Solving Cyber Security Staffing Challenges

All organizations, regardless of their size, location, or industry, seem to have one thing in common, Cyber Security staffing challenges. Hiring and retaining Cyber Security professionals has proven to be a daunting task.

The 2021 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that 377,000 workers are needed to fill Cyber Security positions in the U.S. Globally the Cyber Security workforce gap sits at more than 2.7 million. In the ISACA State of Cybersecurity 2022 report, 63% of respondents claimed to have unfilled Cyber Security positions, an 8% increase from the previous year.

The Cyber Seek Heat Map provides data on the number of Cyber Security job openings in a state or metro area. It can give you a good idea of the amount of competition you are facing to hire cyber professionals in your market. According to the map, there are nearly 40,000 Cyber Security job openings in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. Even the nation’s least populated state, Wyoming, has more than 550 positions that need filled.

The difficulties of hiring Cyber Security staff members are clear. Once you do manage to fill your open positions, retaining the employee becomes another challenge. A recent report on Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) stress found that the average tenure for the position is just 26 months. The cause for the high turnover is often stress. 48% of CISOs reported that their work caused enough stress to impact their mental health.

The Impact of Cyber Security Staffing Shortages

Not having a Cyber Security staff at full strength increases an organization’s vulnerability to risk. Without qualified people in place, tasks essential to your Cyber Security program like penetration testing, phishing campaigns, network monitoring and auditing, and a long list of others will be performed less often, or not at all.

When a CISO, or any member of your Cyber Security staff, walks out the door, their knowledge about your cyber program goes with them. As the statistics we just reviewed demonstrate, hiring and training replacements will likely be a long and difficult process. The time between an employee leaving and their replacement getting up to speed is when your security program could be at its weakest, increasing your susceptibility to a cyber-attack.

Partnering with a Service Provider

To fill in the knowledge and labor gaps that emerge when employees leave or when open positions remain unfilled, a Cyber Security service provider is a valuable option. The services they can provide offer stability and expertise that will allow your organization to keep its cyber program running while it works to get back to full staff. For smaller businesses, having a service provider handle its Cyber Security needs may be a more practical solution than hiring a full-time CISO.

A service provider can fill any staffing gaps and improve the overall health of your Cyber Security program by delivering these services and benefits:

Virtual CISO (vCISO):

Working with a vCISO can be an effective way to utilize the expertise and leadership of an experienced Cyber Security professional without having to find and maintain a full-time employee. You can customize the scope of work for your vCISO so you will only pay for the services you need.

Having a new and well-trained set of eyes on your cyber program will help identify existing risks and gaps your organization may have missed, plus they can lead the way in implementing new policies and procedures. A vCISO can also play an important role in obtaining or maintaining security certifications like SOC 2, ISO 27001, PCI, and HITRUST.

Many organizations that work with a vCISO find that the experience helps improve communication and collaboration between IT, security, and executive teams.

Managed Cyber Security Operations

Another effective option to bring external cyber intelligence into your organization is with a customizable Managed Cyber Security program. Leveraging the abilities of a company devoted to Cyber Security will allow you to have tasks performed efficiently, within your budget, and with the highest quality, including:

  • 24/7 network and security monitoring
  • Wireless rogue detection
  • Data center operations
  • Data discovery
  • Security administration

Having a provider help manage your operations will give your company access to the top-of-the-line Cyber Security tools and technology.

Specialized Service Offering

Cyber Security vendors can perform services for your organization on an as-needed basis to help your organization mitigate risk when it doesn’t have the internal resources to handle every security task. Available services include:

  • Cyber Risk AssessmentsEvaluate your existing program’s capacity to identify and mitigate the impact of a cyber attack.
  • Breach Readiness Review Improve your organization’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impact of cyber attacks by identifying gaps in your existing incident response program.
  • Penetration testingAn ethical hacking campaign that will help identify areas of exposure that may be putting your organization’s data at risk of exposure to internal and external threats and/or regulatory violations.
  • Phishing campaign management – Ethical phishing attempts that will test your staff’s response and identify vulnerabilities and potential training needs.

The Consistency of Institutional Knowledge

When you partner with a service provider to assist in the management of your Cyber Security program, the knowledge becomes embedded within the service provider institution. You will no longer have to worry about the execution of your policies and procedures being solely reliant on staff members. If and when personnel do leave, you will have an experienced and knowledgeable team ready to get to work on your behalf to keep your Cyber Security program running smoothly, minimizing vulnerability.

CompliancePoint has the experienced staff and proven management programs to help organizations mitigate their Cyber Security risk. Contact us today at to learn how we can help your organization.

Finding a credible expert with the appropriate background, expertise, and credentials can be difficult. CompliancePoint is here to help.