Businesses around the world will find it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies for cyber security professionals in the coming years, as demand far outstrips supply.
According to figures from industry body (ISC)2, there will be a need for six million security experts across the public and private sector by 2020, but only 4.5 million individuals will have the necessary qualifications for these positions, the Financial Times reports.
However, it is not only expertise in dealing with security challenges that professionals will be expected to possess. Mark Brown, UK and Ireland executive director of cyber security and resilience at EY, noted there is a greater need than ever for security experts to be able to communicate effectively with business units and directors.
"You need people who know the technology but can also speak the language of the boardroom, and translate tech talk into understanding for the C-suite," he said.
According to (ISC)2, demand for security professionals is set to increase by 10.8 per cent a year between 2014 and 2019, while supply will increase by just 5.6 per cent a year.
This may also drive up the demand for managed security services (MSS), where businesses can turn to third parties in order to have confidence they will be able to deliver the necessary expertise to defeat advanced security threats.
This comes as the UK government has announced it is set to double its spending on cyber security to £1.9 billion by the end of the decade. This will see the opening of a new National Cyber Centre and Institute for Coding, as well as improving the level of teaching of cyber skills at schools.
However, it may well be several years before these efforts to increase the number of security experts see results - and in the meantime, hackers are continuing to grow ever more sophisticated.