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Cybersecurity education: The White Pill for Infosec Skill Gap

Cybersecurity education: The White Pill for Infosec Skill Gap
  • PublishedAugust 1, 2022

US$ 43.5 Billion!

That’s the estimated size of the worldwide industrial cybersecurity market in 2023, according to a 2022 report by Future Market Insights. The increase in the demand for advanced solutions such as firewalls, antivirus, and intrusion detection systems (IDS), along with the adoption of emerging technologies such as 5G networks, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) across industries, is fueling the growth of the sector.

Meanwhile, industries are struggling to cope as they face a severe shortage of skilled and experienced workforce in cybersecurity. The pandemic has resulted in the introduction of a work-from-home option for most employees, posing operational issues for enterprises.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has provided a new approach for contemporary companies to handle, store, and process data in the cloud and data centers. All of them have boosted the prospects of an ancillary industry: cyber education and awareness.

Big-ticket growth

Post pandemic, almost all organized businesses have undergone a digital transformation as it only takes one team member to click on a malicious link for the entire business to be compromised. Preventing such incidents has become a business requirement, leading to an enormous business opportunity for what Gartner has called cybersecurity education and awareness computer-based training (SACBT) solutions.

SACBT businesses have been quick to adapt with a series of mergers, while newbies found it easier to gain investor attention. This once-nascent sector received the biggest boost possible in the 2020 global lockdown. As remote work expanded — accelerated by a once-in-a-century pandemic — and hackers found new avenues for attacks, the cybersecurity awareness training sector started booming.

The sector’s defining moment was probably when cybersecurity training company KnowBe4 went public in April 2021. The initial public offering of more than $150 million valued the company at $3.5 billion, just two years after the company marked its unicorn milestone.

“Organizations spent $59 billion on IT security products in 2019, a figure that is expected to reach $86 billion by 2024,” KnowBe4 said in its pitch to go public. Many have joined the cybersecurity awareness training bandwagon since then, addressing one of the biggest problems faced by the industry: the talent shortage.

Demand for skilled Workforce

Post pandemic, companies have continued to experience a shortage of cybersecurity experts. A study by ISC2 found a global talent gap of four million cybersecurity professionals and estimated that to bridge the gap the global workforce needed to grow by 145%. In Europe alone, the gap almost doubled over the last few years due to an increasing hiring demand in smaller companies.

Almost half of the organizations represented in the Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2019 stated that they were planning to increase their security training budgets in 2020.

Unlike traditional online education platforms, newer training platforms offer more updated and relevant-to-work knowledge, offer on-demand in-browser training, and rapidly updated content based on the latest attacks and technologies, Paladin Capital’s Gibb Witham told Cyber Express. “Because of the nature of their delivery and content, these platforms have not unlocked the massive market in cyber security for IT and cyber security professionals alike,” he added.

Investor Attention

Cybersecurity training start-up Hack The Box recently announced a $10.6 million Series A round led by Paladin Capital, with participation from Osage University Partners, Brighteye Ventures, and existing investor Marathon Venture Capital.

Paladin’s previous investment in cybersecurity awareness and training includes PhishMe, which was acquired by Pamplona Capital Management and rebranded as Cofense; Secure Code Warrior, which trains software developers to write more secure code from the start; and RangeForce, a cybersecurity simulation and skills training platform for security operations, DevOps, and AppSec teams.

European tech school IronHack recently announced a $20M Series B led by Lumos Capital earlier this year, in which Brighteye Ventures also took part. Goldman Sachs showcased interest in KnowBe4 and Secure Code Warrior, while Spectrum Equity has invested in New York-based education platform Offensive Security.

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  • […] Community College (WCC), titled “Protecting Information: The Role of Community Colleges in Cybersecurity Education,” the summit focused on gauging how the system has evolved to cater to the needs of the […]

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