cyber talent

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Retaining cyber talent in the Great Resignation

The world is definitely facing a talent shortage as the Great Resignation and Great Layoff continue to be ongoing in most industries. While some talent shortages from this can be easily solved with new hires and such, solving the cyber talent shortage is still a big concern for many.

In fact, cyber talent continues to be an area of increasing demand especially with businesses increasing their digital adoption. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to organizations speeding up their digital transformation and digitalization journey to ensure business continuity.

According to Jaspal Sawhney, Global Chief Information Security Officer at Tata Communications, digital transformation has placed IT at the center of nearly all organizations, further increasing the complexity of protecting critical digital infrastructure.

Sawhney highlighted that digitalization and the global shift towards cloud-enabled operational models have also provided new avenues for cyberattacks. This has led to a huge uptick in demand for specialized cyber talents like malware analysts, cyber forensics, or red team operators.

Jaspal Sawhney, Global Chief Information Security Officer at Tata Communications

In Singapore for example, the 2021 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study by the industry organization (ISC) found that the island nation experienced one of the most aggressive workforce growth in 2021 where jobs in the cybersecurity sector grew by 61%.

Sawhney pointed out that despite the substantial growth in the number of cybersecurity talents, the report found that the country still faces a 16,000-talent gap in the sector. While job creation is always positive, he believes that this has also fuelled up a lot of unwanted attrition and left employers scrambling to find the right talent.

“Automation is one way to manage the talent shortage as this can help take care of basic routine tasks and free up analysts for more mission-critical tasks that require higher level skills. However, in the era of the Great Resignation, this model can be sustainable only if it is supplemented by talent nurturing, upskilling and reskilling strategies,” he commented.

With that said, when it comes to cyber talent, Sawhney explained that organizations should actively work on creating a talent pipeline for cybersecurity roles internally and investing in training and retention of the existing workforce.

“A regular rhythm of review and updates can be set for these specialized roles to increase job relevance and make it more fulfilling both for the employees as well as the organization,” added Sawhney.

Moreover, Sawhney also mentioned that the Great Resignation has also led to employees having higher expectations for their employers, so organizations have to pay closer attention to the individual needs of existing employees and convey the positive intent of the company to invest in their staff to build a robust talent pipeline internally.

“Some critical cybersecurity roles may be more susceptible to employee burnout, so it is important to acknowledge this and look into planning for job rotations within the firm. This will help both retain the staff as well as protect the enterprise and keep critical positions covered,” he concluded.