What kind of cybersecurity professionals do enterprises need?

ONE OF THE most significant challenges that organizations face in their digital journey is finding the right talent and expertise to support their transformation agenda.

The skills gap in tech, specifically in critical fields such as , creates serious challenges for business leaders and puts their digital transformation goals in serious jeopardy.

However, some experts seem to think that the talents are there and available companies just need to know where and what to look for.

“If you’re a cybersecurity professional with any of skill set, you already have a job and multiple offers on the table,” said Gartner Research Analyst Sam Olyaei.

While acknowledging that the recent digital transformation drive has increased the demands for cybersecurity professions, Olyaei added that the key issue with cybersecurity professionals has little to do with skills, and more to do with leadership.

According to him, digital transformation has created various new roles and job scopes, which include security champion, digital risk officer, and data security scientist, among others.

Emerging technology changes hiring decisions

Meanwhile, Gartner’s IT Practice Director Beth Schumaecker asserted that emerging technologies and digital strategies have transformed how hiring decisions are made, in recent times.

“They will impact security and risk directly because the rampant adoption of emerging technologies creates new risk,” said Schumaecker who added that this has also changed the role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

In addition to managing risks on behalf of the enterprise, CISOs are relied upon to communicate risk management, privacy processes, and security measures to different business units within organizations.

This new shift in focus places the CISO at the center of enterprise-wide digital risk management practices, while also burdening them with responsibilities around transforming business ecosystems.

According to Gartner VP Analyst Katell Thielemann, the job scope of a CISO goes beyond the traditional sense of ensuring information security.

“Your risks go way beyond enterprise systems. Risks, vulnerabilities, and threats now live on a cyber-physical connected chain,” said Thielemann.

Digital transformation demands new skill sets

As much as digital transformation is changing job scopes of leaders, it is also demanding new skills from security professionals, and some companies have attempted to augment their human workforce with automation and augmented intelligence to enhance their cybersecurity.

While skills shortage remains a significant hurdle for companies to get through, it presents companies with opportunities to rethink and reimagine their approach in hiring cybersecurity professionals.

Businesses need to plan for and anticipate disruptions to be able to make the right hiring that can support their transformation agenda.

They also need to focus on optimizing the security functions that they currently have in place, and work to attain the security capability required, instead of filling for specific cybersecurity roles that come up along their journey.

In short, digital transformation demands new skills and capabilities when it comes to cybersecurity professionals. Accordingly, companies should adopt a set of updated hiring practices that are more reflective of the need and challenges of the digital era.

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