As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold last spring, three out of every 10 cybersecurity professionals worldwide had one day or less to transition their company’s staff to remote work and to secure their newly transformed IT environments.
Fewer than half of the cyber professionals — 47 percent — had less than a week to help their company make the move to a remote workforce, while 16 percent had a week or more, according to the new (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study.
The annual report by (ISC)2 , a Clearwater-based nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals, also updates the talent gap in the cyber industry, a key topic for the growing number of Tampa-St. Petersburg area companies that specialize in cybersecurity.
“Overall we’re seeing some very positive trends from the cybersecurity workforce reflected in this new data,” Clar Rosso, CEO of (ISC)2, said in a news release. “The response to COVID-19 by the community and their ability to help securely migrate entire organizational systems to remote work, almost overnight, has been an unprecedented success and a best-case scenario in a lot of ways. Cybersecurity professionals rose to the challenge and solidified their value to their organizations.”
Most cybersecurity professionals — 92 percent — felt their organizations were somewhat or very prepared for the transition to remote work, and 25 percent of the professionals who responded to the survey said remote work had improved team communications, although 12 percent said communications suffered because of remote work.
A little over one-third of the respondents, or 34 percent, said they were worried about security readiness being compromised as the security team worked remotely, but the majority, 57 percent, did not share that worry.
One big concern centered on job security and wages.
Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, the 2020 report found a decrease in the cybersecurity workforce gap, or the difference between the number of skilled professionals that organizations need to protect their critical assets and the actual capacity available to take on this work.
The gap narrowed from 4 million workers last year to 3.1 million workers this year. It likely narrowed in part more people are entering the field but also because fewer U.S. companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, are investing in cybersecurity professionals, the report said.
As it has for the past few years, the annual report also looked at the gender gap in cybersecurity, an industry where men are twice as likely as women to be employed.
Check out the full report here.