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NIST CyberSeek Report: US Cybersecurity Talent Shortage Increasing


The demand for cybersecurity workers is increasing across the United States, yet a cybersecurity talent shortage plagues businesses nationwide, according to a report conducted by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity career and workforce resource CyberSeek.

Key findings from the CyberSeek report included:

  • The total employed U.S. cybersecurity workforce was 768,096 as of March 2018.
  • There were 301,873 cybersecurity job openings in the private and public sectors between April 2017 and March 2018. This included 13,610 public sector openings.
  • The metro regions with the most cybersecurity job openings were Washington D.C. (43,200 openings), New York (19,993) and Chicago (11,464).
  • The largest number of cybersecurity job openings was in the operations and maintenance category (194,224).
  • The following cybersecurity roles had average annual salaries over $100,000: cybersecurity architects, cybersecurity consultants, cybersecurity engineers and cybersecurity managers.

CyberSeek also found there was an average of 6.5 employed workers per opening across all jobs from April 2017 through March 2018. Comparatively, in cybersecurity, there were only 2.5 employed workers per opening.

How Can MSSPs Help Businesses Address the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage?

MSSPs offer cybersecurity skills, knowledge and services to companies across all industries. As such, companies may increasingly partner with MSSPs to overcome the nationwide cybersecurity talent shortage.

The global managed security services market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5 percent between 2016 and 2022, according to market research firm Market Research Engine. Factors that could accelerate the push for managed security services include:

  • Increase in cybercrime against enterprise networks.
  • Regulatory compliance and data security laws.
  • Security recruitment and budget limitations.
  • Acceptance of cloud-based services.

In addition, there are many reasons why companies may choose to partner with MSSPs, such as:

  • Cost Savings: MSSPs provide predictable monthly costs for security services. Plus, they can help businesses reduce the risk of costly, time-intensive data breaches.
  • Comprehensive Support: MSSPs employ cybersecurity professionals who can offer support in a variety of areas, including application security, compliance monitoring and vulnerability scanning.
  • Best Practices: MSSPs can help businesses develop cybersecurity strategies and best practices to stay ahead of rapidly evolving threats.

MSSPs can provide cybersecurity expertise and services to help businesses identify and address cyberattacks before they escalate. As a result, MSSPs may prove to be exceedingly valuable to companies across the United States in the foreseeable future.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.