Skills gap in data security might leave companies at risk

Data security has been among the most pressing issues facing enterprises and public sector entities in recent years, as hackers continue to breach security systems and protocols with greater accuracy every year. Somewhat more pressing is a shortage of talent in the information risk profession.  Corporations are finding it more and more difficult to fill internal positions in their data security, incident response and ediscovery departments. Further, several studies indicate that the prevalence of data breaches has increased steadily throughout the past few years, illustrating the importance of a more effective corporate defense strategy and a major need for knowledge workers in the field of information risk.

Pro shortage leads to issues;

A new study from (ISC)2, an international not-for-profit information security professional organization, revealed that hacktivism, cyber terrorism and hacking are the top concerns of executive decision makers. The sixth annual Global Information Security Workforce Study, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, surveyed 12,000 information security professionals.

According to the firm, executives are experiencing widespread difficulty when trying to hire qualified information security professionals, which might be the result of turbulent business conditions, poor understanding of the need for strong security and other catalysts. While 56 percent of respondents said that hacking was their biggest concern going into 2013, more than half believe their organizations are short-staffed or under-prepared to mitigate threats.

“Now, more than ever before, we’re seeing an economic ripple effect occurring across the globe as a result of the dire shortage of qualified information security professionals we’ve been experiencing in recent years,”  W. Hord Tipton, director of (ISC)2, explained. “Underscored by the study findings, this shortage is causing a huge drag on organizations. More and more enterprises are being breached, businesses are not able to get things done, and customer data is being compromised. Given the severity of cyber espionage, hactivism, and nation-state threats, the time is now for the public and private sectors to join forces and close this critical gap.”

The survey also revealed that application vulnerabilities ranked highest for security concerns, while there is a shortage of software development professionals with strengths in security.

Quickly shoring up defenses;

As a variety of businesses, big and small, do not have the resources or expertise necessary to build out a qualified cyber security staff, and many have already stretched IT departments to the brink, outsourcing the associated tasks to a third-party provider of the services is often the most efficient and effective choice.

Businesses lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year to data breach and other cyber security pitfalls in the United States alone, though this can be completely avoided by placing the associated responsibilities in the hands of experienced and specialized vendors of security and data management services.