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Cybersecurity skills gap growing even wider, says new study

With two-thirds of organizations already saying they have a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, the cyber security workforce gap is widening even more, to nearly three million across North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

That is the finding of a report from (ISC)², a nonprofit association of certified cyber security professionals. The 2018 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study is based on feedback from a broad sample of security professionals worldwide.

Of the 2.93 million overall gap, the Asia-Pacific region is experi­encing the highest shortage, at 2.14 million, in part thanks to its growing economies and new cyber security and data privacy legislation being enacted throughout the region, the report said. North America has the next highest gap number at 498,000.

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About two thirds of the respondents (63 percent) said their organizations have a shortage of IT staff dedicated to cyber security, and 59 percent said their organizations are at moderate or extreme risk of cyber security attacks due to this shortage.

Nearly half (48 percent) said their organizations plan to increase cyber security staffing over the next 12 months. A majority of the professionals (68 percent) are either very or somewhat satisfied in their current job.

More than half of all respon­dents globally (54 percent) are either pursuing cyber security certifications or plan to within the next year. Among the biggest career progression challenges respondents reported are unclear career paths for cyber security roles, a lack of organizational knowledge of cyber security skills, and the cost of education to prepare for a cyber security career.

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