Although the cybersecurity threat landscape has grown increasingly dangerous over the past several years, the US is experiencing a major cybersecurity professional personnel shortage, particularly within the federal government, putting the nation at risk.
Spurred by the rising number and sophistication of cyberattacks, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing four times faster than the overall IT job market, and 12 times faster than the total labor market, according to a March 2014 report by Boston-based Burning Glass International Inc.
Ryan Corey, co-founder of Cybrary, a cybersecurity organization which offers a free open online course for IT and cybersecurity professionals, attributes the cybersecurity talent gap to the high cost of training. By removing the financial barriers associated with cyber training, however, Corey believes organizations can start to address the demand for professionals with the skills necessary to stop the ever-increasing number of damaging cyberattacks.
“In the past, cybersecurity training has been excessively expensive. This has created a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, leaving many businesses unprepared to fight emerging cyber threats,” Corey said. “By removing training costs and building the world’s largest community of cybersecurity talent, Cybrary will increase the supply side of the jobs market, bring employers and talent together, and ultimately eradicate the cybersecurity talent shortage.”
The Greenbelt, Maryland-based Cybrary is designed to provide comprehensive IT and cybersecurity training options for a range of users. With classes ranging from entry level to very advanced, Cybrary has attracted interest from people just breaking into the field as well as seasoned cyber professionals looking to advance in their current careers.
Last week, Cybrary launched its Cyber Security Job Platform to further address the shortage. The organization’s new talent platform features jobs in three main categories: GRC/Information Assurance, Network and Application Security, and Malware, Threat and Intel.
Job seekers can upload and store up to five resumes for applying to positions. Employers and recruiters can post jobs and find professionals at all levels – entry, advanced and leadership – for a variety of titles, such as director of cybersecurity, risk management analysts, healthcare information security officer and threat analyst.
This is not the first initiative Cybrary has launched to improve global cybersecurity and eliminate the cyber professional shortage.
Cybrary recently partnered with Women in Technology (WIT), a not-for-profit organization that advances women in technology, to launch a pilot program specifically designed to meet the burgeoning demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals by attracting more women to cyber professions. Currently, women make up less than 11 percent of the cybersecurity workforce.
“The pilot program between WIT and Cybrary is an important one,” Corey told Homeland Security Today. “We have donated our platform to other non-profits, but this one helps to immediately impact the skills gap, as well as break barriers to entry for many women, which is currently underrepresented in cybersecurity.”
Earlier this year, Cybrary was ranked number 51 in a report of Top 100 brands in cybersecurity on social media. In August, the company closed a round of seed funding to help foster community growth and develop additional course content.
Cybrary currently offers the most in-demand, cutting-edge training courses in cybersecurity, with new courses launching monthly. The company believes the availability of free online sources is beginning to change the way the world thinks about IT and cybersecurity education.