersecurity workforce shortage problem when you realize that cybersecurity is the combined effort of process, people and technology set up to work in harmony thanks to a holistic action plan, whether provided to you by an in-house or external expert.

Give us a call to get on track with cybersecurity, we’re here to help.

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