Capgemini: Cybersecurity skills gap widens to 25%
According a new report from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, the cybersecurity skills gap has widened, highlighting the urgent need for education, recruitment and retention strategies within the industry.
The report, Cybersecurity talent: The big gap in cyber protection, reveals that cybersecurity skills hold the highest digital skills gap of 25%, compared to the 21%-point gap for innovation experts, and 13% for analytics professionals.
“The cybersecurity skills gap has a very real effect on organizations in every sector,” says Mike Turner, Chief Operating Officer of Capgemini’s Cybersecurity Global Service Line.
“Spending months rather than weeks looking for suitable candidates is not only inefficient it also leaves organizations dangerously exposed to rising incidents of cybercrime. Business leaders must urgently rethink how they recruit and retain talent, particularly if they wish to maximize the benefits from investment in digital transformation.”
Further, this is only expected to grow over the next few years, with 72% of the 1,200 Senior Executives and front-line employees surveyed predicting that there will be high demand for cybersecurity in 2020, compared to 68% currently.
Speaking to Gigabit previously, CTIO of Capgemini Lanny Cohen, revealed that digital skill gaps across technology-centric sectors are worsening largely due to the lack of responsibility taken by firms and governments in preparing for the long term:
“Companies struggle with their innovation efforts because they fail to equip themselves with the relevant capabilities, talent, and resources. To shift an organisation's innovation dial, a concerted effort needs to be made in five dimensions critical to innovation maturity; ecosystem, environment, governance, culture, and process.”
In recognition of this, the report has outlined four priorities in overcoming the cybersecurity skills gap and gaining a competitive advantage over others.
- Assess how well security is integrated across the organisation and the general culture of cybersecurity.
- Maximise the existing and unrecognised cybersecurity skills that lie within the workforce.
- Think beyond normal recruitment strategies, looking common industry-centric traits and skills in completely different job roles.
- Strengthen retention by engaging existing employees by offering benefits such as flexible working arrangements, training programs and career progression.
For more information, see the full report from Capgemini, Cybersecurity talent: The big gap in cyber protection.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”