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Employers Adapt As Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Persists  

Organizations have been revamping their cybersecurity recruitment practices as talent remains scarce.

hiring 1977803 640smallSeasoned cybersecurity pros have long been in short supply, and the latest surveys suggest that’s still the case. In a survey of 120 global cyber leaders by the World Economic Forum, 59% of respondents indicated that a shortage of skills within their team would make it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident.

The problem may even be getting worse. In a recent survey of more than 2,000 cybersecurity pros worldwide by IT governance group ISACA, 60% of respondents said they had difficulties retaining qualified cybersecurity personnel, up seven percentage points from last year.

IBM recently announced a plan to address the shortfall with new and expanded partnerships focusing on veterans and underrepresented groups. The initiative builds on IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna’s 2021 pledge to team up with Historically Black Colleges & Universities on new Cybersecurity Leadership Centers, in hopes of diversifying the company’s workforce.

As Benefits News reports, IBM has also overhauled its recruitment standards, such as degree requirements. “There are real life experiences that are more valuable than degrees,” said Obed Louissaint, senior vice president of transformation and culture at IBM, speaking at a trade conference. “And [they drive] phenomenal results—we’ve seen higher retention rates and a much more inclusive workforce that drives us to be more innovative because we have people who not only just look different, but act different.”

The U.S. armed forces are also working on new ways of luring cybersecurity talent, as FedScoop reports. Christine Wormuth, the Secretary of the Army and its top civilian leader, recently told lawmakers that the military branch is looking into using authorities granted by Congress in 2016 to hire and pay cybersecurity pros more flexibly.

According to Vishal Salvi, chief information security officer at Infosys, reskilling programs—where new and existing staff are trained in cybersecurity and related fields—are emerging as a way that organizations can fill the gap. Writing in Security, Salvi says, “One of the keys is for companies to operate as something akin to corporate universities—offering not just employment but also the promise of continued employability.”

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