Hiring Challenges In Cybersecurity
The early 2000s brought us a world of endless possibilities, as well as data, with the advent of mobile web. As access to the Internet became more widespread, we saw the rise of a new industry which focuses on protecting our data: Cybersecurity.
The amount of data we generate rises each day and is predicted to reach 463 exabytes daily on a global scale by 2025. On top of that, the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches increased by 15.1% in 2021.
These factors combined render Cybersecurity one of the most prominent and in demand sectors in the market. With this in mind, how does this industry face the hiring challenges that come along with such a high demand?
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Introducing the “Citizen Developer”
We spoke to Zara Haskett who is a Recruiter for the EMEA and APAC regions with Malwarebytes, a company that provides real-time protection against malware, system vulnerabilities and online threats, and is one of the top Cybersecurity companies worldwide.
I have been working at Malwarebytes for a little over a year and have been finding it fantastic: culture is huge here, which was one of the main reasons why I was attracted to work with the company. In my role, I look after all recruitment for EMEA and APAC. I work for roles here in Cork, remote Ireland, from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and then in Sydney and Singapore as well. We also have some hiring in Dubai. So our main recruitment teams will be US-based but we also have an office in Tallinn.
One of the biggest challenges we’re currently facing when it comes to hiring in Cybersecurity is a skills shortage. A recent survey published by Cyber Ireland showed that there are 489 cybersecurity companies in Ireland employing over seven thousand professionals. Around 61% of the companies surveyed noted that their biggest issue is the lack of candidates in the market with the appropriate skill set.
Looking at it from a more global perspective, this is a very buoyant market in Australia and the US as well, for instance. You would nearly have to interview candidates back to back. It is that much of a demand. With the daily increase in cyber attacks and cyber threats, this demand will continue to rise and we will see more shortages in certain areas.
This will – and should – end up affecting how we hire, and we will probably have to look more to working with colleges, students, and graduates in the security field. We should concentrate on developing a pipeline of suitable talent so that we can support sustainable growth within the sector.
From a recruitment team point of view, one of our objectives is to make sure we represent the underrepresented in all aspects of our recruitment process. This year I’ve seen the industry turn a huge focus on that, and one of the changes that we are making this year is bringing in a new ATS into the business – which will improve our reporting and allow us to benchmark data. The system also allows you to check your job description to see if it is diverse: does it meet all markets? Ultimately this is a fantastic tool to have. We all know that a job description can be the difference between a male and a female applying for the role.
Diversity and inclusion will always be an ongoing process but it is great to see that companies are working towards that more and more.
There’s a wide variety of roles and skills needed. It’s such a growing industry that it would be hard to pinpoint one skill set. If you have an IT background and you upskill into cyber with the industry growing at the rate it is, I think that would be fantastic. I strongly believe it is a career that someone should look at if they are undecided at the moment, or if they’re not sure of what next step to take. I don’t think they can go wrong with that qualification.
Everyone needs cyber protection. We’re all on our phones, we’re all on our laptops, we all need cyber protection at the end of the day. So there’s always going to be a career in it.
Languages are a tough recruit at the moment, with German being one of the hardest languages to recruit for. As the European headquarters for Malwarebytes, part of our responsibilities is to find people with a variety of language skills, and finding German speakers to work in sales is currently our biggest challenge. We are also bound by borders: as we don’t hold a legal entity in Germany, we can’t look for these candidates in the German market.
As you can imagine, this makes for a very competitive market. These roles vary from customer service up to specialization roles, but the bottom line is that the German language is in very high demand at the moment.
Because of the nature of Cybersecurity, it is a really highly dynamic industry, it then allows you to progress through the career ladder at a faster pace than other industries. So Cybersecurity professionals are constantly evolving and developing their skill sets. With that as well comes the increased salary. Due to the skill shortage, if your skill is needed, they will pay whatever the demanded salary is.
It’s a really exciting career to move into, and the salaries and the growth make it a very attractive sector. So if anyone is out there wondering what career to get into, I would definitely take a look at the Cybersecurity field and try to start a career in it now, because it’s definitely one that’s going to grow rapidly.
Zara, Recruiter for EMEA/APAC
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