The cybersecurity skills gap remains a critical challenge for enterprises globally, demanding strategic measures to bridge the gap between the demand for skilled professionals and the available workforce. The constant evolution of cyber threats, coupled with the increasing attack surface, exacerbates this gap. This article explores 5 tactical approaches for enterprises to cut down the growing cybersecurity skill gap.

#1 Expanding Talent Pools for Diverse Expertise

Many enterprises fall into the trap of limiting their talent search to traditional qualifications, contributing to the cybersecurity skills gap. To address this, organizations should cast a wider net when looking for talent. By breaking away from rigid degree requirements and considering candidates with diverse backgrounds, enterprises can tap into a broader talent pool. As per a survey study by, 34% of companies eliminated college degree requirements to increase number of applicants in past year.

This expansion of qualifications not only accelerates the hiring process but also fosters a more dynamic cybersecurity team. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are increasingly placing team members across various teams within the organization, creating a more integrated and proactive cybersecurity approach. This strategic shift positions cybersecurity experts where they can intercept threats in real-time, showcasing the importance of a diverse and adaptable workforce.

#2 Look for Candidates from Within

Identifying and training existing employees to fill cybersecurity roles, rather than hiring new personnel from outside the company can be a cost-effective and strategic solution. Turnover is frequently caused by employee boredom or a perceived lack of opportunities. The Work Institute's Retention Report found that the costs associated with replacing departing employees can range from 33% to 200% of their salary. Training existing employees in baseline technical and cybersecurity skills through reputable online courses (such as CompTIA Security+, ISACA Cybersecurity Fundamentals, and (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner) not only addresses the skills gap but also boosts retention.

This approach allows employees to explore different facets of cybersecurity, reducing boredom and increasing job satisfaction. Moreover, companies can tailor training programs to align with their specific cybersecurity needs, ensuring that employees are equipped with relevant skills to tackle evolving threats.

#3 Upskill the Existing Workforce

To combat the cybersecurity skills gap, enterprises are turning inward and investing in upskilling their current workforce. This multifaceted approach involves enhancing both hard and soft skills, ensuring that employees remain adaptable and proficient in the rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape. According to industry data, a staggering 93% of companies implementing upskilling and reskilling programs report increased productivity, higher employee retention rates, and improved workforce resilience.

Real-world scenarios illustrate the effectiveness of cyber upskilling. For instance, a business risk officer can bolster their productivity by taking courses in agile methodologies and data analytics. Similarly, IT auditors are acquiring skills in Scrum frameworks and AI modeling, while cyber defense analysts are stepping into management roles armed with credentials in incident response and threat analysis.

#4 Leverage Security Automation as a Force Multiplier

As cyber threats become more frequent and sophisticated, security automation is emerging as a cornerstone in closing the skills gap. Automation, driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, predicts and pre-empts cyber threats efficiently. Organizations report increased confidence in automation, with a balanced approach that combines automation for routine tasks and human analysts for high-impact investigations.

The benefits are profound, including minimizing breach costs, improving incident response, and scaling with business growth. ThreatQuotient’s 2022 State of Cybersecurity Automation Adoption report highlights the importance of using automation platforms with low-code interfaces, simplifying complexity and reducing the need for entry-level personnel.

#5 Outsourcing Cybersecurity for Expertise and Flexibility

Outsourcing cybersecurity needs to external companies offers a strategic alternative to traditional hiring. By contracting with specialized firms, enterprises can benefit from a team of skilled professionals with diverse expertise, disciplines, and experiences. This approach allows organizations to tap into a pool of talent without the long-term investment associated with hiring and training.

The advantages of outsourcing include reduced overhead costs, access to a dynamic and well- coordinated team capable of handling attacks swiftly, and the flexibility of around-the-clock coverage. Additionally, outsourced professionals are likely to stay current with the latest skills and certifications, relieving the workload on internal teams. Companies of all sizes can benefit from outsourcing cybersecurity services, ensuring a proactive and comprehensive defense against evolving threats.

Cutting Down the Cybersecurity Skill Gap requires thinking outside the box

With cyber threats on the rise, the demand for skilled professionals is escalating, intensifying the competition among organizations. To effectively address this challenge, the industry must explore unconventional avenues, such as ongoing professional development initiatives and widening the talent pool beyond traditional sources. By swiftly filling critical roles, advancing teams, and fortifying organizations against evolving cyber threats, we can collectively mitigate the impact of the skills gap. The cybersecurity talent shortage is a persistent challenge, but with proactive measures, it can be transformed into an opportunity for growth and resilience.