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Spiceworks IT Career Outlook: Cybersecurity Skills ‘Critical’ in 2018


Cybersecurity expertise is "critical" for IT professionals, yet the majority of these professionals lack advanced security skills, according to a survey of 2,163 IT professionals conducted by IT systems and network monitoring software provider Spiceworks.

The Spiceworks "2018 IT Career Outlook" indicated 81 percent of IT professionals believe cybersecurity expertise is critical. Comparatively, only 19 percent of IT professionals said they possess advanced cybersecurity knowledge.

In addition, survey respondents ranked cybersecurity first among the most important areas of expertise for IT professionals in 2018, according to Spiceworks. The survey also indicated that cybersecurity "will continue to be the most highly marketable job skill" for IT professionals next year.

Shortage of Qualified IT Security Professionals Plagues MSPs and VARs

Although managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) recognize the importance of cybersecurity expertise, a shortage of qualified IT security professionals continues to plague these organizations. This is reflected in a survey of 569 MSPs and VARs conducted by antivirus and internet security software company Kaspersky Lab.

The Kaspersky Lab "MSP: Trends, Challenges and the Keys to Success in Managed Security in 2017" survey revealed 67 percent of respondents said a shortage of qualified IT security professionals for hire contributes to the challenge of ramping up their cybersecurity offerings.

Other notable Kaspersky Lab survey results included:

  • 92 percent of survey respondents said they provide security services.
  • 51 percent ranked security in operational continuity as the top trend to shape the managed services market in the next three to five years.
  • The high cost of security solutions ranked as the top managed security challenge for MSPs and VARs.

MSPs and VARs can partner with MSSPs to overcome the shortage of IT security talent and enhance their cybersecurity offerings. In fact, partnering with MSSPs may prove to be the "saving grace" for the global cybersecurity market.

What Does the Future Hold for the Global Cybersecurity Market?

Global spending on cybersecurity products and services is projected to exceed $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021, according to cybercrime research firm Cybersecurity Ventures. Furthermore, cybercrime globally will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures has predicted.

With MSSP partnerships, MSPs and VARs can gain immediate access to expert IT security support. As such, MSPs and VARs can work with MSSPs to capitalize on the rising demand for cybersecurity products and services globally.

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.