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Ireland’s cybersecurity workforce skills gap has narrowed, says report

20 Oct 2022

While the 2022 report from (ICS)2 indicated that Ireland has reduced its cybersecurity skills gap, globally the picture was not so positive.

According to this year’s annual report by global cybersecurity non-profit (ICS)2, Ireland’s cybersecurity workforce has increased.

There are 17,687 people working in the sector in Ireland, representing an increase of 17.7pc year-on-year.

Last year’s report said Ireland had an estimated 15,000 cybersecurity professionals. Thanks to the increase, the workforce gap in Ireland now stands at 8,481 (having decreased 19pc year-on-year). In 2021, (ICS)2 said Ireland needed 10,000 extra professionals to plug our cybersecurity skills gap.

The latest report also named Ireland as the second best country (behind the US) for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for workers.

While the 2022 report indicated there is reason to believe Ireland has improved on its cybersecurity skills gap, globally the picture was not so positive.

This year, (ICS)2 surveyed 11,779 cybersecurity professionals globally – a much larger number than last year’s 4,753.

The latest figures revealed a substantial jump in the size of the global workforce gap to 3.4m – up from 2.7m the previous year.

Digging into the finer detail, 70pc of global respondents said that their organisation does not have enough cybersecurity employees.

More than half of respondents with workforce shortages felt that staff deficits put their organisation at a “moderate” or “extreme” risk of a cyberattack.

A majority (61pc) of people working in cybersecurity said they were concerned by the potential risks of emerging tech such as AI, quantum computing and blockchain.

However, there were some positive findings, too. The size of the active workforce grew to 4.7m, a rise of 464,000 from the previous year.

A majority (72pc) of respondents said they expected their cybersecurity staff to increase somewhat or significantly within the next 12 months. This was the highest percentage over the last three years.

When asked what their organisation was doing to tackle the skills gap, 57pc said they were planning to use tech to automate aspects of security.

Investing in employees was slightly more popular among organisations, with 64pc of respondents saying their employer was providing more flexible working conditions. A similar percentage of employers were investing in training, while 62pc said their employers were recruiting more staff.

“The study shows us that retaining and attracting strong talent is more important than ever,” said Clar Rosso, CEO of (ICS)2. “Professionals are saying loud and clear that corporate culture, experience, training and education investment and mentorship are paramount to keeping your team motivated, engaged and effective.”

Earlier this year, (ICS)2 CISO Jon France, spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about the need for more education in the sector and lowering the bar to entry for a cybersecurity career.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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