Fighting cybercrime – cybersecurity experts – will soon be one of the more sought after and lucrative careers on the planet. How do you get there?

Fact: Globally we don’t have enough cybersecurity experts fighting cybercrime – the bad guys are ahead on points. Cybersecurity spending is increasing at more than a trillion dollars each year.

Cybersecurity is the number one concern of any public-facing organisation. Cybercrime damages may cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021. What is Australia doing to ensure we get the skills and experts needed for fighting cybercrime?

In 2017, the Australian Government said that Australia would need another 11,000 cybersecurity specialists over the next decade. In 2018 AustCyber stated around 18,000 more cybersecurity professionals are needed by 2026. This shortfall would cost the nation more than $400 million in lost revenue and wages. Not to mention cybercrime losses.

How can we quickly breed the next generation skilled at fighting cybercrime?

GadgetGuy set out to see what Australia is doing to fill the cybersecurity gap.

If you look at global job advertisement figures from Indeed.com, government estimates for skilled cybercrime fighters are woefully low.

Margrith Appelby, Kaspersky GM for Australia and New Zealand agreed,

Our big challenge in Australia is to quickly breed the next generation of cybersecurity experts or risk enterprise, state and even personal data used against us. We are the lucky country, and we need to protect that.

It’s a shame that there is such a limited talent pool in Australia. We are trying to help tertiary institutions address that – but that is a whole other discussion.

 Margrith Appleby
Margrith Appleby, GM Kaspersky Australia

Fact: According to indeed.com cybersecurity jobs are in high demand.

In 2018 cybersecurity jobs in the US increased by over 7%. They are likely to grow at ‘double-digit’ rates soon. In places like Ireland and India that are building a huge tech sector, cybersecurity jobs were up 18%, and 37%. The US Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs there by 2021.

Importantly, Australian demand was up 11%. This shows we now recognise the threat and are serious about protecting our corporate, government and citizen’s data. The graph below is significant – it shows without exception that there are vastly more jobs than applicants.

Fighting Cybercrime job stats

The top organisations needing cybersecurity skills

The primary users are industries that deal with sensitive information or run large online accessible database – the frequent targets of cybercriminals.

  • Banking/Finance/Insurance
  • Online shopping or services (Amazon, eBay etc.)
  • Information Technology/Management
  • Government (Defence)
  • Government (Non-defense including electoral, social security, medical, registries)
  • Consulting/Professional Services

Not to mention the good guys. Cybersecurity companies are trying to bridge the gap between defence and offence.

We wanted to find out how we can train effective cybersecurity experts.

GadgetGuy spoke to Shan Loy, Kaspersky Academic Partnerships Manager for Asia/Pacific.

Fighting cybercrime
Kaspersky’s Shan Loy

GG: Your title is ‘Academic Partnerships’. Tell me more?

Our founder Eugene Kaspersky is very vocal about cyber-immunity. He has invested a lot into Academic Partnerships to help Unis and others develop more experts at fighting cybercrime.

Eugene Kaspersky addresses academia on Cyber-immunity

Cybersecurity is about two things. Traditionally it has been about defence and protecting endpoints (computers, smartphones and IoT) via firewalls, VPNs, passwords, anti-virus/malware and tools to reduce scams and ID theft. Yet cybercrime flourishes, so we are all doing something wrong.

Kaspersky says we need switch direction and train for ‘offence’ – build cyber-immune platforms.