RAND: Shortage of Cybersecurity Pros Puts Data at Risk


A shortage of cybersecurity experts has severely compromised the federal government's ability to protect against cybercrime, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation, but researchers caution against a drastic push to expand the field.

RAND, a non-profit think tank, examined the labor market for cybersecurity professionals, in particular for positions within the federal government, and found that “the demand for cybersecurity professionals began to overtake supply in 2007, largely due to increased reports of large-scale hacking.”

With demand high, cybersecurity professionals are increasingly drawn toward the private sector, which often offers significant higher salary potential than the public sector.

Researchers reviewed previous studies on the issue, interviewed cybersecurity managers and educators, and studied market reactions to labor shortages.

Despite the shortage, researchers said the government should be wary of initiatives that could flood the market with new labor. They noted that cybersecurity training takes years, and by then there may be “an overabundance of highly trained and narrowly skilled individuals who could better be serving national needs in other vocations.”

Read the full study HERE.

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