Recruiting in the world of cybersecurity: an ambitious and motivating societal challenge for the years to come
17 04 2019
Faced with a skills shortage, the market is beginning to react and organise accordingly. However, the initiatives are still largely one-off and have proved difficult to implement on a large scale. Nevertheless, this is a major collective challenge for our society today and in the future and one which we must tackle right away. How can we identify and attract the right applicants? This is today a very important question and one which requires multiple and cross-cutting solutions. An article by Sylvie Blondel, Director of Human Resources at Stormshield.
Specialised, little-known activities which are changing at an ever-faster pace
We are seeing a certain lack of awareness of digital occupations: this is true of students but also their parents, some teachers and careers advisers. The “geek” image is firmly rooted in our society and is hard to shake off. Despite this, it’s important not to generalise, as initiatives are afoot to make people more aware of careers in the digital sector and to present a completely different image of these. In Lausanne for example, digital technology is approached from a very early age, with children being invited to solve problems from the age of 4 upwards and with them being introduced to development in their teenage years. It’s therefore necessary to begin by raising awareness of these occupations, to make them more concrete and specific, and finally to encourage people to apply for them.
Raising the profile of these rewarding careers requiring a variety of different skills
On this particular point, it has to be admitted that the necessary awareness-building doesn’t seem to be happening. With this in mind, it’s vital to get them better known to avoid people focusing on only the purely technical aspects. Indeed, a career in the world of cybersecurity should not be something reserved for only a small, restricted community of people. On the contrary, it’s important to be able to draw upon numerous complementary employee profiles, able to play a decisive role in the development, creation and marketing of innovations making it possible to create a safe and trusted cyberspace. These occupations are creative, collaborative, and very meaningful. When you work in cybersecurity, you’re protecting infrastructure, organisations and people. This should be a key motivation for choosing such a job.
A career in the world of cybersecurity should not be something reserved for only a small, restricted community of people.
Working with schools, universities and training bodies
In addition to developing and marketing their products and solutions, the various stakeholders in the cybersecurity world also need to prepare for the future by forging partnerships with teaching professionals in order to be able to propose training courses which make it possible to train future potential applicants on a large scale. Working with schools, universities and training bodies is vital in order to change the current situation and to ensure that subjects related to IT security are given a central place within their syllabuses. We have seen that the public authorities seem to have become aware of this imperative need for training, with the creation of the secondary school IT teaching diploma in 2020 and the intention to add coding hours to the syllabuses. These are good initiatives, but are still insufficient.
The feminisation of the digital industry
Over and above the issue of training, for several years now we have been witnessing the reappearance of women in the digital industry. Although this is still only a modest trend, it has enabled the profession to benefit from an influx of enthusiastic female staff members at every organisational level. By bringing a fresh set of eyes and a new approach to the world of cybersecurity, women undoubtably have a strategic role to play in this industry. To make this a reality, we must continue to look beyond stereotypes, to raise awareness among young women when they receive careers guidance and naturally to convey the image of a diverse, welcoming industry, free of prejudices. Women can succeed and achieve self-fulfilment in the digital industry: need to make people aware of this.
We must continue to look beyond stereotypes, to raise awareness among young women when they receive careers guidance and naturally to convey the image of a diverse, welcoming industry, free of prejudices.
The recruitment and training of staff in the IT sector is therefore a key challenge facing today’s society, one which is set to accentuate over the coming years. We are already seeing a shortage of applicants. At a time when the digital transformation is well and truly underway, companies in all sectors are more than ever before trying to recruit the talents they need to support their changes. This transformation is accelerating and is increasing the attack surface of organisations and infrastructure every day. It can only be achieved by introducing trusted tools and solutions. It is also why guaranteeing the cybersecurity of public and private organisations is a key point requiring the involvement of numerous experts if it is to be successfully carried through. We must be careful not to simply opt for the status quo, because the conditions for our future success are being built now, today. The scale of this recruitment problem affects the whole ecosystem and it would be a mistake to limit this to a purely educational approach. It needs to be approached as a whole, from a 360° angle, or we won’t succeed.