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Global Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage to Reach 1.8 Million as Threats Loom Larger and Stakes Rise Higher

Report calls for employers to look for new recruitment channels and consider workers with more diverse
skillsets and non-technical backgrounds to attract and retain cybersecurity talent

      Clearwater, FL, June 7, 2017 – Released today, the Global Information Security Workforce Study finds that the cybersecurity workforce gap is on pace to hit 1.8 million by 2022 – a 20% increase since 2015. 68% of workers in North America believe this workforce shortage is due to a lack of qualified personnel. To help combat the growing gap, a third of hiring managers globally are planning to increase the size of their departments by 15% or more. Conducted by Frost & Sullivan for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, with the support of (ISC)²®, Booz Allen Hamilton and Alta Associates, the survey is the most extensive in the industry, incorporating insights from over 19,000 cybersecurity professionals.

David Shearer, CEO at (ISC)² said: “There is a definite concern that jobs remain unfilled, ultimately resulting in a lack of resources to face current industry threats – of the information security workers surveyed, 66% reported having too few of workers to address current threats. We’re going to have to figure out how we communicate with each other, and the industry will have to learn what to do to attract, enable and retain the cybersecurity talent needed to combat today’s risks.”

The report calls for employers to look for new recruitment channels and unconventional strategies and techniques to fill the worker gap. While survey responders believe the number one reason for the shortage is difficulty to find qualified personnel, they also said that job requirements are not understood by leadership.

Additional takeaways from the Global Information Security Workforce Study include:    

66% of respondents reported not having enough workers to address current threats

A third of hiring managers are planning to increase their departments by 15%

70% of employers around the globe are looking to increase the size of their cybersecurity staff this year

Currently 90% of the workforce is male with the majority having technical backgrounds, highlighting the issue that recruitment channels and tactics need to change

87% of cybersecurity workers globally did not start in cybersecurity, yet 94% of hiring managers indicate that existing experience in the field is an important consideration

33% of executives and C-suite professionals began in non-technical careers   

The executive summary of the report  can be found on the Center for Safety and Cyber Education website and can be downloaded here:  

About (ISC)²® 
(ISC)² 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, (ISC)² offers a portfolio of credentials that are part of a holistic, programmatic approach to security. Our membership, over 120,000 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 EducationTM. For more information on (ISC)², visit, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook

About Center for Cyber Safety and Education

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education (the Center), is a non-profit charitable trust committed to making the cyber world a safer place for everyone. The Center works to ensure that people across the globe have a positive and safe experience online through their educational programs, scholarships, and research. Visit

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