Shortage of cyber security specialists affecting businesses

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With the fallout from the TalkTalk hack still continuing to make headlines, hybrid workforce solutions provider Gibbs S3 is warning that the shortage of qualified cyber-security specialists is becoming critical for the south-east’s businesses.

Symantec CEO Michael Brown has been quoted as saying the global demand for cyber-security professionals is set to grow to six million by 2019 with the shortfall expected to be around 1.5 million, and businesses in the south-east will not escape the effect this will have.

Measures introduced by the UK government include cyber essentials, a programme aimed at providing basic cyber-security awareness quickly and cheaply for SMEs.

However, more needs to be done to combat the growing threat.

Farida Gibbs, CEO and Founder of Gibbs S3, said: ‘The range and severity of threats, coupled with the desperate shortage of skilled staff means that the majority of British companies are fighting an increasingly complex war with clearly insufficient resources.

‘This issue is compounded by the fact that standing still is not an option – firms need to be far more proactive in beefing up their digital defences as the hackers who are looking to get in are constantly evolving and mutating their attacks.’

The dangers are not limited purely to larger companies either. Recent research from KPMG has found that 70 per cent of SMEs can do significantly more to protect sensitive client data. The inability for small firms to provide adequate cyber-security protection is now causing small businesses significant revenue losses, an untenable state of affairs.

Punam Tiwari, senior legal counsel and data protection specialist at Gibbs S3 said: ‘We’ve now seen CEOs of major companies lose their jobs because of cyber-attacks which should be a serious wake-up call.’