Content, Content, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Tripwire Survey: 93% of IT Security Pros Concerned About Skills Gap


Most IT security professionals believe an industry-wide skills gap may force organizations to explore creative solutions to address cybersecurity concerns, according to a survey conducted by advanced threat detection solutions provider Tripwire and technology market research firm Dimensional Research.

The cyber skills shortage, in many cases, is positive news for MSSPs that deliver services that customers can't build or manage on their own. The survey of 315 IT security professionals revealed 93 percent of respondents said they are concerned about an industry-wide skills gap, according to Tripwire.

In addition, 81 percent of survey respondents stated the skills required to be a "great" security staff member have changed over the past few years, and 72 percent said it is more difficult now to hire adequately skilled security personnel than it was two years ago.

Other survey results included:

  • 96 percent of survey respondents indicated they believe automation will play a role in solving the skills gap in the future.
  • Most companies are supplementing their IT security teams by outsourcing for skills (91 percent) and are expecting non-security professionals to become more involved in their digital defense strategies (98 percent).
  • 20 percent of respondents stated their organizations have hired professionals with expertise not related to security over the past few years, and 17 percent expect this trend to continue through 2019.

Perhaps most important, 88 percent of survey respondents said they believe managed services would add value to solving the skills gap problem, Tripwire noted.

"Security teams shouldn't overburden themselves by trying to do everything on their own. They can partner with trusted vendors for managed services or subscribe to service plans where outside experts can act as an extension of the team," Tim Erlin, vice president of product management and strategy at Tripwire, said in a prepared statement.

What Does the Skills Gap Mean for MSSPs?

The IT security skills gap may create new opportunities for MSSPs around the globe. If MSSPs can help organizations identify and mitigate cyber risk, they may be better equipped than ever before to capitalize on the rising demand for cybersecurity solutions.

Spending on cybersecurity products and services is expected to exceed $1 trillion globally between 2017 and 2021, according to cybercrime research firm Cybersecurity Ventures. Meanwhile, as organizations search for ways to minimize cyber threats, they may increasingly rely on MSSPs for support – something that could further accelerate the global managed security services market's growth.

The worldwide managed security services market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6 percent between 2016 and 2021, market analyst Allied Market Research said in a prepared statement. Also, this sector could be worth nearly $41 billion by 2021, Allied Market Research stated.

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.