Sandra Wheatley - Fortinet - 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report - cybersecurity skills shortage - security breaches - techxmedia

Cybersecurity skills gap contributed to 80% of breaches, reports Fortinet

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Fortinet, a global provider of broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions has published the 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report. According to the new global report, the cybersecurity skills shortage continues to pose numerous challenges and ramifications for organizations, including the occurrence of security breaches and subsequent financial loss. As a result, the skills gap continues to be a top concern for C-level executives and is becoming a board-level priority. The report also suggests ways to address the skills gap, such as through training and certifications to improve employees’ education.

“According to the Fortinet report released today, the skills gap isn’t just a talent shortage challenge, but it’s also severely impacting business, making it a top concern for executive leaders worldwide. Through Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs, we are committed to tackling the challenges revealed in the report through various initiatives, including programs focused on cybersecurity certifications and recruiting more women into cyber. As part of this commitment, Fortinet has pledged to train 1 million professionals to increase cyber skills and awareness and make a dent in the skills gap by 2026,” says Sandra Wheatley, SVP Marketing, Threat Intelligence and Influencer Communications at Fortinet 

The Widespread Global Impact of the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

According to the (ISC) 2 2021 Cyber Workforce Report, the global cybersecurity workforce must increase by 65% in order to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets. While the number of professionals required to fill the gap has decreased in the last year from 3.12 million to 2.72 million, this remains a significant void that exposes organizations to risk.

According to Fortinet’s report, there are numerous risks associated with the cybersecurity skills gap. Notably, 8 out of 10 organizations surveyed have experienced at least one breach that can be traced back to a lack of cybersecurity skills or awareness. According to the survey, 64% of organizations worldwide experienced breaches that resulted in revenue loss, recovery costs, and/or fines.

Given the rising costs of data breaches on organizations’ profits and reputation, cybersecurity is becoming a higher priority at the board level. Globally, 88 percent of organizations with a board of directors reported that their board specifically asks questions about cybersecurity. In addition, 76% of organizations have a board of directors that has recommended increasing IT and cybersecurity headcount.

Advancing Cybersecurity Skills Through Training and Certifications

According to Fortinet’s skills gap report, training and certifications are critical ways for organizations to address the skills gap. According to the report, 95 percent of leaders believe that technology-focused certifications benefit their role and their team, and 81 percent prefer to hire people who have certifications. Furthermore, 91% of respondents indicated that they are willing to pay for an employee to obtain cyber certifications. One of the primary reasons certifications are highly valued is that they validate increased cybersecurity knowledge and awareness.

In addition to valuing certifications, 87 percent of organizations have implemented a training program to increase cyber awareness. However, 52 percent of leaders believe their employees still lack necessary knowledge, which raises question around how effective their current security awareness programs are.

Fortinet offers a Security Awareness and Training service through the award-winning Fortinet Training Institute to organizations in need of security awareness training. By increasing employee cybersecurity awareness, the service further protects organizations’ critical digital assets from cyber threats. This service receives updates from Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs threat intelligence to ensure that employees are learning and staying up to date on the latest evolving cyberattack methods to avoid company breaches and risks.

Addressing Recruitment and Retention Challenges with Diversity Commitments

Finding and retaining the right people to fill critical security roles ranging from cloud security specialists to SOC analysts has been a significant challenge for organizations. According to the report, 60% of leaders admit that their organization struggles with recruitment and 52% struggle with talent retention.

Women, recent college graduates, and minorities are among the hiring challenges. Globally, 7 out of 10 leaders see recruiting women and new graduates as a major hiring challenge, and 61% say hiring minorities has been difficult. According to the report, as organizations strive to build more capable and diverse teams, 89% of global companies have explicit diversity goals as part of their hiring strategy. According to the report, 75% of organizations have formal structures in place to specifically recruit more women, and 59% have strategies in place to hire minorities. Furthermore, 51% of organizations are making efforts to hire more veterans.

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