Over the years, there have been many news headlines, policy reports, white papers, and corporate newsletters that have highlighted cybersecurity workforce challenges; namely, the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Some of the challenges involved in achieving a more desirable cyber workforce include addressing the barriers to entry for marginalized individuals, gender disparities including the gender pay gap, and employer assertions of cyber workforce shortages due to unskilled, or low-skilled, individuals interested in working in the cybersecurity field.

In 2019, the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) published The Cybersecurity Workforce Gap. It summarizes the results of a survey that looked at the cyber workforce shortages across eight countries. The survey results revealed that 82% of employers reported a shortage of cybersecurity skills and that 71% believed the shortage created significant risk for their organizations. One explanation for challenges in hiring cybersecurity professionals is the lack of technology skills that employers believe are most desirable for the roles that they seek to fill. 

In addition to looking at the lack of technology skill set argument, it may be possible to address the shortage of cyber security professionals through the lens of the recruiting, hiring, and retention process as well as diversity, inclusion, and equity (DI&E) efforts.

Cybersecurity and DI&E Initiatives

In 2020, many cybersecurity companies publicly prioritized, or re-committed to, their DE&I initiatives. After last year’s social protests following several instances of injustice, civil unrest, and the new work-from-home status that many of us found ourselves in due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a significant uptick in public commitments to DI&E initiatives. Article after article and social media post after social media post, the world witnessed not only a renewed focus on DI&E programs but also an expansion of DI&E to include the concept of belonging. Hence (Read more...)