Sophisticated cyber security defenses are increasingly in high demand as attacks are now viewed as an inevitability. But a majority of organizations are ill-equipped to address these threats head-on because they lack the skills, according to a report from ISACA, an independent, nonprofit association that develops and shares IT best practices.

A survey of 633 cyber security professionals ISACA conducted in October 2016 shows that only 59% say they receive at least five applications for each cyber security job opening, and only 13% receive 20 or more. In contrast, studies show most corporate job openings result in 60 to 250 applicants.

Compounding the problem, 37% of respondents say fewer than one in four candidates have the qualifications needed to keep companies secure.

“Though the field of cyber security is still relatively young, demand continues to skyrocket and will only continue to grow in the coming years,” said Christos Dimitriadis, ISACA board chair.

“As enterprises invest more resources to protect data, the challenge they face is finding top-flight security practitioners who have the skills needed to do the job,” Dimitriadis said. “When positions go unfilled, organizations have a higher exposure to potential cyber attacks. It’s a race against the clock.”

Most organizations lack the cyber security talent they need to ensure data protection.
Most organizations lack the cyber security talent they need to ensure data protection.

More than one quarter of the organizations report that the time to fill priority cyber security positions can be six months or longer. In Europe, almost one-third of cyber security job openings remain unfilled.

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