Half of the managers believe that their employees do not have the necessary knowledge in cybersecurity

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Fortinet published the 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report on April 28. Conducted between January and February 2022 with more than 1,200 IT and cybersecurity decision makers from different industries, in 29 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico , the study reveals that the scarcity of cybersecurity skills continues to bring various challenges and repercussions for organizations, including the occurrence of security problems and, consequently, the loss of money.

According to data collected specifically in Latin America, 70% of companies revealed having suffered from one to four security breaches in the ultimate 12 months and 17% said they had suffered more than five, with these breaches costing up to US$1 million for their businesses (for 37% of respondents) and more than US$1 million (for 26%). According to 64% of the executives consulted, the cybersecurity skills gap contributes to the increase in cyber risk of their organizations.

As a result, the skills hole remains a top concern for executives and is increasingly fitting a precedence for boards. In the countries of the region, 89% of the organizations reported that their board of directors specifically questions what the company is doing to face the increase in cyber attacks. And 80% of those surveyed said the board is pressuring them to increase the number of IT and cybersecurity employees.

According to ISC’s 2021 Cyber Workforce Report , the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 65% to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets. While the global number of professionals needed to fill the gap fell from 3.12 million to 2.72 million last year, it remains a significant hole that leaves businesses vulnerable. In Latin America alone, 701,000 cybersecurity professionals are lacking, according to this report.

Trainings and certifications

The Fortinet report demonstrates that training and certifications are essential ways organizations seek to address the skills gap. According to 98% of Latin American leaders, technology-focused certifications positively impact their role and that of their team. Thus, 77% of leaders prefer to hire people with certifications, but 88% say that it is difficult to find professionals with this differential. Additionally, 95% of respondents say they are willing to pay for an employee to receive cybersecurity certifications. One of the main reasons companies highly value certifications is to increase awareness and perform tasks more efficiently.

As for staff in general, 52% of leaders believe that their employees do not have the essential cybersecurity knowledge. To help prevent business risks and breaches, Fortinet has a free security awareness and training service through the award-winning Fortinet Training Institute . Available in multiple languages, this service features exclusive threat intelligence from Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs so all employees understand and stay safe from the latest cyberattack methods.

“According to the Fortinet report, the skills hole is not only a talent scarcity challenge, but is also severely impacting the business, fitting a top concern for executive leaders around the world. We are committed to addressing the challenges revealed in the report through a number of initiatives, including programs focused on cybersecurity certifications and recruiting more women into the industry. As part of this commitment, Fortinet has set a goal of training 1 million professionals by 2026 to increase cyber awareness and close the skills hole in the industry,” says Sandra Wheatley, senior vice president of Marketing, Threat Intelligence and Communications, Fortinet. .

Betting on diversity – The report found that 64% of leaders in Latin America admit that their organization faces difficulties recruiting and 48% face difficulties retaining talent. The hardest-to-hire positions are cloud security specialists (at 40%) and SOC and DevSecOps analysts (tied at 37%).

Among the top three hiring challenges are hiring recent college graduates (77% of respondents), women (72%), and minorities (60%). It is a positive trend that organizations are looking to build more capable and diverse teams, 93% of companies in Latin America have explicit diversity goals for the next two or three years as part of their hiring strategy. The report also showed that 80% of organizations have formal structures to specifically recruit more women.

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