New ISC2 Pulse Survey highlights Japanese cybersecurity workforce challenges and urges action to address the growing skills gap

Alexandria, VA, May 19, 2023 – ISC2 – the world's largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals – today announced the findings of its April survey of Japanese ISC2 members revealing that 63% of respondents believe that the threat landscape is more challenging now than it’s been in the past five years. Additionally, the survey reveals that nearly half (48%) of respondents express concerns about their cybersecurity team’s ability to keep their organization secure during times of economic uncertainty, with 40% saying that economic uncertainty increases the risk of malicious insiders.

The survey reveals the pressing workforce concerns that organizations and cybersecurity teams face in 2023, offering valuable insights into the essential skill sets required to navigate the industry's challenges and emerging trends like artificial intelligence (AI) and regulatory compliance. In fact, the survey finds that 70% of respondents said their organization’s security team faces a skills shortage. Data suggests several causes of the skills shortage, including:

  • Organizations don’t have an adequate budget to hire enough people (18%)
  • Leadership misaligns staff resources (14%)
  • Inability to retain staff with in-demand skills (14%)
  • Limited resources to train non-security IT staff to strengthen security (14%)

According to the 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the Asia-Pacific region faces a shortfall of 2.16 million cybersecurity professionals, with Japan, which has the largest number of cybersecurity professionals, also accounting for the largest deficit, approximately 55,800.

“Given economic uncertainty, geopolitical threats and escalating security concerns around emerging technologies such as AI, the spotlight on cybersecurity has intensified, leading to a surge in demand for skilled professionals,” said Clar Rosso, CEO, ISC2. “Our survey reveals organizations continue to face cybersecurity workforce challenges, but Japanese professionals are responding by embracing new solutions and creating new pathways into the profession.”

The survey also brings to light the adaptability and resilience of Japanese cybersecurity professionals in the face of workforce challenges. Despite the skills shortage, the survey indicates that professionals in Japan are creating new entry points into the cybersecurity profession, with over half (51%) of respondents changing their hiring requirements and expectations to accept more applicants from non-cybersecurity backgrounds and training on the job for technical skills. 45% of respondents are actively recruiting non-technical people from within their organization to move to cybersecurity.

The survey also takes a closer look at AI adoption trends and regulatory compliance. Findings reveal that 57% of respondents have no or minimal knowledge of artificial intelligence. The data also suggests that skill sets must keep pace with emerging applications for generative AI and machine learning before organizations can proceed with regulation—54% of respondents agreed they need to learn more about modern AI applications such as ChatGPT before their organizations regulate its use.  


Results presented are from an online survey conducted by ISC2 in April 2023. A total of 650 ISC2 Japan members participated in the survey, providing feedback on topical issues impacting the profession – workforce and skills shortages, current threats and regulations. All survey participants are cybersecurity professionals working in Japan. The survey was offered in both Japanese and English, participants could select their preferred language. The margin of error for this research is +/- 3.8% at a 95% confidence level.

About ISC2
ISC2 is an international nonprofit membership association focused on inspiring a safe and secure cyber world. Best known for the acclaimed Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) certification, ISC2 offers a portfolio of credentials that are part of a holistic, pragmatic approach to security. Our association of candidates, associates and members, more than 365,000 strong, is made up of certified cyber, information, software and infrastructure security professionals who are making a difference and helping to advance the industry. Our vision is supported by our commitment to educate and reach the general public through our charitable foundation – The Center for Cyber Safety and Education™. For more information on ISC2, visit, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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