Technology is a constantly changing industry – that’s one of the things that makes a career in tech so exciting and appealing. It’s one of the things that keeps employees coming through the doors from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. In fact, jobs in the tech industry and information technology are predicted to grow by around 12% from 2018 to 2028, with Information Security jobs increasing by 32% overall. This is obviously much faster than most other industries.
But what about when a business finds that it can no longer attract and keep quality information technology staff? How is a business supposed to function at full capacity when it either can’t find qualified staff or continues to lose its qualified staff to its competition? Companies seeking IT employees face a tough reality – there aren’t enough skilled IT security workers in the workforce to meet the uptick in IT demand.
If your business is having a difficult time attracting quality IT staff, you’re not alone. According to a survey by Dimensional Research, 80% of IT security professionals are having a difficult time finding skilled cybersecurity and IT staff. The competition is high, and SMBs often cannot compete with the resources and compensation of larger businesses.
So what is the solution when your business can’t attract or afford the top cybersecurity staff your operation requires? There are 3 options:
1) Settle for under-skilled and under-trained Cybersecurity and IT Staff
Reportedly, the shortage in skilled IT Security staff is making an impact on every industry and has had a punctuated effect on mid-market organizations between 100 and 999 employees. This does not necessarily mean that companies are short on staff headcount, but rather that the shortage comes in the skill-level of the employees that midmarket companies are able to attract. The value one skilled IT Security employee provides for a company easily outweighs the value of multiple entry-level employees in the same department. Settling for lower level IT Security staff will result in a higher risk for human error, workloads that overwhelm the employees, and reduced time for proper training.
2) Pay a premium for the skilled staff you need
The price for a skilled IT Manager or tech is much goes beyond just the initial investment. While an entry-level tech makes upwards of $40k annually (making them easy to find and hire), a skilled IT Security Manager makes a median annual salary of $150k. Now a company may be able to afford a skilled employee of this caliber but, as the market continues to find need for IT Security, the competition continues to grow. Larger companies can offer more appealing compensation plans, better work-life balance, more up-to-date systems, etc. For SMBs, the key to attracting and retaining skilled labor comes down to company buy-in and a positive work culture. Any company can offer a high salary, but in the end, most employees come to and stay with a company where they believe in the vision and feel welcome where they are.
3) Outsource cybersecurity to a reputable Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)
You might say, “I’m not going to outsource the cybersecurity of my business to someone outside of the company. How can we be sure they’re secure?” This is a valid concern for anyone wishing to keep their operations in-house. However, by partnering with a trusted MSSP, you can rest assured your data is secure. MSSPs offer services such as vulnerability risk assessments, security monitoring, and intrusion management, among other services. With an MSSP, you may not get the satisfaction of your company being in control of every facet of your cybersecurity, but you can rest assured that your security is being managed by professionals and that the price tag will be comparable, if not cheaper than if you hired a team who was still green behind the ears.
Cybersecurity is a tricky business, and an even trickier job market. If your business is struggling to maintain a steady team of IT and Security technicians, it may be time to outsource to an MSSP. There will always be risks associated with the security of your business, but with the current cybersecurity workforce statistics, those risks can be mitigated by trusting the best in the business.