94% of Organizations Faced a Breach in the Past Year

Top cyber attacks were the result of phishing and web attacks (42%), followed by password and malware attacks (38%)

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), the global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, today released its 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report, which reveals ongoing challenges related to the cybersecurity skills shortage affecting organizations worldwide. Key findings from the global report include:

  • The cybersecurity skills shortage has contributed to critical IT positions not being filled, which increases organizations’ cyber risks, such as breaches. 
  • Cybersecurity remains a priority for boards of directors and there is executive demand for increased IT security headcount.
  • Technology-focused certifications are highly regarded by employers, serving as validation of skill sets.
  • Organizations recognize the advantage of recruiting and retaining diverse talent to help address the skills shortage, but doing so has presented a challenge.

The Costly Reality of the Increasing Cybersecurity Skills Gap

An estimated 3.4 million professionals are needed to fill the global cybersecurity workforce gap. At the same time, the 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report found that the number of local organizations experiencing five or more breaches jumped by 63% from 2021 to 2022. This was a higher increase as compared to global organizations (53%). One repercussion of this is that many short-staffed cybersecurity teams are burdened and strained as they try to keep up with thousands of daily threat alerts and attempt to manage disparate solutions to properly protect their organization’s devices and data.

Additionally, as a result of unfilled IT positions due to the cyber skills shortage, the report also found that 63% of Singapore organizations indicate they face additional cyber risks. Other findings highlighting increased cyber risks that could be partially attributed to the talent shortage include:

  • Security intrusions are increasing: One resulting cyber risk is increased breaches, with 94% of local organizations experiencing one or more cybersecurity intrusions in the past 12 months, up from 72% last year.
  • More organizations were impacted financially due to breaches: More than 60% of local organizations suffered breaches in the past 12 months that cost more than USD1 millionto remediate. Globally, there were nearly 50% of such attacks, which is an increase from 38% of organizations compared to last year’s report.
  • Cyberattacks will continue to increase: At the same time, 76% of local organizations expect the number of cyberattacks to increase over the next 12 months, further compounding the need to fill crucial cyber positions to help strengthen organizations’ security postures. Singapore organizations expect a higher increase in the number of attacks as compared to global organizations (65%).
  • The skills gap is a top concern for boards of directors: Close to 70% agree that the cybersecurity skills shortage creates additional cyber risks for their organization. The report demonstrated that more than 90% of Singapore boards are asking how the organization is protecting against cyberattacks. At the same time, 87% of boards among Singapore companies are advocating for hiring more IT security staff, emphasizing the demand for security talent.
  • Hardest roles to fill in cybersecurity: Roles in cloud security (55%), software development security (49%), followed by security operations (47%) are the hardest to fill in Singapore.  

Upskilling Security Professionals and Developing More Talent with Training

The report also suggested that employers recognize how training and certifications can benefit their organization in addressing the skills gap, while also serving as an advantage for anyone looking to advance in their current security profession, as well as for individuals considering transitioning into the field. Below are additional highlights from the report around training:

  • Certifications are sought after by employers: Beyond experience, employers view certifications and training as reliable validation of an individual’s skill set with 88% of local business leaders preferring to hire individuals with technology-focused certifications. Additionally, 86% of Singapore respondents would pay for an employee to get a cybersecurity certification.
  • Certifications benefit both organizations and individuals. Almost all of the Singapore respondents (96%) indicated their organization would benefit from cybersecurity certifications while globally 95% of business leaders have experienced positive results from either their team or themselves being certified.
  • Not enough professionals are certified: While certifications are highly regarded, more than 75% of Singapore respondents said it is difficult to find people with certifications.

Increasing Opportunities for Women, Veterans and Other Populations Can Help Solve the Skills Gap

While the report demonstrated that organizations are seeking ways to tap into new talent pools to fill cybersecurity roles, with 8 out of 10 local organizations having diversity goals as part of their hiring practices, 90% of Singapore organizations indicate they have difficulty finding qualified candidates who are women, military veterans, or from minority backgrounds.

·         The report suggested that there was a decrease in veterans being hired compared to last year, with the number of local organizations indicating they hired local military veterans dropping from 65% in 2021 to 59% in 2022.

·         At the same time, the report shows there was a 15% increase year-over-year in local organizations hiring women (75% in 2021 and 90% in 2022) .

Fortinet’s Commitment to Closing the Skills Gap

To help alleviate the challenges resulting from the skills shortage, Fortinet is committed to helping organizations improve the management of cyber risks with ML-driven automation and services, as well as increased access to cyber training. As part of these efforts, Fortinet has pledged to train 1 million people in cybersecurity by 2026 to help increase access for security professionals and untapped talent pools looking to upskill and reskill. 

About the Fortinet Skills Gap Survey:

·         The survey was conducted among more than 1,800 IT and/or cybersecurity decision-makers from 29 different locations.

·         Survey respondents came from a range of industries, including technology (21%), manufacturing (16%), and financial services (13%).

ess Ng, Country Head of Singapore and Brunei, Fortinet

“Cybersecurity is no longer just a technology issue in Singapore; it’s a board-level concern. With over 60% of local organizations suffering from breaches costing more than USD 1 million to remediate, boards are now asking about their organization’s cybersecurity measures, and 86% advocate for hiring more IT security staff. The proliferation of technologies like artificial intelligence has worsened the lack of cybersecurity experts, leading to increased cyber risks. To address this skill gap, Fortinet has established the Training Advancement Agenda and Training Institute programs, pledging to train 1 million professionals by 2026 through collaborations with local partners.”

John Maddison, EVP of Products and CMO at Fortinet

“The cybersecurity talent shortage is one of the top challenges putting organizations at risk, as clearly demonstrated by the results of the latest Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report from Fortinet. In today’s climate, organizations must choose products that introduce automation to offload overworked teams while continuing to focus on upskilling and cybersecurity training.”