The cybersecurity industry is grappling with a new threat: hiring.
Information security experts and executives said the fast-growing cybersecurity field is facing a scarce talent pool, with thousands of positions to fill as demand grows.
“It is pretty much impossible to hire folks within the indicated backgrounds,” said Alex Stamos, Yahoo‘s chief information officer and a world-renowned cybersecurity expert. “There are maybe four or five thousand people in North America I can hire right now who have the technical skills keen to us.”
Stamos is one of many U.S. security professionals having trouble hiring people as cyberattacks and data breaches continue to increase. A recent independent survey by the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IBM, showed that personal information of almost half of the nation’s adults — 110 million Americans — was hacked in 2014.
Add to that this data point: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected the demand for information security analysts will increase by 37 percent between 2012 and 2022. There will be approximately 100,000 more jobs available in the field of cybersecurity seven years from now, according to the bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
The demand for information security professionals is quickly exceeding the number of people who are capable of doing the job, said Peter W. Singer, former director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings Institute and a strategist at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute.
“We don’t have enough expertise in the right places now,” said Singer, co-author of a recent book “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar“. “We often frame cybersecurity as a technology problem. It is a human problem.”
While there isn’t a single best solution to a complex shortage of candidates, Singer said, education should be a top priority in meeting anticipated needs.