Cyber security skills a key to a resilient future.

May 03, 2024

We recently attended the Skills Jersey annual Skills Show at the Royal Jersey Showground.

As pioneers in technology, we believe in empowering the next generation of innovators. However, on the day our Head of Networks and Security, Ashley Le Hegarat, noticed that the gap in cyber skills and the risk posed by cyber security threats is only getting bigger!

Following the event, Ash considered the problems associated with a cyber skills gap as well as gave us his top training resources to help people start bridging this gap to enable an agile and resilient future for our global economy.

Why does a cyber security skills gap matter

Technology is integral to everyday life and business operations and as a result cybersecurity has become vital to preventing the theft of personal information to stopping the failure of critical infrastructure.

According to a report from TechTarget and the Information Systems Security Association International, 71% of organisations reported that they have been impacted by the cybersecurity skills shortage. This gap leaves organisations with weaker security and puts them at risk of data breaches, privacy violations, financial fraud and many other adverse consequences.

The importance of closing the cyber security skills gap

Closing the cybersecurity skills gap is essential for businesses to navigate the complex and evolving threat landscape effectively. By investing in talent development, training programmes, and recruitment efforts, organisations can bolster their cyber defences, safeguard sensitive data, and maintain a competitive edge in the digital age.

Protection Against Cyber Threats

Closing the cybersecurity skills gap is vital for businesses to effectively defend against cyber threats. Skilled professionals are needed to identify, assess, and mitigate risks, as well as to respond swiftly and effectively to security incidents. Without adequate expertise, organisations are more susceptible to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.

Safeguarding Sensitive Data

Businesses hold vast amounts of sensitive data, including customer information, intellectual property, and financial records. Failing to address the skills gap increases the likelihood of data breaches and compromises, putting this valuable information at risk. Closing the gap ensures better protection of data assets, preserving trust and integrity with customers and stakeholders.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

Many industries are subject to stringent cybersecurity regulations and compliance standards. Adequate cybersecurity expertise is essential for ensuring compliance with these requirements and avoiding costly penalties. Closing the skills gap enables businesses to implement robust security measures that align with regulatory mandates, reducing legal and financial risks.

Business Continuity and Resilience

Cyber-attacks can disrupt business operations, leading to downtime, financial losses, and productivity declines. Skilled cybersecurity professionals play a crucial role in maintaining business continuity and resilience by implementing proactive measures to prevent and mitigate disruptions. Closing the skills gap enhances an organisation's ability to recover quickly from cyber incidents and minimise the impact on operations.

Innovation and Competitive Advantage

In today's digital economy, innovation is a key driver of business success. However, cybersecurity concerns can impede innovation if not adequately addressed. By closing the skills gap, businesses can foster a culture of innovation, confident in their ability to secure new technologies and digital initiatives. Moreover, demonstrating strong cybersecurity practices can provide a competitive advantage, enhancing trust and credibility in the marketplace.

Closing the gap

Among the most important aspects to building an effective talent pool for cybersecurity is ensuring that there is a defined learning path and a defined career path for existing and future employees to fill the voids in niche security talent pools.

Building skills in-house through training and education programmes can help organisations establish and retain an effective and loyal cybersecurity talent pool.

As part of the SystemLabs stand at the Skills Show, Ash gave his top resources for those looking to learn more about the sector to advance knowledge for seasoned professionals. Here were his top website:

Hack the Box

This free cybersecurity training with red/blue team training goes in depth into penetration. There are paid for upgrades to improve the experience. The red team is dedicated to actively trying to find routes, data, infiltration points, etc. while the blue team focuses on defending systems, investigating incidents and forensic analysis.

This is suitable for all ages and takes a user from a beginner level to an advanced stage.

ISC2

This is for people more invested in cybersecurity. ISC2 goes deeper into the professional route providing more advanced knowledge.

ISC2 requires an annual membership and includes online courses for you to complete.

CBT Nuggets

This provides varied training on most aspects of IT. It is subscription based and suitable for all ages from 16 onwards.

INE

This resource has a heavy networking focus along with some cloud and security knowledge base. This is a more expensive subscription so is recommended for working professionals.

Cloud Academy

This is a cloud focused resource. Again, this is a more expensive subscription so is recommended for working professionals.

YouTube

There are so many good channels for cybersecurity on YouTube. It covers all levels of knowledge and is easily accessible.

We are keen to help bridge the cyber security gap and are always looking for the next top talent in Networks and Security. We offer a rewarding career with key development goals to help build you cybersecurity skills to support a resilient future for Jersey and further afield.

Send you CV to careers@systemlabs.io to register your interest in our Networks and Security Team or any of our other IT Teams, including managed and professional services, design and development and licensing and procurement.