Automation: A solution to remedy the talent shortage

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Find out how automation creates a dynamic cybersecurity ecosystem and can address the talent gap.

by Joël Mollo, Regional Director  | SOUTHERN EUROPE, CrowdStrike

The growing frequency of cyber-attacks, combined with the increasing sophistication of cyber adversaries’ techniques, highlight an absolute need to anticipate emerging threats: i.e. the speed of intervention. It is important to understand that there is a human cyber adversary behind each attack who will not hesitate to change tactics to bypass defence mechanisms. So, to resolve future cybersecurity problems, we have to focus on cyber watch and understand not only the threats, but the cyber criminals behind them as well.

The problem is that there are too few security specialists today. Cybersecurity Ventures reports that 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will be vacant by 2021. So, it is essential that firms and the sector collaborate in developing strategies to improve skills and train new talents, while managing shortages where they occur.

Creating a dynamic cybersecurity ecosystem

It’s not easy attracting and keeping top talents. Many companies and institutions are launching new initiatives, encouraging universities to broaden their cybersecurity study programs. The United Kingdom has defined a national cybercrime strategy called the Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy aimed at strengthening the country’s capacities in this area. It includes a roadmap guaranteeing that education and training systems in place will facilitate the emergence of new talents. These programs help universities develop more complete curricula to develop the skills needed to fill vacancies and little by little eliminate the talent shortage. However, these solutions will not produce effects for several years. So, it is important that companies take measures now to protect themselves. This is especially vital because the consequences of a lack of resources are multiplied tenfold for businesses using traditional solutions that often generate large volumes of alerts that, when paired with a lack of technical expertise and a shortage of personnel, can prevent teams from solving urgent incidents, maintaining a climate of panic.

In this context, automation plays an increasingly decisive role because it makes it possible to execute repetitive tasks more quickly. Furthermore, the emergence of artificial intelligence and automatic learning will help teams better understand the severity of threats and risks so they can determine whether an alert must be addressed, and more quickly identify unknown threats that traditional cyber defence tools cannot detect.

This discipline offers new opportunities to cyber security experts who want to be proactive and hunt down cyber adversaries efficiently, thus instantly guaranteeing the maturity of the company’s SOC. It is a simple exercise, but the difficulty lies in finding a balance between the priority to be given and the availability of internal resources.

Filling the talent shortage little by little

Many companies around the world are convinced of the importance of remedying the shortage of cybersecurity experts in order to avoid many pitfalls. Highly publicised campaigns such as WannaCry and NotPetya must serve as a constant reminder to businesses and encourage them to reassess and rethink their security strategies on a regular basis, taking into account the short and long-term consequences of their approach and its impact on their ability to protect and defend their future.

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