How to Build Your Cybersecurity Talent Pipeline?
October 5, 2023, 5 min read
I have been managing a Cyber Career Program for over four years. What I have learned during this time is a well-known reality for the cyber security world: “It is not an easy task to find cyber security professionals when needed.” In the modern digital world, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance for businesses of all sizes and sectors. Due to the growing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks, it is essential to have a sizable cybersecurity talent pool in this day and age. In this article, I will discuss some techniques for creating and fostering your organization’s cybersecurity talent pipeline, ensuring your company is well-prepared to protect itself against growing cyber threats.
Understanding the Significance of Having a Talent Pipeline in Cybersecurity
Before we delve into the specific tactics, let’s first understand why it’s so important to have a talent pipeline for cybersecurity:
The landscape of the challenges posed by cyberspace is always changing. When you have a talent pipeline, you can rest assured that you will always have a consistent supply of qualified employees who can adapt to new challenges and technology.
There is a talent gap in the field of cybersecurity on a global scale. Developing a pipeline enables you to address your workforce requirements proactively.
Continually recruiting employees from the outside can be more expensive in the long run than consistently developing talent within an organization.
Long-term cybersecurity preparedness is ensured by a well-established talent pipeline, which also reduces the risk of data breaches and other types of data loss.
Driving from experience, let me provide some clues that you may take into consideration when you want to build your cybersecurity talent pipeline:
Determine Your Requirements
The first thing you should do is determine the particular cybersecurity requirements of your organization. This involves having a solid grasp of your present security posture and any future expansion goals and compliance obligations. Find out which roles you require the most. Security Architect, Security Analyst, or Technical Support Specialist. The Cyber Security World is very rich in terms of roles. NIST’s Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NIST Special Publication 800-181) provides a detailed perspective for the roles and required knowledge, skills, and task requirements. You will find the perfect talent easier if you first clearly define your needs.
Create a Training Programme for Your Employees
As a person preparing curricula for various cyber roles, invest in training and development programs that will help you make the most of the workforce you already have. Provide opportunities for staff to continue their education and encourage them to acquire certifications in the field of cybersecurity. This not only improves the performance of your existing team but also demonstrates your dedication to the professional development of your staff members, which positions you as an employer of choice for qualified cybersecurity professionals.
Programs for Both Internships and Apprenticeships
As the knowledge base for cybersecurity and the requirements of the roles vary, establishing internship and apprenticeship programs to tempt and cultivate talent in the field of cybersecurity becomes very crucial. I have been working in coordination with universities, high schools, and institutions for this aim. I recommend working together with educational institutions in the surrounding area to give students interested in cybersecurity jobs the opportunity to gain practical experience. Students can benefit from this opportunity by gaining experience in the real world, while your organization can benefit by potentially gaining new employees in the future.
Raise People’s Awareness of Cybersecurity Risks
Cyber Security Awareness can be named the “A” of the Alphabet in the Cyber World. It is usually perceived as a requirement of many organizations’ knowledge standards, like ISO 27001. But from a more rational perspective, developing a culture of awareness is crucial. It is important to encourage all staff to engage in awareness and training programs for cybersecurity. Not only does this improve the overall security posture of your company, but it also makes it possible to discover personnel who have a strong interest in cybersecurity and who have the potential to be trained for specialized roles.
Networking and Participation in Industry Discussions
Since I started working as a cyber career program manager, thousands of young people have reached me. I have started conversations with them and spent many hours on the phone guiding their cybersecurity careers. I have also participated in events like conferences, seminars, and webinars to build relationships within the community of cybersecurity professionals. Building relationships with cybersecurity specialists can result in future employment opportunities. Participating in events held within your business is another way your company can ensure that it is current with the most recent trends and technologies.
Collaborate with Several Schools and Training Centres Specializing in Cybersecurity
Up to this point, to build our cyber security talent pipeline, we have collaborated with many stakeholders as a training center offering cyber security training. It is advantageous for companies to build such relationships with other institutions and centers that offer cybersecurity training—departments or training that offer specialized programs in cybersecurity and can be a great source of potential employees. To bring in top-tier talent, consider sponsoring cybersecurity competitions, boot camps, or granting scholarships.
Maintain Your Flexibility and Adaptability
Cybersecurity itself depends on the ability to adapt to change. It simply can be named cyber resilience. The field of cybersecurity is constantly evolving. Just think about AI. Even the content of cyber security awareness programs has been updated as the effects of AI have changed cyberspace. Therefore, we need to be sure that our strategy for developing talent is flexible to accommodate new dangers and technologies as they emerge. Maintaining a competitive advantage in cybersecurity requires that talent development programs undergo consistent evaluation and modification.
As a person who has put quite a lot of effort into constructing and maintaining a talent pipeline, I can clearly state that: “When it comes to protecting your organization from the ever-increasing cyber dangers, it is essential to construct a strong cybersecurity talent pipeline”. You can develop a sustainable talent pipeline that assures the long-term security of your organization if you first assess your needs, then invest in training and offer internships. Fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness is a considerable component to remain operative with the cybersecurity community. All of these mentioned things combined will ensure that your organization is protected. The “human factor” is perceived as the weakest link in the cybersecurity world. A dedicated pipeline for cybersecurity talent is not an option in this day and age of persistent online dangers; instead, it is a requirement that must be dealt with to strengthen the “human factor.”
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