There’s a cybersecurity talent war going on. Skilled resources are in high demand and are being aggressively recruited by competitors and peer companies alike. The strategic moves and coups are public and the implications of those are obvious. The more impactful aspect, however, is the crippling campaign of attrition that’s affecting virtually every security organization in every industry.
Losing an effective leader is a body blow but if the personnel around that leader are highly skilled, focused and objective-oriented, the impact on the program is significant but likely temporary. Nonetheless, leadership turnover has an adverse internal effect by fostering uncertainty and frustration in the ranks and the loss of critical subject matter expertise is far more disruptive. The loss of key individuals who design, implement and manage technology, hunt threats, drive compliance and mitigate risk can derail the security roadmap for months as critical roles remain vacant while replacements are sought. And sometimes those roles never get filled. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 210,000 cybersecurity positions remain unfilled today. Research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates that the global shortfall of information security work will reach 1.5 million vacant positions out of a total of 6 million jobs – or 25% – in five years.
There is an effective defense. It’s not the current long-standing strategy, consisting of offering an above-market comp plan in the hopes of finding one perfect resource to fill a specific gap. That’s hit-or-miss. The skillset may be there but the goals, aspirations and culture fit may not be. You need a solid foundation for the security organization that can weather attrition and adapt to fluctuations in talent and expertise that doesn’t put your mission in jeopardy. That foundation is process. Investment in the maturity of the processes that form the backbone of your program and are the drivers of the roadmap allows for you to adjust and allocate current talent while compensating for lost resources and integrating new ones – quickly, efficiently and strategically.
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