Cybersecurity Job Demand: a Double-Edged Sword?

Cybersecurity Job Demand: a Double-Edged Sword?

Cybersecurity concerns continue to preoccupy businesses, driving demand for skilled professionals, and for good reason. A successful cyberattack can be devastating, whether you’re a small HVAC supplier or the producers of “Game of Thrones.” Such attacks are embarrassing, expensive, and potentially history-altering. (See, e.g., the DNC hack).

There's a silver lining to the proliferation of hackers, though: jobs. Lots and lots of jobs. Indeed, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is so strong that there is a zero unemployment rate, according to Gartner. Even with training programs growing quickly, demand will far outpace supply in the years ahead, making cybersecurity careers a path to virtually guaranteed employment. But with cybersecurity professionals in such short supply, where does that leave employers looking to build their own cybersecurity teams?

So Many Jobs, So Few Workers

The Gartner report, which comes to us by way of Ride the Lightning, surveys five trends in cybersecurity, identified by Earl Perkins, the firm’s vice president of research, during Gartner’s recent Security and Risk Management Summit. The high demand for skilled professionals topped Perkin’s list:

With a zero percent unemployment rate, security skill sets are scarce. The industry needs and will continue to need new kinds of skills as cybersecurity evolves in areas such as data classes and data governance.

The growth in data is already causing information governance and cybersecurity challenges, challenges that will only become more and more significant as data growth expands exponentially. Indeed, the explosion in data has left many organizations struggling with how to analyze, process, and protect the vast amounts of information now in their possession.

That growth is “a problem that security experts have avoided,” according to Perkins, “but the reality is that in the next three to five years, enterprises will generate more data than they ever have before.”

Changes in cybersecurity will require new types of skills in data science and analytics. The general increase in information will mean artificial security intelligence is necessary. Adaptive skills will be key for the next phase of cybersecurity.

An Opportunity for eDiscovery Professionals?

Those looking for cybersecurity talent are likely to find significant shortages in the years ahead. There are currently 350,000 unfilled cybersecurity openings in the U.S. according to the Cybersecurity Jobs Report, released this May by the Herjavec Group and Cybersecurity Ventures. That number is expected to skyrocket, both at home and abroad, in the coming years, growing to an estimated 3.5 million vacant cybersecurity jobs by 2021. And if you’re a cybersecurity professional being hounded by recruiters, thank a hacker. Cybercrime is expected to triple the number of cybersecurity job openings over the next five years, the jobs report concludes.

This high demand could be be good news for eDiscovery professionals, however. Jared Coseglia, CEO of the eDiscovery and cybersecurity staffing company TRU Staffing Partners, wrote recently that this “niche subset of the legal technology community is not only ripe, but actively preparing for a career transition that sets them on a course toward a future in cybersecurity.”

Legal concerns, Coseglia says, are driving cybersecurity investments: “When a corporation gets sued, the first phone call is to legal counsel. The same has become true of getting breached,” thus putting legal professionals in the position “to help steer the decision-making when it comes to cybersecurity investments in process, technology and people.” Meanwhile, some businesses that once focused solely on eDiscovery are beginning to expand offerings in cyber services such as compliance, breach prevention, cloud migration, and the like.

Finding Security in the Cloud

These trends are great if you’re looking to change your career focus—we’ve got a whole webcast on capitalizing on emerging cybersecurity career paths here—but what if you’re just looking to shore up your business or firm’s cybersecurity by bringing specialists onto your team? The lack of available professionals could be a significant pain point.

Luckily, you don’t need to build a full in-house cybersecurity team in order to protect your valuable data. That can be outsourced. And we don’t mean to a third-party hybrid eDiscovery/cybersecurity vendor. We mean to the cloud.

When it comes to cybersecurity, as with eDiscovery, the cloud is a great force multiplier. A secure, cloud-based platform that encrypts data in motion and at rest can provide significant cybersecurity protection. Further, by hosting information in a centralized hub, you’re entrusting it with professionals whose reputations depend on ensuring security—and who have the skill, talent, and resources needed to ensure your data’s security.

Of course, the cloud isn’t the only cybersecurity solution available. But for those who aren’t willing to wait until there are millions more cybersecurity professionals on the market, the cloud can be a simple, powerful place to start improving security today.

This post was authored by Casey C. Sullivan, who leads education and awareness efforts at Logikcull. You can reach him at or on Twitter at @caseycsull.

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