Shortfall of Skilled Cybersecurity Workers in the US Continues
Demand for cybersecurity talent continues to outpace supply, according to the latest data from CyberSeek, the joint initiative of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) NICE program, Lightcast, and CompTIA.
CyberSeek data confirms a persistently tight cybersecurity labor market with a supply-demand ratio of 69% (69 workers for every 100 job openings). Employers deployed 663,434 job postings for cybersecurity positions over the past 12 months, building on the growing base of 1.1 million U.S. cybersecurity professionals.
The gap between the number of cybersecurity jobs currently demanded and the number of workers available to fill those jobs stands at an estimated 466,225, according to the research.
“We are pleased to reveal some of the data trends at this year’s NICE Conference with the theme of Resetting Expectations: Creating Accessible Cybersecurity Career Pathways,” said Rodney Petersen, director of NICE. “In addition to celebrating the steady growth of cybersecurity workers since 2013, we are also excited to introduce skill-based job descriptions for each cybersecurity role in the career pathway that supports the NICE Strategic Plan’s objective to align qualification requirements to the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity.”
New features added to CyberSeek include demand and supply data with job openings, market-optimized job descriptions to help employers create skill-based job descriptions for each cybersecurity role, and public sector cybersecurity job insights with breakouts at the federal, state, and local levels.
“Despite increasing economic uncertainty, demand for cybersecurity professionals has continued its upward march,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast. “Employers across the economy now recognize cybersecurity workers as essential, and expanding the cybersecurity talent pipeline remains one of the most critical workforce challenges of our time.”
CyberSeek’s alignment with the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity provides another layer of insight into skill needs across team, work roles and competency areas. The latest data shows the highest counts of employer job postings associated with the operate and maintain (525,608), securely provision (481,733) and oversee and govern (357,786) categories.
CyberSeek’s interactive career pathway shows key jobs within cybersecurity, where they fit in the NICE Framework, common transition opportunities between them, and detailed information about salaries, credentials, and skillsets associated with each role.
The data reinforce what channel partners and enterprise CISOs already know: that skilled cybersecurity talent has become increasingly expensive and hard to find.
High Wire Networks Launches New Cyber Warranty Program
High Wire Networks, Inc., a global provider of managed cybersecurity and technology enablement, has launched its new Overwatch Cyber Warranty Program, providing a financial safety net for managed service providers and their business clients in the event of a cybersecurity breach.
The program provides expedited reimbursement for costs associated with remediating damaging cyberattacks. The certified warranty also provides the underwriting requirements typically needed to qualify for a cybersecurity insurance policy.
According to the company, a $500,000 Overwatch Cyber Warranty plan could provide $100,000 for ransomware and business email compromise protection; $100,000 for compliance and regulatory failure protection; $50,000 for business income loss protection; and $250,000 for cyber legal liability protection.
Prerequisites include an Overwatch cybersecurity services stack that would include antivirus, encryption, multifactor authentication, maintenance (patches and updates), security awareness training, bank routing change verification and regulatory compliance.
The company notes that the program is not cyber insurance, but it can be paired with more affordable cyber insurance policies for added protection. Overwatch Cyber Warranty clients may qualify for highly discounted or below-market cyber insurance policies of $1 million or more because as users of Overwatch cyber security services they are following best practices for cybersecurity.
“Given the costs of the average data breach running into the millions and so few businesses addressing the risk with cyber insurance, our MSP channel partners are understandably concerned about a costly incident occurring under their watch,” said High Wire Networks COO, Stephen LaMarche. “Combining our Overwatch Managed Cybersecurity monitoring, detection and response with our cyber warranty protection plan can provide peace of mind for MSPs and their business customers, plus a meaningful competitive edge all around.”
The program is intended to address the increasing rise in cybercrime, with malware and ransomware attacks causing breaches that can result in costly remediation and lost sales, as well as fines and penalties.
Accenture Acquires Nextira, Expanding its Capabilities in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Accenture has acquired Nextira, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Partner that uses AWS to deliver cloud-native innovation, predictive analytics, and immersive experiences. These services and solutions are expected to bolster the Accenture “Cloud First” set of engineering capabilities and help clients take advantage of a full continuum of cloud capabilities and tools.
Nextira builds cloud-based solutions and services with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics that enable clients to design, build, launch, and optimize high-performance computing environments. In addition, Nextira offers a solution designed to provide clients with a virtual environment to support development and rendering of 3D objects.
“Nextira brings in proven expertise in engineering and architecting the cloud solutions that form a digital core for continuous innovation,” said Karthik Narain, global lead for Accenture Cloud First. “We will combine Nextira’s AI, machine learning, and data and analytics abilities with Accenture’s approach to using modern data platforms on cloud. This will deliver the actionable insights and predictive outcomes that our clients need to create new applications and services, deliver innovative customer and employee experiences, and fuel their next wave of product and market growth.”
Founded in 2008 and based in Austin, Texas, Nextira’s nearly 70 employees will join the Accenture AWS Business Group, a team of more than 20,000 certified professionals. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The combination is expected to connect Nextira’s experience in platform and software engineering with Accenture’s breadth of knowledge across cloud technologies. The initial focus will be on media and entertainment industry clients.