Normally a growing end market is one that company’s look to tap into but shortages of key materials and other inputs can hamper their success. This same dilemma is unfolding in the cybersecurity market, a key one for our Safety & Security investing theme, given the shortage of skilled security professionals. Most shortages result in pain points and in this case, it means fewer people to protect companies against cyber hacks and data breaches, which on average cost a company $3.86 million. Again, that’s the average; per IBM and Ponemon Institute, large scale breaches can hit as high at $350 million. One breach of that size can cover the salaries of nearly 2,000 skilled security professionals. And odds are that as companies fall behind, the number of attempted and potentially successful attacks is likely to climb.
Attempted cyberattacks are no longer an “if,” but a “when.” And, for many companies, hackers will win.
In the first half of 2018 alone, more than four billion records were compromised to data breaches.
That comes at a heavy price, according to a 2018 study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute. The average data breach cost companies $3.86 million, the study found, and large-scale breaches can hit $350 million.
Against that backdrop, companies are eager to hire cybersecurity experts to guard against those risks. The problem: There aren’t nearly enough people who can fill those roles.
The demand for skilled security professionals is one of the biggest challenges facing the cybersecurity industry today, with 2.93 million positions open and unfilled around the world, according to non-profit IT security organization (ISC)².
Without trained security staff, organizations don’t have the capability to deploy the right controls or develop specific security processes to detect and prevent cyberattacks, according to Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at IT research firm Enterprise Strategy Group.