80% of security pros have trouble finding skilled workers

As technology and threat landscapes change so rapidly, so do the skills necessary for security pros, according to Dimensional Research.

Video: What CIOs have to say about the IT skill gap Think there isn't a shortage of qualified IT professionals? 83% of CIOs say there is.

The majority (80%) of respondents have difficulty finding skilled cybersecurity professionals, according to a report by Dimensional Research released on Thursday. The report surveyed more than 300 IT security professionals to learn more about the tech skills gap.

SEE: IT Training Policy (Tech Pro Research)

IT hiring managers have had trouble finding the right tech talent for a while, but this is mainly due to constantly changing threat vectors and emerging technology, the report found. Almost all (93%) of the respondents said skills expected from security professionals have changed significantly over the past few years.

"The skills gap issue continues to worsen," said David Meltzer, CTO at Tripwire, in a press release, "which is troubling, since cybersecurity threats only continue to grow. Additionally, security teams are in search of new skill sets to deal with evolving attacks and more complex attack surfaces as they include a mix of physical, virtual, cloud, DevOps, and operational technology environments. It's becoming more difficult to maintain critical security controls, and there are fewer people available to do it."

Because of the skills gap, 85% said their security teams are understaffed, and only 1% of respondents believed they could manage their organizations' security needs without the skilled workers, the report found.

Of the 96% of respondents who said they are currently facing difficulties keeping security teams staffed, 68% said they are also concerned with staying on top of vulnerabilities, said the report. Some 60% also said they feared being able to identify and respond to problems in a timely manner and stay on top of new threats, and 53% said they are scared of losing the ability to manage configurations accordingly, the report added.

To solve this problem, 95% of tech professionals said they have invested, or will invest in, managed security services for their companies. Some companies undergoing a skills gap turn to automation, additional certifications, or even part-time workers for help.

For more tips on how to solve the cybersecurity talent gap in your organization, check out this TechRepublic article.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The tech talent gap persists, with 80% of security professionals having trouble finding talent. — Dimensional Research, 2019
  • Almost all (96%) respondents have trouble keeping security teams staffed because of the everchanging tech landscape. — Dimensional Research, 2019

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By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.