Cyber security during COVID. A sector in demand.

Cyber security during COVID. A sector in demand.

Almost regardless of who you are or what you do, nearly all can agree that 2020 has been a strange and challenging year so far. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed everything - removing fundamental freedoms, changing the way we shop and altering the balance between (and location of) work and home life. COVID-19 has caused a revolution which otherwise could have taken years or perhaps decades if left to evolution.

This revolution is one which businesses in all sectors need to keep up with – or risk being left behind, maybe even worse.

“Few corporate functions shifted priorities so much and so quickly when the COVID-19 crisis struck as corporate cybersecurity operations and the technology providers that support them did.” (McKinsey)

At the top of this change curve is the Cyber & Information Security sector. Almost overnight, nearly all office based jobs had to be carried out remotely, forcing senior cyber professionals and teams to put into practice measures and controls that they may (or may not…) have gamed and tested. They had to find a way to complete all business processes securely and from distance.

This fact alone would have put the sector under a new spotlight, but when combined with new shopping habits and more money being spent online than ever before, you have a sector which is now acknowledged as central to future business success.

But as Cyber is essentially a ‘young’ sector, are skills going to keep up with the likely increase in demand?

Our experience and custom analytics provides scrutiny into the sector and does identify some structural issues with the talent market, which will provide challenges for companies to overcome when attempting to build their Cyber & Information Security teams for the coming years.

First, as reported by the ONS, 48% of businesses have acknowledged that they have a skills gap In Cyber, there’s some work to do for all involved in the sector to close these gaps in the months and years ahead.

Our analysis shows that the current Cyber talent market is dominated by men, who make up 75% of the sector. Whilst the landscape is one of very experienced professionals, leaving a gap for more junior or mid-level positions.  

These trends specific to the Cyber market are set against a backdrop of the global pandemic, which is sure to have deep and profound impacts on the job market. Take the graduate sector for example, established graduate programmes may be impacted both as a result of remote working and potentially businesses who are less prepared to take on staff with limited industry specific experience.

For the Cyber market, this could help provide a pool of the next generation of talent. Where normal career pathways might slow down as the economy recovers, can young professionals and graduates, especially females, be encouraged to follow a career path in Cyber? It’s up to us to work together to ensure this is the case.

So, there are certainly challenges to overcome, but they’re challenges we thrive on. My team at Sanderson, has more than 8 years’ experience within the sector, we have an unrivalled network of talent and understand the skills and personalities you need to build high performing teams.

We build partnerships with our client’s which means we are about far more than just delivery. We use our expertise and access to market insight and analytics to advise, consult and guide our clients through the ever changing landscape.

So, if you have a specific requirement, or just want to explore what your next steps might look like, get in touch.