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By Chester Avey
Sun | Oct 27, 2019 | 6:15 AM PDT

There has been a growing concern in recent years that the importance of human workers is going to diminish. With the rapid growth of automation and powerful Artificial Intelligence, it might appear that there will be less need for human knowledge and skills. However, it is still the case that expertise and creativity are things that only humans can bring to the table.

And this is certainly important in the world of cybersecurity, where it is often human ingenuity and creative thinking that provides solutions to risks and challenges. With the growing prevalence of cloud computing in business, it is also essential that cybersecurity experts hold excellent knowledge of cloud security—but there is a problem.

While the cloud and cybersecurity are both industries with plenty of investment and intrigue, there simply are not enough people with the skills necessary. In this article, we look at what this skills gap means for businesses, and how your organization might be able to mitigate it.

A shortage of talent in IT generally

It is first important to recognize that there is a shortage of talent, not only in cybersecurity specifically, but across the whole of the IT industry. There have been many studies into the numbers of people with the necessary skills to work in IT disciplines, and it does not make for comfortable reading from any employer’s perspective.

One report revealed that organizations currently face shortages in IT specializations ranging from systems administration (43 percent) and network administration (36 percent) to database administration (31 percent). The simple fact is that there are too many businesses that need IT expertise and not enough qualified or experienced staff ready to fill those positions.

This only gets compounded as emerging specialties can be left neglected. But if these numbers sound troubling, the issue of cybersecurity is even worse.

Cybersecurity shows the biggest skills gaps

It is cybersecurity positions that are going most unfilled. Nearly 74 percent of businesses surveyed revealed that the cybersecurity skills shortage had impacted their organization. And further, 47 percent of companies found that due to the lack of cybersecurity staff, they had not been able to utilize security technologies properly.

This truly is a major problem, as the sophisticated nature of attacks on cloud computing systems means that businesses need to be able to confidently deploy high-quality technologies. If companies cannot use these technologies properly, it leaves them vulnerable to attacks.

Varied challenges

One of the major issues here is that there are many challenges affecting cloud cybersecurity. Experts must deal with issues including multi-cloud environments and the increasing sophistication of attackers.

It is a dual problem where criminals are getting more advanced while organizations have fewer ways to counter their attacks.

A worsening problem

And just because this problem is recognized doesn’t mean it’s going away anytime soon. It is estimated that by 2021, the number of unfilled cybersecurity positions will be at around 3.5 million. And remember that these shortages are not confined to a geographic area; this is a worldwide problem, so the possibility of encouraging individuals to relocate to bring their skills isn’t the easy fix.

If businesses are going to find a solution to the cloud security skills gap, they are going to have to look elsewhere. And given the growing number of threats and challenges associated with the industry, this is something that needs to be done as a priority. Thankfully, however, if you are looking to secure your business, there are some options available.

Outsourcing could be the answer

The answer, at least for the short term, comes in the form of outsourcing. Businesses should consider working with a provider of managed IT and cloud services, meaning that they will take care of elements of the security for you.

Additionally, organizations can outsource most, if not all, of their cybersecurity services. Many security vendors can provide you with the expertise and staff to deploy and manage security technology to keep your business as protected as it can be.