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article imageLarge cyber skills gap identified within the UK Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 17, 2020 in Technology
A new report from the UK Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) that states that 48 percent of UK businesses struggle to find employees with basic cyber skills. Max Vetter of Immersive Labs looks at the implications.
The UK Government report is titled "UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020" and it looks into the products, services and expertise offered by the UK cyber security sector can assesses the level of skills provision.
In terms of sectoral growth, there are 1,221 firms active within the UK providing cyber security products and services. This reflects an increase of 44 percent since the baseline report (846 firms). However, the level of demand is outstripping the supply of skilled employees who have expertise in cybersecurity software and hardware solutions.
Looking into the trends for Digital Journal, Max Vetter, Chief Cyber Officer at Immersive Labs states: “The report from the DCMS has shown that nearly half the businesses in the UK struggle with a cyber skills gap, with many employees unable to fulfill basic tasks such as setting up a firewall."
In terms of the implications stemming from this, Vetter notes: "Clearly this calls into question these organisation’s ability to protect businesses from cyber threats. The security industry needs to stress the importance of human cyber readiness, as well as an organisation’s technical readiness."
Furthermore, Vetter says: " While you may have all of the bells and whistles to fight off advanced cyber attacks, they are going to prove quite useless if we don’t have the skilled staff on the front lines to use them."
The analysis from the DCMS carries implications for education and training, as Vetter has analysed: “This report is evidence that traditional training methods are obviously failing to keep up with the current demand for cyber skills. It is essential that relevant, up to date training is made available to organisations to train security team members, and upskill the ones they already have to ensure they are sufficiently battle tested when it comes time to deal with a real life threat."
As to what businesses should be considering, in relation to the report: “For organisations reading this story who are aware of their own failings in human cyber readiness, I would urge you to first look at how you measure and evidence the cyber skills you have in your organisation. Only by measuring your capabilities can you identify the skills gaps you have, the level of risk, and then work out where you need to prioritise hiring and training.”
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