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'Temporary migration' not complete answer to overcome cyber security talent shortage, says security exec Featured

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'Temporary migration' not complete answer to overcome cyber security talent shortage, says security exec Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Temporary migration is one solution to help fill Australia’s cyber security talent shortage, but much more needs to be done to retain and upskill the country’s existing talent base, according to a senior executive from security firm McAfee.

Gary Denman, vice-president ANZ at McAfee, made his comments in response to a report from the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia revealing that 93% of Australian CIOs say they are willing to hire foreign talent, and highlighting that 88% of CIOs believe it is more challenging to source qualified IT professionals now compared to five years ago – forcing many CIOs to hire talent still on the pathway to growth.

And his comments follow a report in iTWire, that skilled migrants have been an “overwhelming net positive” for the Australian economy and particularly sought after for filling skilled IT positions like developer programmers and ICT business analysts.

“It's hence more critical than ever to improve the retention rates and skills of current staff through better training and incentives,” Denman said.

“A recent McAfee report found 89% of cybersecurity professionals would leave their job now with the right incentive.

“The research also showed that those cybersecurity professionals showing the highest job satisfaction are those that work at organisations that leverage gamification as a training tool.

“Gamification is an increasingly important resource to help deliver high-performing cybersecurity teams, with 77% of senior managers agreeing that their organisation's cybersecurity would be much safer if they implemented more gamification.

“Gamification can significantly increase knowledge and skills among IT staff of how breaches can occur, how to avoid becoming a victim of a breach and how to best react to a breach.”

Denman concluded: “Increasingly we're also seeing automation as a way to meet the demand for more skills in the face of an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape where it's becoming near impossible to keep up with ever-evolving threat vectors.

“Given the high levels of staff turnover at many organisations, it is essential for CIOs to consider long term, sustainable methods to fill this cybersecurity skills gap rather than temporary solutions."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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