Why is there an increasing demand for workers in cybersecurity?

Why is there an increasing demand for workers in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity remains one of the most in-demand professions, coupled with a massive talent shortage. Statista reveals that as of February 2023, the US had over 750,000 cybersecurity job openings, with a considerable percentage remaining unfilled to date. As the world becomes increasingly connected via the internet, the threats of cybercriminals increase at an alarming rate. 

With studies revealing a new attack somewhere on the web every 39 seconds, the need to protect IT infrastructure and sensitive data has never been so urgent. As the threat landscape evolves, both small and large organizations and government agencies are tapping the skills of cybersecurity professionals to prevent crafty criminals from accessing systems, networks and information for malicious reasons. This ultimately has pushed the demand for workers in cybersecurity to unprecedented levels.  

Who is a cybersecurity specialist?

A cybersecurity specialist is an expert in the field of IT security and is responsible for preventing cybercrime from impacting an organization’s infrastructure. A cybersecurity specialist’s main role is to ensure networks are safe from external threats, such as hackers who want to gain access for malicious purposes. They leverage their analysis, forensics and engineering skills to monitor and diagnose malware events and vulnerability issues. They also recommend preventing solutions, including hardware and software programs that help mitigate risks. The following are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity specialist: 

  • Safeguarding information systems
  • Conducting periodic audits and tests to find security violations, inefficiencies and vulnerabilities
  • Protecting systems, including websites, by defining access privileges, resources and control structures
  • Implementing and maintaining security controls
  • Keeping users informed by communicating status and preparing performance reports

Reasons why cybersecurity professionals are in high demand

As mentioned earlier, the need for cybersecurity experts is expanding as society relies increasingly on ever-evolving technology. Sadly, the industry is experiencing a massive shortage of qualified workers, further exacerbating existing security challenges. Studies reveal that the worldwide workforce of skilled cybersecurity experts needs to expand by almost 65% for enterprises to secure their valuable assets adequately. 

The following are some of the reasons cybersecurity experts are in demand:

Growing threats levels

Cybercriminals are constantly developing new approaches to beat existing security measures and steal confidential data. As cyberattacks increase in sophistication and frequency, it is becoming more crucial for individuals and businesses to take necessary precautions against these dangers. Today, a growing number of cybersecurity professionals are needed to create and implement advanced security solutions that mitigate risks. The duties of an information security analyst are to identify vulnerabilities before hackers do. They also help develop and implement new preventive security controls to defend against evolving risks.

Cybercrime is getting more expensive

One of the biggest reasons the cybersecurity industry is growing is that most businesses and organizations can’t afford data breaches. Studies reveal the entire cost of data breaches in 2022 in the US was $9.44 million, up from $9.05 million. Apart from money paid in ransom, data breaches have other costs, including reputational damage, disruptions, lawsuits, penalties and fees. Undoubtedly, the cumulative cost of data breaches can quickly put a company out of business. When an organization’s future is on the line, it will do everything possible to hire the best information security analysts to help enhance its agility. 

Complex technologies

As the world increasingly becomes digitalized, companies are starting to rely on more complex technologies to automate processes. Every automated system is generated by a code that has the potential to introduce new vulnerabilities. This means that the more processes are done digitally, the more opportunities hackers have to steal private information. As companies seek to automate more tasks to reduce costs and improve efficiency, they increasingly rely on information security systems graduates to safeguard their assets and information.

Rising adoption of remote work

The world is gradually adopting remote working as a preferred work style. Although this method has improved employee productivity and job satisfaction, it has also introduced new vulnerabilities that cybercriminals use to steal data. Since there is no direct supervision over individual data security, remote working can expose workplace computer systems to hacking and phishing attacks. Remote workers often rely on public Wi-Fi in local coffee shops and other open areas to perform their duties. Such Wi-Fi lacks encryption, thus allowing cybercriminals easy access to confidential information. Companies are increasingly relying on the skills of information system security experts to identify the cybersecurity risks that every remote worker faces and mitigate risks.

Criminals are now targeting smaller organizations

For many years, breaches targeting big and high-profile companies filled the headlines. However, in recent years, intruders are now targeting smaller organizations with wanton abandon. Security experts attribute this trend to weaker security measures that small companies deploy and a lack of know-how regarding new cyberattack trends. Additionally, big corporations are more likely to attract stronger law enforcement responses, making them unattractive targets. As more and more small organizations face increasing risks, thousands of schools, small government offices and businesses with less than 1,000 employees turn to cybersecurity experts to protect their assets.

Expensive cyber insurance

An industry report warns organizations with a higher risk for cyberattacks are facing several challenges in accessing cyber insurance coverage. Failure to address vulnerabilities can result in expensive cyber insurance, coverage limitation or declined coverage. As cybersecurity threats increase, experts predict insurers will likely include new underwriting requirements and greater scrutiny related to risk mitigation. This will likely place further pressure on businesses and organizations to hire experts to enhance their security and avoid expensive policies. 

The rise of hacktivism

Hacktivism is the practice of breaking into a computer system for a political or social cause. In recent years, hacktivism has become a mainstream force impacting individuals and organizations across the globe. This trend is majorly inspired by geopolitical events, including the recent Russia vs. Ukraine war, where pro-Ukraine and pro-Russian hackers are launching attacks with political motives. There has also been a rise in environmental hacktivists targeting companies in mining and oil companies. With more players turning to hacktivism as an effective anti-establishment weapon, government agencies worldwide are ramping up their security measures. Cybersecurity workers will play a critical role in containing the increasing online protests. 

What are the benefits of a cybersecurity career?

As the country struggles to keep pace with the rising number of job openings amid dwindling talent, those with a passion for IT security will find no better time than now to enter into this rising industry. The following are a few advantages of working in cybersecurity.

  • High salaries and plenty of opportunities

Cybersecurity jobs pay competitive salaries while offering plenty of opportunities across diverse industries, from government agencies, healthcare companies, investment firms to banks and schools. A master’s in cybersecurity salary is approximately $100,000, not including bonuses. The Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program at St. Bonaventure University prepares students for in-demand jobs in the growing field of cybersecurity. With a focus on practical IT security skills, graduates are equipped to become ethical hackers, network defenders and cybersecurity experts. 

  • Solid job security

Since it’s a highly sought-after profession, cybersecurity affords its workforce more stable job security. This means as a security expert, you’ll be able to leave your current role and find quick re-employment in a new position of interest that requires your skills.  

  • High career progression

The cybersecurity field offers expansive room for growth. Professionals who start out in entry-level roles can quickly progress to more advanced and specialized positions. Typically, expect to begin with titles such as junior penetration tester, IT technician and security analyst and work up your way to roles such as chief information security officer, cybersecurity manager and cybersecurity architect. 

  • Remote work opportunities

If you enjoy traveling or prefer to work at home, a career in cybersecurity is a viable option. The job allows flexibility to travel and move wherever you want without the complication of scheduling workdays and visiting an office. You can also perform your duties from any location worldwide, allowing you to enjoy working vacations and month-long overseas stays. 

  • Self-employment opportunities

Since most cybersecurity tasks can be done remotely, provided there is an internet connection, professionals in this field have several opportunities for self-employment. This allows you to achieve a greater work-life balance while undertaking high-pressure tasks related to the job. 

  • Learning opportunities

A cybersecurity professional is always learning. As mentioned earlier, the field of cybersecurity is ever-growing, with new trends, practices, technologies and threats emerging each year. As the profession expands, there are always new opportunities for research and learning. If you love discovering new things, a cybersecurity career could suit you.

How to become a cybersecurity specialist

The following are the key steps to becoming a cybersecurity specialist:

  • Earn a degree or certificate

Most jobs in the cybersecurity field require some formal education. Enrolling for a degree in cybersecurity studies can be a great way to gain skills on how to protect operating systems, networks and data from cyberattacks. You will also learn how to monitor systems and mitigate threats before and when they happen.

  • Consider industry certifications and clearances

Obtaining proper industry certifications and clearances is a crucial step in career preparation. Once you get your formal education, determine the types of certifications your employer requires. Some of the certifications that can increase your competitiveness include security+, network +, the certified information systems security professional (CISSP), the certified ethical hacker (CEH) certification and IT infrastructure library (ITIL) certification. 

  • Gain experience

Another crucial aspect of building a thriving career as a cybersecurity specialist is demonstrating relevant experience. While some companies employ specialists in entry-level roles, others require some experience before they will hire you. This may involve participating in a structured internship and other formal hands-on learning. You can accrue experience in cybersecurity roles while still pursuing your studies. 

  • Network with other professionals

Like all other professions, networking is a reliable pathway to finding lucrative job opportunities in the cybersecurity field. Apart from establishing professional relationships with your coworkers, consider joining professional organizations such as Banking IT Security Professionals (BISP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and CISO Cyber Security Information Group (CSIG). There are also several companies that hold job fairs and conferences. Attending such events can be a great way to connect with hiring managers.

What are the types of cybersecurity?

The cybersecurity field is further divided into diverse types. These include:

  • Network security

The network security field covers protection against breaches targeting interconnected electronics rather than individual devices or databases. Network security professionals leverage firewalls, physical hardware and training of users to protect against intrusions.

  • Information security 

Information security professionals work collaboratively with network security counterparts. However, the focus is on protecting digital and physical information that moves across all mediums. In a nutshell, information security specialists protect valuable information and data that criminals often target. They mostly handle things such as multifactor authentication and access to physical information storage areas. 

  • Infrastructure security

Infrastructure security protects physical and digital assets via the architecture itself. This specialty focuses on safeguarding sensitive items such as security systems, generators and locks. They create and maintain protected systems from breaches. 

Be part of the lucrative cybersecurity field

In today’s increasingly volatile cyberspace, cybersecurity has become an integral part of every organization’s security, sustainability and growth strategy. With cyberattacks evolving in complexity and intensity, the demand for cybersecurity talent will likely grow further in 2023 and beyond. Undoubtedly, a cybersecurity career brings numerous benefits, including job security, high income, flexibility and learning opportunities. If you want a slice of this lucrative industry, you should complete a formal education such as a master’s, bachelor or certificate program. 


Nitya is a freelance content writer. She writes for many Blogging sites. She has 5 years of experience as a Content Marketer. She always researches on latest things on the Internet and inks out everything with blogging.

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