650,000 Vacant Cybersecurity Positions How To Deal With The Risk

According to Rep. Andrew Garbarino, Chairman of the HHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee, the United States is facing a significant gap in filing cybersecurity jobs, with overseas adversaries having a 50-to-one workforce advantage over FBI cyber personnel.

This issue was highlighted during a subcommittee hearing titled “Growing the National Cybersecurity Talent Pipeline.” Compounding this concern, recent CyberSeek data reveals that there are over 650,000 vacant cybersecurity positions across the nation. Given the escalating frequency of cyberattacks, these statistics underscore the alarming shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals in the United States.

As organizations increasingly rely on digital infrastructure, data protection and network security have become paramount. However, there’s a growing concern that the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals far outweighs the available talent pool.

In this article, we will delve into effective approaches to address the widening talent gap in cybersecurity.

Table of Contents

How It All Began?
How To Deal With Widening Talent Gap In Cybersecurity?

  1. Accelerate Training Programs
  2. Ditch the Degree Requirement
  3. Provide Incentives and Start Early
  4. Make The Most of Available Resources
  5. Let Your Cyber Teams Face Threats Now
  6. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion

How It All Began?

The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a staggering surge in cyberattacks on the global financial sector, with the World Economic Forum reporting a remarkable 238% increase between February and April 2020. In the United States, healthcare providers also faced a significant challenge, witnessing a 50% rise in cyber breaches between February and May. Despite this, burnout among current security workers remains a pressing issue, as indicated by Rep. Garbarino’s statement that 61% of security professionals feel overwhelmed due to extended periods of managing major security incidents.

In response to the dire shortage of cyber talent, organizations can adopt multifaceted approaches. Insights from tech leaders shared during the HHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee suggest that cultivating a robust cybersecurity workforce involves collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors.

Additionally, the implementation of tools geared towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of security teams is crucial. By leveraging technology and fostering partnerships, organizations can mitigate cyber risks, adapt to evolving threats, and better address the challenges posed by the evolving digital landscape.

How To Deal With Widening Talent Gap In Cybersecurity?

Here are some of the ways you can use to get over talent shortfall issues in cybersecurity.

  1. Accelerate Training Programs

One key strategy to address the talent gap is to accelerate cybersecurity training programs. Traditional education paths often take years to produce graduates with relevant skills, but the rapidly evolving cyber landscape demands a more agile approach. Short-term, intensive training programs can equip individuals with the specific skills needed to enter the field quickly. Organizations can collaborate with educational institutions and training providers to design focused curricula that cover the latest technologies, threat landscapes, and defensive strategies.

  1. Ditch the Degree Requirement

While degrees have traditionally been a common requirement for many professions, the dynamic nature of cybersecurity necessitates a shift in perspective. Rigid degree requirements can inadvertently exclude highly capable individuals who have gained expertise through alternative paths. Instead of focusing solely on formal degrees, organizations can emphasize hands-on experience, certifications, and practical skills when evaluating candidates. This approach opens the door to a more diverse talent pool and ensures that skills take precedence over credentials.

  1. Provide Incentives and Start Early

To attract new talent to the field of cybersecurity, it’s essential to provide incentives that make the profession appealing. Scholarships, grants, and financial assistance for training programs can entice young individuals to consider a career in cybersecurity.

Furthermore, organizations can collaborate with educational institutions to establish cybersecurity clubs, competitions, and workshops at an early age. These initiatives not only spark interest but also allow students to develop skills and passion for cybersecurity from a young age.

  1. Make The Most of Available Resources

Will Markow, Vice President of Applied Research at Lightcast, highlighted the availability of CyberSeek.org, a cybersecurity workforce analytics and career pathway platform which is free to the public. Funded by a grant from NIST, the platform provides actionable, accessible and up-to-date information about the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

CyberSeek provides best-in-class data and interactive visualizations to connect employer needs with job seekers. The platform includes a supply and demand heatmap, cyber career pathways, skill-based job descriptions and a map of local training providers. CyberSeek also includes links to other resources on the cybersecurity workforce — including those from CISA and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies.

  1. Let Your Cyber Teams Face Threats Now

Addressing the talent gap is not only about bringing in new professionals but also enhancing the capabilities of existing teams. Continuous training and upskilling are crucial to ensuring that current cybersecurity professionals are equipped to face evolving threats. Organizations can arrange regular workshops, simulated attack scenarios, and cross-functional training to keep their teams at the forefront of cybersecurity practices. Investing in the growth of existing employees not only boosts morale but also strengthens the overall security posture. You can also invest in Anti DDoS solutions for added protection against business disruption.

  1. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity in cybersecurity teams brings a variety of perspectives, problem-solving approaches, and innovative ideas. Encouraging diversity and inclusion can attract individuals from different backgrounds and experiences to the field. This not only enriches the talent pool but also contributes to more effective and holistic cybersecurity strategies. Organizations can partner with diversity-focused initiatives, create inclusive recruitment practices, and foster a welcoming environment for professionals from all walks of life.


The widening talent gap in cybersecurity presents a significant challenge for organizations aiming to secure their digital assets. However, with challenges come opportunities for innovation. By accelerating training programs, leveraging available resources, reevaluating degree requirements, providing incentives, and nurturing existing talent, organizations can take proactive steps to bridge the gap.

Moreover, fostering diversity and inclusion ensures that cybersecurity teams are well-equipped to handle the complex and evolving threat landscape. As the digital world continues to evolve, so must our strategies for developing the skilled professionals who will safeguard it.

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