Skills gap: There is a growing connection between cybersecurity violations and skills shortages

According to Fortinet’s global 2024 cybersecurity skills gap report, nearly 90% of organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a gap in the last year that can be partially attributed to a lack of skills in cybersecurity and 70% attribute increased cyber risks to the skills gap.

Fortinet released its global 2024 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report, which highlights ongoing challenges related to the lack of cybersecurity competencies affecting organizations around the world. Key findings of the report include:

  • Organizations are increasingly attributing violations to cyber competence gap.
  • Violations continue to have significant repercussions for businesses and executive leaders are often sanctioned when they occur.
  • Employers continue to consider certifications as a validator of current skills and knowledge in cybersecurity.
  • There remain numerous opportunities to hire from diverse talent groups to help address skills shortages.

The cyberskills gap continues to affect companies around the world

It is estimated that 4 million professionals are needed to cover the growing cybersecurity workforce gap; Of this number, 1.3 million are in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time, Fortinet’s global 2024 cybersecurity skills gap report found that 70% of organizations indicated that a shortage of cybersecurity skills creates additional risks for their organizations. Other findings that highlight the impact of the growing skills gap on companies around the world include:

  • Organizations are attributing more violations to lack of cyber competencies: In the past year, nearly 90% of organizational leaders (87%) said they experienced a gap that can be partially attributed to lack of cyber competencies, compared to 84% in the 2023 report and 80% in the previous year.
  • Security breaches are having a more substantial impact on businesses: Security breaches have a variety of repercussions, ranging from financial to reputational challenges. This year’s survey revealed that corporate leaders are increasingly responsible for cyber incidents, with 51% of respondents noting that directors or executives have faced fines, prison time, job loss or job loss after a cyber attack. In addition, more than 50% of respondents indicated that violations cost their organizations more than $1 million in revenue losses, fines and other expenses last year, compared to 48% in the 2023 report and 38% last year.
  • Boards see cybersecurity as a business imperative: As a result, executives and boards are increasingly prioritizing cybersecurity, and 72% of respondents said their meetings were more focused on safety in 2023 than the previous year. In addition, 97% of respondents say their board considers cybersecurity a business priority.

“The results of our latest global report on cybersecurity skills gaps highlight the critical need for a collaborative and multifaceted approach to closing the skills gap. To effectively mitigate risk and combat today’s complex threats, organizations must employ a strategic combination of leveraging appropriate security technology, improve the skills of existing security professionals through training and certification, and foster a cyber-conscious workforce. As part of Fortinet’s dedication to closing the skills gap through this three-tier approach, we committed to training 1 million people in cybersecurity by 2026. We are approaching half of this five-year commitment, as we are close to having trained half a million people to date,” said John Maddison, CMO at Fortinet.

Hiring managers value continuous learning and certifications

Business leaders widely consider certifications as validation of knowledge in cybersecurity, and those who have a certification or work with someone who has it, note clear benefits. This year’s survey also revealed that:

  • Candidates with certifications stand out from the rest. More than 90% of respondents said they prefer to hire candidates with certifications.
  • Leaders believe that certifications improve the security posture: Respondents value certifications so much that 89% said they would pay for an employee to obtain a cybersecurity certification.
  • Finding candidates with certifications is not easy: More than 70% of respondents indicated that it is difficult to find candidates with technology-focused certifications.

Organizations are taking a three-pronged approach to building cyber resilience

The increasing frequency of costly cyber attacks, combined with the potential for serious personal consequences for board members and directors, Giving rise to an urgent push to strengthen cyber defenses in all companies. As a result, organizations focus on a three-pronged cybersecurity approach that combines training, awareness and technology:

  • Help IT and security teams gain vital safety skills by investing in the training and certifications needed to achieve this goal.
  • Cultivate a cyber-conscious frontline personnel who can contribute to a safer organization as the first line of defense.
  • Use effective safety solutions to ensure a strong safety posture.

To help organizations achieve these goals, Fortinet offers the largest integrated portfolio of more than 50 enterprise-grade products through its Fortinet Security Fabric platform. In addition, the award-winning Fortinet Training Institute, one of the industry’s largest training and certification programs, is dedicated to making e-security certification and new career opportunities available to all populations, including a cybersecurity awareness training offer for organizations to develop a cyber-conscious workforce.