Despite reports that there will be 3.5 million cyber security jobs open by 2021 (Cybersecurity Ventures Jobs Report 2018-2021) and that only 7% of top universities offer cyber security undergraduate programs (McAfee 2016 Cybersecurity Skills Report), there have been positive steps taken by institutions to expand information security programs.
Referred to as ‘cyber ranges’ in the United States, universities such as Virginia, Florida, Michigan, and a host of others, are opening well equipped computer labs and virtual centres with test environments for students (Edscoop). Leading tech companies such as IBM, Cisco, and the SANS Institute are also pitching in to fill the gap (EdTech). Online learning platform Udacity has also created their own cyber security degree in collaboration with chronicle and experts from Facebook, Microsoft, Visa, VMWare, and others (see more and enrol here).
This addresses concerns from the Australian Cyber Security Skills Shortage Study, showing that 78% of interviewees believe there is a skills shortage. However, employers are also seeing a lack of ‘soft skills’ and believe that too much time is being spent on tasks which could be automated (ComputerWeekly, AISA Research).
Experts worldwide are open to automation of cyber security tasks such as event management and incident response, as it relieves team members of time consuming tasks, allowing them to focus their energies on jobs requiring team work and human skills (CIO). Therefore automation could combat the skills shortage while also making information security teams more effective.
Scanning log files has long been considered the most effective method for reviewing user actions to determine a breach (SANS), however, it is often only reviewed after a breach has been identified and costs have been incurred. Regular scanning of log data can effectively identify threats and breaches earlier, cutting costs significantly. If a breach is undetected in the first 100 days, costs can increase by 40% (Ponemon). This time consuming task, if automated, could significantly increase protection, decrease costs, and afford teams more time to focus on other issues.
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