Research from Kaspersky Lab shows that organizations are increasingly becoming cyber aware and that management is increasingly supporting better cyber security measures. A problem with this is that the amount of available talent that is trained in the field of cybersecurity is not growing proportionally. By 2020 it is expected that the demand for cyber security professionals will exceed the available population by a third. A recent Global Workforce Survey conducted by Frost and Sullivan even mentions that there will be shortage of 1.5 million cybersecurity experts, based on current trends. This makes it all the more important that this problem is addressed, the sooner the better.


Kaspersky Lab conducted a survey among 12.000 consumers and IT-professionals from the US and Europe (UK, Germany, France, Spain and The Netherlands) to find out how the growing competence gap can be bridged and who should be responsible for doing so. The results show that a combined effort from the industry and education is necessary to bridge the gap and make youngsters enthusiast to choose for a career in cybersecurity. This generation is more intertwined with technology than any generation before them. The risk with this is that when they are not taught well they could use their skills for criminal activities.


The research showed that 23% of 18 year olds know someone that is involved in illegal cyber activities. Almost half (47%) of the surveyed people under 25 says that they are impressed when they find out that a company has been hacked. In addition, 33% said that they were interested in the details of how the hack was executed. 57% of respondents under 25 said they consider hacking an ‘impressive’ skill, 17% said they use their skills to ‘have fun’, 16% to engage in clandestine activities and 11% said they use their skills for profit.


When it comes to the responsibility for training future experts the research showed that 62% of IT-professionals thinks that educational institutions are responsible for preparing future cybersecurity professionals. Also, 27% points to the businesses as being primarily responsible for training cyber security professionals to secure their own future. To make sure youngster possess the right skills 49% of the respondents mentioned higher education as the primary source.


The research also showed that 71% of the young respondents were not aware of education and internship possibilities in cybersecurity. This finding strengthens in it's efforts to provide young potentials and future talents with an overview of the possibilities in education. 


Read full report (in Dutch) here.