Demand for Cybersecurity Talent Keeps Getting Hotter

With organizations under siege from cybercriminals, the hunt for talent is on.
By: | March 28, 2019 • 3 min read
Business man looks through binoculars over the city on a cliff.,

What’s the hottest, most in-demand area for executive talent this year? Not so surprisingly, it’s the area of digital transformation and cybersecurity.

A new global study by the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), based on a survey of more than 500 representatives from executive search and leadership advisory firms, reveals that 65 percent of those surveyed predict that technology, analytics and cybersecurity will be the most in-demand executive roles this year.

The demand for cybersecurity talent is fierce, and for good reason. Over at our sister publication, Risk & Insurance, my colleague Michelle Kerr reports that cyber-criminals are pocketing an estimated $1.5 trillion annually—that’s five times the approximate cost of natural disasters in 2017 and $500 billion more than U.S. insurance industry net premiums written that same year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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The U.S. Dept of Defense has made recruiting and retaining cybersecurity talent one of its top priorities. While the federal government may have a reputation for slow-moving bureaucracy, the DoD is changing that via its new “Cyber Excepted Service,” which allows employees to be hired in less than half the time it took to hire them previously, reports ClearanceJobs.

The CES has helped the department cut the average time-to-hire for these positions from 111 days to 44 days, U.S. Cyber Command leader Gen. Paul Nakasone told Congress recently.

“We have done over 21 different fairs,” Nakasone told the House Armed Services Committee. “We’ve interviewed over 2,700 people. We’ve provided over 90 acceptances for job applications.”

Retaining cybersecurity talent has proved challenging for the DoD. Last year it lost an estimated 4,000 civilian employees—mainly in IT management and computer science-related positions—through turnover, reports DefenseSystems.com.

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