9 months ago by Silvana Hawkes

How COVID-19 is Shaping the Demand for Cyber Security Skills


Over the last 12 months, the pressure on organisations to digitally transform has been greater than ever. Whilst many knew they needed to adapt and adopt new technologies, during 2020 they had to react quickly to rapidly changing ways of working in order to survive and thrive. 

This coupled with the increase in personal and corporate cyber risks driven by an increase in the number of cyber attacks along with the switch to remote working has meant that skills for robust cyber security defences have taken priority. With many organisations investing in data security tools and capabilities to strengthen their security posture. 

Many CIOs and CTOs consider maintaining the IT security of systems as the top strategic priority for 2021. This shift has already led to an increase in the hunt for top security talent and will continue to rise. 

As organisations become more reliant on mobile devices and offsite and cloud-based technologies to run their teams and operations, they will need to focus on ensuring these are secure and protected from cyber security risks. A global survey from cloud security company VMWare found that 91% of all enterprises have seen increased cyber attacks since the start of the pandemic. 

This increase in security breaches is driving the search for a range of cyber security talent, the skills expected to see the highest demand include: 

  • Information security (InfoSec) - Including authentication/authorisation, malware analysis, incident response, risk management and data recovery.
  • Network security - Including wireless network security, firewalls and IDS/IPS, VPNs and remote access, as well as endpoint security.
  • Cloud security services - Including implementation of policies, controls, procedures, and technologies that protect cloud-based systems, devices, and infrastructure.
  • Web security - Remote working means organisations need to secure their websites and web applications from threats including viruses, ransomware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS). In-demand skills span network, application, and OS security.
  • Security architecture - Including knowledge of security hardware and software, analysis of organisational needs and the ability to manage cyber-security risks in relation to organisational policies and industry standards.

To fill these skill gaps, organisations are looking to hire new talent as well as investing in their existing talent to develop their skills. Organisations must develop a recruitment program that attracts the right talent in order to meet their cyber security needs and ensure they are protected against security threats in 2021 and beyond.