Cybersecurity is facing an unprecedented challenge: finding and training enough professionals to answer the growing needs of the ever-growing threat of cyberattacks.
With cyber-attacks on the rise, cybersecurity jobs remain in high demand around the world and the number is set to grow. Studies show, every 40 seconds a cyberattack occurs somewhere in the world. These attacks cost organizations an average of $13 million, according to Accenture. As cyber criminals and state actors become increasingly sophisticated in their cyberattacks, it is critical for companies to ramp up their response capabilities, including employing a skilled cyber workforce. Unfortunately, businesses globally are facing a mounting shortage of cybersecurity professionals.
According to the 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce, the industry is currently in need of about 3 million qualified cybersecurity workers, and 64% of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed say their organization is impacted by this cybersecurity skills shortage.
Taking the various challenges and opportunities in cybersecurity into consideration, UK-based firm Techshielder that offers advice on internet security and privacy, has conducted a global survey on where and how a cybersecurity professional can get a lucrative job offer.
It has several metrics including average salary, job availability and cost of living to find the best place to live for cybersecurity experts as well as the most in-demand skills to learn in 2021.
Best cities for cybersecurity experts
As per the survey, Washington D.C sits ranks at the top, which may not come as a surprise to many, as the capital is the headquarters of government agencies that employ many cybersecurity professionals.
Scoring a total score of 17.58 overall, the city rank in the top two for job availability for those looking to work in the cybersecurity sector, balanced with a high average salary of £84,628 this city is a great contender for those looking to work in the Infosec sector.
Singapore comes in second place. The southeastern Asia city has the highest job availability out of all the cities examined. However, the average salary of £55,577 and the high cost of living at an average of £3,267 brings it down, the study shows.
Singapore also has the most cybersecurity jobs available as recent graduates and any job seekers looking for a new role can increase their chances of getting hired by looking for cities with the largest number of job openings.
London ranks 8th in the table, losing points because of its lower average salary compared to other cities and paired with the high cost of living, the English capital fails to make the top five.
In India, New Delhi ranks in the 14th position. The national capital has scored an overall 12.99.
Cybersecurity experts in Luxembourg earn the highest salaries of £110,768.11 on average, followed by Copenhagen (£86,337.17), Tokyo (£84,915.14), Bern (£84,653.91) and Washington D.C (£84,628.38). The average cybersecurity salary in New Delhi is £10,286.43. The end of the scale, sits Abuja in Nigeria with a salary of just £1,758.30 annually. The city has the lowest income for cybersecurity specialists.
As 2020 was the year of remote working Brazil ranks as the best country for remote jobs. Out of the 165 cybersecurity job available, 22% of the positions offer the option of remote working. The country presents a great opportunity for remote workers due to the numerous co-working spaces.
Colombia follows Brazil as the second-best country for remote jobs, where 21% of jobs listed offer to work remote. The warm weather makes it an easy choice for many, but the country also offers plenty of coffee shops that serve some of the world’s best Java.
Rounding up the top three is Portugal; 16% of the jobs listed propose remote working. The country is an excellent place for digital nomads as it has great year-round weather with well over 300 days of sunshine, low cost of living and adequate Wi-Fi speeds for which the country ranks 24th for average broadband speeds globally.
Top 5 in-demand cybersecurity skills to learn in 2021
According to the 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce, the industry is currently in need of about 3 million qualified cybersecurity workers, and 70% of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed say their organization is impacted by this cybersecurity skills shortage. Whilst there is a high demand for jobs, one cannot start a career in cybersecurity without the right expertise. But finding a proficient applicant to fill one of the many available jobs is one of the hardest challenges for HR personnel.
Network: One of the most in-demand skills and maybe one of the most important one for anyone in cybersecurity is networking. Understanding how networks work allows you to get a better comprehension of how many things work behind the scene.
Threats: Threat intelligence ranks as the second most in-demand skill in 2021. Being able to evaluate threats and prevent or mitigate cyberattacks is a highly sorted after skill.
Compliance: From the European Union’s GDPR to the California Consumer Privacy Act, companies need employees who can assess the risk and understand the paperwork and the security protocols are needed to keep personal data safe.
Cloud: More companies are moving to cloud infrastructure and therefore the need for cloud-savvy professional are on the rise. These experts need to be able to arrange, organize and monitor a virtualized environment such as SaaS, PaaS or IaaS so that they can protect data from being deleted, leaked or even stolen.
“The world of cybersecurity is booming right now and with the field continuing to grow, cybersecurity jobs are in high demand. Those looking to relocate for a job, it’s important to take in many factors such as the cost of living and expected salary, as all of this play a role in how suitable the role is,” Lasse Walstad, cofounder at Techshielder comments.
According to a study by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), the most significant factors behind data breaches are the lack of proper training of non-technical employees and the lack of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals. The study found that the current cybersecurity skills shortage can actually be seen as a key factor in the exacerbation of the number of data breaches today.
Experts also believe that while a job in cybersecurity can offer lucrative career prospects, a key prerequisite to work in the field is a formal degree, and most cyber job listings indicate the need for an advanced professional certification, such as CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) or CISM (Certified Information Systems Manager).
Like the rest of the world, Indian organizations too are grappling with the shortage of skilled cyber security professionals. The problem with India, as an ISACA study observes is that the shortage of skilled cyber security professionals in India is 9% higher than the global average. The study finds that nearly 50% of the organisations surveyed say that they have unfilled positions in their cyber security divisions.
Organizations in India are trying to address this problem for a while now and more so in recent months as the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant remote working has emphasized the need for a robust cybersecurity approach. As R.V. Raghu, Member of ISACA’s Emerging Trends Working Group and Director at Versatilist Consulting India comments, “Upskilling, reskilling professionals to be able to quickly understand and address threats of data breaches and privacy is the need of the hour.”
According to him, for training and development of professionals to address the skill gaps in cybersecurity, the government, academia and industry will have to collaborate with each other. It is not only important to better prepare fresh graduates, but also to bring a wider pool from all streams and equip them with the skills needed to succeed in a cybersecurity career.