Level 12
Hacking the Skills Shortage
A study of the international shortage in cybersecurity skills -
Center for Strategic and International Studies

The cybersecurity workforce shortfall remains a critical vulnerability for companies and nations.


Every day we read of another company being hacked. Attacks outpace defense, and one reason for this is the lack of an adequate cybersecurity workforce. The cybersecurity workforce shortfall remains a critical vulnerability for companies and nations. Conventional education and policies can’t meet demand. New solutions are needed to build the cybersecurity workforce necessary in a networked world.

The deficit of cybersecurity talent is a challenge for every industry sector. The lack of trained personnel exacerbates the already difficult task of managing cybersecurity risks. Our study quantifies the global cybersecurity workforce shortage and analyzes how companies and governments should approach cybersecurity workforce development to build a robust and sustainable pipeline of skills.

The eight countries selected for this study—Australia, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US)—reflect a diversity of sizes, educational systems, income levels, and political structures. We looked at four dimensions of their cybersecurity workforce development efforts: total cybersecurity spending, education programs, employer dynamics, and public policies. Our findings are based on open-source data, targeted interviews with experts, and an eight-nation survey of information technology (IT) decision makers in both public and private sector organizations.

Each country has unique factors that shape their cybersecurity posture. These can be leveraged to develop a stronger cybersecurity workforce. We outline potential improvements to training and education programs to build and sustain critical skills for cybersecurity professionals. Our survey of employer dynamics highlights the critical role that employers play in recruiting, retaining, and training their workforce. Looking to future developments in cybersecurity, we examine how technological improvements can reinforce cybersecurity skills. We conclude with recommendations on how to improve these four dimensions of the cybersecurity workforce to enhance global cybersecurity.

  • Diagnosing the Problem: The Cybersecurity Workforce Deficit
  • Four Dimensions of Analysis;
Cybersecurity Spending
Education and Training
Employer Dynamics
Government Policies
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
Read The Full Report At The Link At The Top Of The Page.


Level 12
"Seventy-one percent of respondents said that this shortage in cybersecurity skills does direct and measurable damage: 25% lost proprietary data through cyberattacks, 33% say they are a target for hackers because of weak cybersecurity defenses, and 22% say they’ve suffered reputation damage due to the workforce shortage."


It is big problem for all IT firms to locate and retain talented employees - even to fill entry-level slots.