5 Tips for Nurturing Your Cybersecurity Talent

Nearly 20 years on from the world’s first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), the role has become indispensable for every organization. Industry watchers calculate the global cybersecurity workforce will need to grow by 75% to meet future demand, with CSO Online citing a 0% unemployment rate in cybersecurity.  

With workforce dynamics like this, every organization needs to nurture the CISO talent it has. This means understanding the state of the CISO landscape to minimize stress and burnout, getting creative to find and potentially home-grow talent and amplifying vital security messages to ensure your own people don’t inadvertently add to your CISO’s headaches. 

Understanding CISO Challenges:  

  • 75% of CISOs feel burned out 
  • 62% of CISOs fear personal liability
  • 42% asked to be covered under Directors & Officers insurance
  • 61% of CISOs say they face unreasonable job expectations 

The Risk Feels Real 

  • 68% of CISOs feel at-risk for a “material cyber attack” 
  • 82% have experienced data loss via employee turnover or layoffs 

CISO: Leader Demographics 

  • CISO tenure of 4.9 years mirrors that of other C-Suite roles 
  • 83% Men / 16% Women
  • 56% with master's degree | 9% with 3+ Degrees 

Security Workforce Demographics 

  • 0% unemployment rate 
Source: CSO Online 

  • 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs worldwide 
  • 24% Women
  • 9% Black | 8% Asian | 4% Hispanic 

5 Tips for Addressing Your Cybersecurity Needs 

According to Cybersecurity Ventures report, there are 3.5 million open security jobs available worldwide. In another recent survey, 57% of cybersecurity leaders were struggling to find and hire emerging security leaders to fill their needs. Organizations must get creative to ensure their needs are met. Here are five tips to try. 

  1. Tap Automation: Automation, such as DevSecOps and machine learning technologies can handle routine tasks and free your team to deliver higher value to your business.  
  2. Upskill Your People: If you can’t bring in the skills you need from the outside, consider installing comprehensive training in cybersecurity for your people to develop the skills your business needs.
  3. Design a Shared Responsibility Model: Collaborate with your cloud and hosting partners to establish a clear "Shared Responsibility Model." This approach defines the areas of responsibility between your organization and your providers, ensuring a well-coordinated effort in maintaining security. Clarity in roles and expectations is essential in today's interconnected digital landscape.
  4. Expand Opportunities for Under-Represented Workers: Partnering with organizations like trade associations and historically Black colleges and universities can expand your pool of qualified cybersecurity candidates in a challenging marketplace for talent.
  5. Promote a Thriving Security Culture: Ensure all employees, contractors and third-party vendors operate from a security-first mindset. Reinforcing smart everyday practices instills a culture of shared ownership while minimizing internal sources of risk. Remember to celebrate advocates as they may prove to be your future security leaders.
  6. Partner with SIs/ security consultants: If you can’t find quality cybersecurity talent, tap experts at vendors. They can be ready to come in, invest in your business and implement the security practices you need to keep your customers safe and your business compliant.
  7. Harness Security Resources: Leverage established security sources like OWASP, IEEE, and other reputable security foundations. By tapping into these valuable resources, you can stay informed about the latest security developments and best practices, providing a strong foundation for your cybersecurity efforts.



Mark Troester

Mark Troester is a Vice President of Strategy at Progress.