Will Working From Home Close the Cyber Security Skills Gap?

Recently I had a chance to talk to our CEO Kris Rides about an article that had caught my eye. The article detailed whether the remote working due to COVID-19 could potentially help close the cybersecurity skills gap. Given Kris’ background and knowledge of the subject, we believed it would be beneficial to have an interview to discuss his thoughts on the article.

  • The article notes that as the U.S reopens remote work may still be prevalent. Do you think this is a permanent change that has been introduced by the pandemic?

The pandemic will cause a number of major changes, I think that companies are going to have to make a huge change in how they work moving forward. I like to think of this situation as the “great work from home experiment.” On the whole, most people believe that it is proven in many respects that you can be productive working remotely. I do not believe that we will end up reverting to in-office workers in the same way as we did previously. Companies will need to offer not only remote positions but also hybrid opportunities or risk losing many of their staff.

  • Do you think there are areas of cyber security that could benefit from remaining remote or are there certain jobs that absolutely must stay in person?

I think that a majority of cybersecurity jobs absolutely can be done remotely and perhaps the choice of being in-office will come down to personal choice rather than business needs.

  • The writer notes that the skills gap can be attributed to overworked and understaffed security personnel and remote working may help to alleviate this stress. Do you agree?

I’ve posted videos and articles before discussing the issues within cybersecurity around overworked staff due to understaffed teams. Any reduction of stress will improve employee happiness and have a positive effect on staff retention. In the current situation with whole families having to work remotely including children being home schooled, many families have found it more stressful. This is without considering the additional stress the whole world is feeling around health because of the pandemic. I believe that anything a company does to listen to its employees and make changes to how they work would ultimately alleviate stress whether that’s offering remote working or more paid vacation time.

  • Do you think remote working will solve the skills gap or will problems still exist?

Remote working will not solve the skills gap because it does not bring more people into our industry. All it means is that companies regardless of where they are based have more access to hire other companies’ staff.  While hiring managers continue to try and buy in skills rather than training them the skills gap will continue to exist.

  • The author argues, “No longer being restricted by geography could help you solve a bevy of hiring problems, including skills, talent and time zone coverage.” What are your thoughts on this statement?

I think it is true that there will be many challenges that can be helped by allowing remote workers. What I will add to this though, is that we must consider what will happen to salaries across all regions. I expect we will see salaries flatten out and perhaps this will make things very difficult for people living in cities with a high cost of living to be able to justify their salary uplift when working remotely.

  • Ultimately, throughout all the terrible things that have come from this pandemic we may see some positives too?

Yes absolutely, throughout my career whenever there has been a challenge there has been opportunity and I believe that there will be a lot of learning from what has happened both in our personal and professional lives. I think the impact of this pandemic will reach much further than just health consequences with people being forced to stop what they’ve been doing, take stock of what they have, and decide what truly makes them happy. Whether that be living closer to family, moving out of the city, or living in the town they’ve always dreamed of because remote working can make those wishes come true.

Tiro Security are a specialist Cyber Security staffing and professional services company. Formed in 2012, headquartered on the West Coast and helping clients all over the USA, Cyber Security is ALL we do.  Tiro Security is extremely active in the cyber security industry and regularly speaks as experts on staffing, careers and retaining talent at major conferences including DEFCON, ISC2 Congress, ShellCon, BSides and RSA.

Whether you are a candidate looking to move or a client looking to access the best talent, choose a company that truly understands what you do…. choose Tiro Security.

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