COVID-19 Home Working Leads to Cybersecurity Hiring Spree

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a major boost in cybersecurity job vacancies in the US, data from the Cybersecurity Jobs Report: Q2, has revealed. The study, produced by the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) and CyberVista, indicates that the shift to remote working in the crisis has led to organizations investing more heavily in protecting themselves from cyber-threats.

An estimated 62% of the US workforce has transitioned to working from home, which has made businesses far more vulnerable to attack. A study published yesterday, for example, found that 43% of employees in the UK and US have made errors leading to cybersecurity repercussions in April.

Taken from LinkedIn, there were 261,545 open cybersecurity-related positions in April, 244,140 in May and 348,082 in June. Overall, the software and IT services job market has performed comparatively strongly since the pandemic struck the US in March. While there was an industry average decline of -10.94% for hiring changes month-over-month in March, this was just -0.8% in software and IT services. Since then, there was a -0.35% fall in April followed by a 7.21% increase in May.

Sectors which have had the largest number of openings for cybersecurity positions since June 18 are healthcare (at least 120,000), financial services (at least 115,000), IT and services (at least 114,000), retail (at least 85,000) and computer software (at least 77,800).

This is in the context of unemployment reaching its highest level since the great depression in the US during the crisis.

Nevertheless, the report also highlighted that the well-publicized cybersecurity skills gap means that there is currently a shortage of candidates to meet this demand, finding that 86% of the cybersecurity job openings had attracted under 10 applicants.

It stated: “Organizations may be ready and willing to hire cybersecurity talent at growing rates, but they will likely be disappointed in what they find. The talent shortage that plagued the industry for over a decade is still right where they left it earlier in the year.”

As a result, it added that organizations should consider looking for candidates from outside of traditional backgrounds and experience levels.

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