The demand for cybersecurity is at an all-time high as firms progressively move online and to cloud storage. With that achievement comes a surge in demand for cybersecurity experts who can protect digital information.
The Asia findings of the global 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report released by Fortinet, a global leader in comprehensive, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions, showed that 80% of respondents had experienced at least one breach caused by a lack of cybersecurity skills or knowledge. Nearly two-thirds of businesses have suffered data breaches that resulted in revenue loss, recovery costs, or fines. According to SC Media partner MSSP Alert, the security firm polled 1,200 people in the technology, manufacturing, and finance areas in 29 countries.
These figures demonstrated that the cybersecurity skills gap continues to provide challenges and ramifications for Asian businesses, including security breaches and financial losses.
As a result, C-level executives continue to be concerned about the skills gap, rapidly becoming a Board-level priority. The report, which questioned IT and cybersecurity decision-makers in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, proposed solutions to close the skills gap through training and certifications to improve staff education.
Asia-Pacific has the highest regional workforce shortfall of 1.42 million, according to the 2021 Cyber Workforce Report. Although the Asia-Pacific workforce gap has narrowed from the previous year, there’s still more work to be done.
Cybersecurity is becoming a board-level responsibility with the increasing financial and reputational implications of data breaches. In Asia, 89% of firms with a board of directors said their boards had asked specific questions regarding cybersecurity, and 79% said they had advocated an increase in IT and cybersecurity headcount.
Training and certifications to improve cybersecurity skills
According to Fortinet’s report, training and certifications are essential for enterprises to address the skills gap. Of most respondents, 95% stated that tech-focused certificates positively impact their work and team, and 86% of leaders prefer hiring people with certifications. 89% of respondents said they would pay for an employee to obtain cybersecurity qualifications. Certifications are respected partly because they attest to more excellent cybersecurity knowledge and awareness.
Besides recognizing certificates, 93% of companies have adopted a cyber awareness training program. However, 51% of executives say their employees still lack the requisite knowledge, raising concerns about the effectiveness of their present security awareness programs.
Fortinet offers a Security Awareness and Training Service through the award-winning Fortinet Training Institute for enterprises searching for security awareness training. The solution better safeguards enterprises’ essential digital assets from cyber threats by raising employee cybersecurity awareness.
Recruitment and retention issues
However, the report found that 60% of Asian CEOs confess their firm has difficulty recruiting, and 57% have difficulty retaining talent. Finding and keeping the right personnel to perform essential security roles, from cloud security specialists to SOC analysts, is difficult for businesses.
Recent women college grads and minorities are among the hiring hurdles. Regionally, 76% of firms regard fresh graduate recruiting as the most difficult hiring challenge, followed by 75% of leaders for women recruitment. 62% stated it was difficult to hire minorities.
As businesses strive to establish more effective and diverse teams, 90% of Asian companies have stated diversity goals as part of their hiring strategy. According to the survey, 75% of enterprises have formal structures to recruit more women, and 59% have plans to attract minorities. Meanwhile, 65% of companies are attempting to hire more veterans.
In response, the business has vowed to train one million people in cyber awareness by 2026 and “make a dent in the skills gap,” according to MSSP Alert. Other vendors, most notably Microsoft, have similar efforts in place.
Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand right now and will only get more in the future.