Now that cybercriminals are more opportunistic than ever and cybercrime is at an all-time high, businesses need to step up their security strategies.

The global cost of cybercrime will reach a staggering $10.5 trillion by 2025, which is up from $3 trillion in 2015. Recent survey data by International Information System Security Certification Consortium, known as (ISC)2, reports that while the global security workforce rose to 4.6 million people in 2021 (a jump of 11.2 percent), the demand for security personnel around the world also rose to 3.4 million — up 26.2 percent.

Even as this talent shortfall places organizations at tremendous risk for ransomware and other cybersecurity attacks, it also presents a unique opportunity for vendors to attract top security talent among the ranks of channel partners and MSPs. Below, we’ve identified several ways to leverage your partner network to fill much-needed cybersecurity gaps.

Retool and Repurpose Your Existing Talent Supply

Vendor companies selling products and services through an integrated network of channel partners already have a ready supply of IT talent. Since these partners run everything from software and infrastructure to architecture and innovation, it’s not a stretch to repurpose their skills into cybersecurity readiness.

In fact, many highly regarded cybersecurity training programs are available. Partnering with a training agency to help reskill and retrain your channel partners can encourage a broader cybersecurity mindset and move them toward considering career possibilities. A comprehensive selection of free and paid courses in cybersecurity essentials can help boost the confidence of your channel network while opening them up to new business opportunities.

Cybersecurity Partnerships Are Critical

As more organizations turn to managed and partner services, vendor companies must realize that the business viability of extending their reach to cybersecurity can also drive increased revenue and growth. According to Impartner, “As the security skills gap continues to put pressure on customers, service providers will continue to play an increasingly powerful role with consultancy and services. Vendors that leverage the right channel and partner tools can help accelerate those journeys for partners, who in turn can build exceptional customer journeys for end buys.”

Foster More Diversity

Just like the rest of the technology industry, the cybersecurity field is notably missing female talent. According to new research, women comprise just 25 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce. Dylan Berger says this opens the opportunity for companies to step in and right-size the imbalance by “creating a fairer, more comfortable and empowering workplace.”

Vendor organizations can begin by offering higher entry pay and training incentives to new female college graduates through social media channels such as LinkedIn, appearances at job fairs, and other heavily visited recruiting sites like Indeed. Pushing for more female talent in cybersecurity can provide additional valuable upsides across an organization, such as work-life balance and less burdensome workloads, equal pay, and regular reskilling opportunities.

Leverage Potential, Don’t Focus on Pros

Jesse Miller has offered an innovative and intriguing approach to the cybersecurity talent shortage by suggesting that the deeper issue is a mental shift in perspective. Organizations are too enamored with finding seasoned cybersecurity professionals, he argues. Instead, they should search for “potential pros” who are looking for opportunities in cybersecurity but need the right entry point to the industry through appropriate mentoring, training, and support.

Key Takeaways

As cybersecurity continues to become an urgent digital transformation focus, vendor companies and channel partners have a unique opportunity to think outside the box. The key to filling the cybersecurity “talent gap” is finding innovative ways to train and incentivize new hires and foster diversity for new and existing channel partners. This might mean becoming less fixated on the problem and more on the solution and opportunity. Perhaps the answer is already sitting in your network or supply chain: A valuable and trusted partner just looking for the next step in their career journey.

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