The country needs more qualified cybersecurity professionals


The cybersecurity talent shortage has become a significant concern for businesses and governments worldwide. With the increasing dependence on technology and the internet in all aspects of life, the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been greater. However, the demand for these professionals far outstrips the supply, leading to a significant shortage of qualified individuals to fill these essential roles.

DICT Secretary Atty. Ivan Uy said that currently, there are three million job vacancies for cybersecurity experts around the globe. However, while the demand is high for Filipino IT experts, only a few attained the proper training and certification to be employed. So far, Uy said the Philippines has around 200 certified cybersecurity experts, compared to Singapore, which has 3,000.

One of the main reasons for this shortage is the rapid growth of the cybersecurity industry. The number of cyber threats and attacks has skyrocketed in recent years, as the need for professionals who can protect organizations and individuals from these threats. At the same time, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has also been fueled by new regulations and compliance requirements, as well as the increasing complexity of technology and networks.

Another factor contributing to the shortage of cybersecurity talent is the need for more qualified candidates to enter the field. Many aspiring cybersecurity professionals need more education and training to meet the demands of the industry. In the Philippines, few programs and educational institutions offer specialized cybersecurity training and education. As a result, there is a significant gap between the skills and knowledge required for the job and the skills and knowledge many candidates possess.

The high demand for these professionals in other industries also worsens the cybersecurity talent shortage. Many cybersecurity professionals are sought after by companies in various sectors, including finance, healthcare, and government, making it difficult for organizations in the cybersecurity industry to compete for top talent.

The cybersecurity talent shortage in the country has significant implications. Without qualified professionals to protect against cyber threats, businesses, organizations, and the Philippine government are at increased risk of data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other security incidents. This can lead to serious financial and reputational damage and legal and regulatory consequences.

John Patrick Lita, vice president and CISO of Multisys Technologies Corporation, said to address the shortage of cybersecurity talent, the public and private sectors need to take several steps. One of the most important is investing in training and development programs to build the skills and knowledge of their existing cybersecurity professionals. This could include offering continuing education, training opportunities, and funding for advanced degrees and certifications.

He added that another approach is to focus on recruiting and retaining top talent. This could involve offering competitive salaries and benefits, as well as creating a positive and supportive work environment that is conducive to career growth and development.

The Philippine government should also consider partnering with educational institutions to help address the shortage. This could involve creating internships and mentoring programs and offering scholarships to help students pursue careers in cybersecurity.

Finally, businesses and organizations should consider outsourcing some of their cybersecurity needs to third-party providers. While this is a short-term solution to the cybersecurity talent shortage, it can help bridge the gap and provide the necessary expertise and resources to protect against cyber threats.

The cybersecurity talent shortage is a major concern that businesses, organizations, and the government must address. Without sufficient number of qualified professionals to protect against cyber threats, the risk of data breaches and other security incidents will continue to increase. By investing in training and development programs, recruiting and retaining top talent, partnering with educational institutions, and outsourcing some of their cybersecurity needs, businesses, organizations, and the Philippine government can help mitigate this risk and ensure the safety and security of networks and systems.

(Art Samaniego, Jr. is the head of Manila Bulletin IT Department and is the editor of Technews.)