360,000 cybersecurity professionals needed to fill jobs; CISO salaries on the rise

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Spikes in data breaches and ransomware attacks have served as a wake-up call for many companies to bulk up their cybersecurity teams, causing shortages nationwide, according to a May 28 CNN article. 

Six things to know:

  1. Nationwide, there are about 879,000 cybersecurity professionals in the workforce but a shortage of 359,000 workers, according to a 2020 survey by (ISC)2, a nonprofit that offers cybersecurity training programs.

  2. The unfilled jobs range from cybersecurity management positions, such as chief information security officers, to entry-level security analysts.

  3. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects "information security analyst" will be the 10th fastest growing occupation over the next decade, with a growth rate of 31 percent, compared to the 4 percent average growth rate for all other occupations.

  4. As the demand for cybersecurity professionals in the private sector increases, their salaries have become more competitive. This can cause workers to leave lower-paying jobs, such as government positions, for more lucrative corporate positions, CNN reported.

  5. Mike Hamilton, CISO at Critical Insight and former CISO for the city of Seattle from 2006 to 2013, said: "Think of the criticality of what your local government does: water purification, waste treatment, traffic management, communications for law enforcement, public safety, emergency management. But Amazon is out there waving around bags of cash to protect their retail operation."

  6. Mr. Hamilton added that the public sector institutions "cannot attract and retain these people when the competition for them is so high, which is why we've got to make lots of them."

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