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Staffing Shortage Makes Vulnerabilities Worse - What Could Be the Solution?

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Staffing Shortage Makes Vulnerabilities Worse

The current state of affairs in the fast-paced cybersecurity realm poses real challenges for all of the stakeholders involved. Because the industry is developing rapidly, security operations teams must quickly adapt to the evolving landscape and rise to meet the challenge. This is, of course, easier said than done. The industry is facing a serious shortage of skilled professionals, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. As a result of this, threat actors are continuing to put a serious strain on overworked security operations teams, further weakening the security posture of the organizations across the world.

The core problem

As organizations continue to struggle to improve their security operations, vulnerability management also continues to be a pain point for many. , a recent research showed that 1 in 3 organizations stated that they can avoid a data breach, but staggering 63% are still unable to act on the huge number of generated alerts.

So why do organizations struggle with these basic issues? The simple answer is a chronic lack of skilled staff. Unpatched vulnerabilities, lack of visibility across assets and attacks, as well as the inability to prioritize events means the security program of the organization is all but doomed to fail. All of this happens because of the chronic staff shortage. Now more than ever, more professionals are needed to achieve effective vulnerability and risk management.

Vulnerabilities are getting worse

According to a recent Ponemon research report, organizations admit they lack the appropriate staff to find and fight vulnerabilities. Responding to the increasing volume of new vulnerabilities and alerts has become more complex, in part due to the lack of personnel to handle these issues. According to the report, when asked about the challenges of maintaining a good security posture, out of 600 surveyed security professionals 68% answered that staffing was a significant problem. This shortage is not exclusive to small organizations - big companies face the same issues, with 72 percent of surveyed organizations had more than 1,000 employees.

What can be done to address this issue?

As stated earlier, the cybersecurity staff shortage has consequences on many levels, impacting the entire industry. Companies of different sizes, industries and locations around the world are directly affected on a daily basis. To address this burning issue, security operations teams should address this chronic shortage on multiple fronts. Here are four steps every organization should take:

  • Shifting focus on technologies with advanced analytics


It’s time to embrace artificial intelligence and machine learning as a means to accelerate security processes and make your security professionals more productive.

  • Automation and orchestration


Cybersecurity has developed largely relying on manual processes, however, manual processes cannot scale to meet growing demands. Security automation and orchestration needs to become a top priority for organizations.

  • Taking a different management approach to security


CISOs are analyzing in detail their people, skills, and limitations and then managing accordingly. How do they do this? With the use of cloud computing and managed security services to cut costs, simplify security infrastructure, or delegate specific security controls and operations to third parties.

  • Taking a proactive approach to keep existing staff


Skilled professionals are highly sought after in the security industry. CISOs should focus on improving staff compensation, investing in career development, mentoring, and training. Providing opportunities for the staff to get involved in security research and encouraging staff members to network with others through professional organizations can also improve employee satisfaction.

In conclusion

Although the chronic lack of cybersecurity professionals is not new, the impact on organizations has become an urgent matter which must be addressed across the industry.

Strategies have to be developed, with a strong emphasis on including everyone concerned - from the private and public sector, help is needed from everyone and everywhere in the industry. And the chances for success are good - by raising awareness and investing in proper training and education, the staff shortage can decrease in time, and vulnerability management will regain its importance and strength.

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