Overcoming the cybersecurity skills gap


With cybercriminals constantly improving their tactics, organizations in the Philippines face the daunting task of protecting their critical digital assets from sophisticated attacks. Understaffed cybersecurity teams and a lack of senior-level staff make them even more vulnerable to breaches.

According to the Fortinet 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap report, 86 percent of IT and cybersecurity decision-makers in the Philippines and Malaysia agreed that skills shortages create more cyber risks for their organizations, and more than half admit they struggle to recruit and retain qualified experts. for their security team.

In an email to The Manila Times, Alan Reyes, Country Manager, Fortinet Philippines suggests that to bridge this gap, Philippine organizations must adopt innovative approaches to protect themselves from cyber threats.

For Alan Reyes, the first initiative is to unlock new talent. He said, “As the demand for cybersecurity professionals in the Philippines continues to grow, organizations are facing a critical skills shortage. The (ISC) Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2022 revealed that the Asia-Pacific region needs at least 2.2 million cybersecurity talent, while To address this gap, organizations should explore untapped communities, including women, veterans, and students, and provide affordable cybersecurity training to those seeking a career change. By investing in this new talent, Philippine organizations can expand their candidate pool and help build stronger defenses against cyber threats.

Fortinet’s Reyes also recommended unlocking existing potential. He elaborated: “In the face of a severe skills shortage, retaining top talent is critical for organizations in the Philippines. Business leaders must prioritize employee experience and job satisfaction by offering more opportunities for professional growth and skill development. Investing in the growth of their employees can empower team members to progress in their careers, while providing a strong foundation for newcomers looking to build a career in the industry.”

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Reyes went on to say that organizations need to unlock the talent pipeline. He explained, “Colleges and universities are expanding their cybersecurity degree programs, and by partnering with these institutions, businesses can provide opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized certifications even before graduation to ensure a pipeline of qualified candidates to fill critical cybersecurity roles .

He concluded: “Cybersecurity skills shortage remains a significant challenge for organizations in the Philippines. However, by adopting innovative approaches such as investing in new talent, empowering existing employees with professional development opportunities, and partnering with educational institutions, Philippine organizations can address the skills shortage and build strong defenses against cyber threats.”

The key to success is prioritizing cybersecurity as a critical business function and recognizing the need to continuously evolve and adapt to the changing threat landscape. By doing so, Philippine organizations can ensure that they are adequately equipped to meet the challenges of today’s digital world and secure their critical digital assets.

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