Why thinking 'inside the box' won't solve healthcare's cybersecurity labor shortage

As hospitals and health systems continue to grapple with a rise in ransomware attacks and cybersecurity labor shortages, organizations must think outside the box and find people that they can train into cybersecurity professionals, Greg Garneau, chief information security officer of Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic Health System told Becker's

"There used to be a saying that you have to think outside the box to find cyber talent. Well, there is no box anymore," Mr. Garneau said. "We now have to just think, in ways that we have never thought before, in terms of finding folks who have the attitude, the acumen and the ability to be good cybersecurity professionals."

Mr. Garneau said healthcare must spend time looking for people who have qualities that can transfer to the profession. For instance, Mr. Garneau said retired military individuals who have the discipline and the operational security awareness already built into their world could be provided the training to become a security analyst.

"The curve of learning isn't as steep for some of those folks," Mr. Garneau said. 

His health system is also looking at additional ways to fill the cybersecurity gap, like partnering with local colleges and universities in the state of Wisconsin.

By doing so, college students can come in as interns and, once they graduate, work for Marshfield Clinic Health System full time. 

Mr. Garneau said another important aspect to fill the gap is to look outside of traditional qualifications for cybersecurity talent. 

"There's a tremendous gap, and it's really important to not look at traditional standards such as, 'hey, I started out as a as an infrastructure engineer or a developer,'" Mr. Garneau said. "We can't just look for those individuals. We have to look in other areas and find people who have different skill sets that can be utilized in the cybersecurity world."

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