Have you checked in recently with your cybersecurity manager? Do you even have a cybersecurity manager? Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, there was a global shortage of cyber security professionals, and the situation is worse now. The time has come to think outside the box when it comes to cyber security and making sure that your company has the protection it needs.

Cybersecurity skills shortage

According to research carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) at the end of 2019 (also known as before the Covid-19 pandemic), approximately 48% of all UK businesses have a basic skills gap when it comes to cybersecurity. The officer responsible for cybersecurity often doesn’t have the skills needed to carry out basic measures, and they are not getting any support from an external provider. Recruiting good stuff is tough too. 68% of businesses reported trying to recruit a cybersecurity professional during the last 3 years. 35% of them said that filling the position was difficult. The picture already looked bleak, and then Covid-19 struck.

The cybersecurity challenge of working from home

Since March of this year, cyber security professionals have found themselves pulled in every direction. In the rush to get teams working from home as quickly as possible, cybersecurity officers were reassigned to IT support and other general roles. Even if they are now back working in their original roles, their challenges have grown. They now have to secure one person in hundreds of locations, rather than hundreds of people in one location.

The increase in cyber attacks

To make things worse, the Covid-19 era has become a playground for cyber criminals. From phishing attempts and ransomware attacks to worms, summer 2020 has seen a huge increase in high-profile cyber attacks. This timing wasn’t coincidental. Some attacks were the result of playing on people’s anxieties and needs for comfort. Other attacks came from criminals who were trying to find new ways to make money when old ways disappeared. Still more attacks came from opportunists who jumped on vulnerabilities introduced when people started working from home overnight, probably for the first time ever in their working careers.

Each attack examines a company’s cyber security practices. There are so many different styles of attacks happening so quickly, that even professional teams struggle to deal. An overworked cybersecurity officer working on their own will feel under fire and seriously outnumbered. 

Thinking outside the box

So what’s a company to do? It’s hard enough to find all the good quality cyber and information security staff you need during normal times. It’s even harder now with the pandemic and skills shortage. You need to find ways to create safeguards to keep attackers out, and plans to minimise disruption if they do succeed in getting in. You also need someone who can keep on top of the latest best practices and defences to make sure you don’t get caught out.

Now’s the time to be creative, and think of different solutions. You don’t need to shoulder the entire burden within your company. Look for external companies or cybersecurity professionals who can manage your cybersecurity risk, and work flexibly with your company’s needs, making an immediate impact on your security posture.

By expanding your cybersecurity team through external or outsourced services, you benefit from their years of experience and laser focus on cybersecurity. An external cybersecurity professional or team of professionals will hit the ground running without any delay to train them up, they are up to date with the latest threats and prevention methods, and can utilise the skills of cyber security experts across disciplines. They will take responsibility for the solutions you use, software and products you need to buy, and technology upgrades you need to carry out, so you can sit back and focus on your core business.

Start making a difference to your cybersecurity today.

Stay safe.