Canada anticipates surge in demand for cybersecurity jobs

As data security climbs to the top of the agenda for executives and organisations around the world, Canada may struggle to get the right people into the right roles, Global news reports.

The problem lies in the urgent need to galvanise business systems with analysts qualified to shore up data security and help in the ongoing battle against international cyber-crime.

Last month, Canada revealed the creation of a cybersecurity centre in Ottawa, where more than 140 analysts will be needed to help fight against hackers attempting to break into Canadian organisations’ infrastructures to make money, or criminals from foreign governments intent on sowing the seeds of fake news.

But supply may fall well short of demand; universities and colleges in Canada run relatively new cyber-crime courses, so graduates with the right skills will be in demand on a global scale and could be attracted to any number of other countries eagerly seeking the right specialist assistance to survive in today’s cyber climate.

CATA cyber chair, Katherine Thompson said:

“The additional challenge is we have a very skilled labour force, and countries outside of Canada realise that.”

“We have a brain drain in terms of cyber expertise that’s rather shocking so a lot of folks that are headed to the US, the UK, and to Europe because they can make two to three times what they’re making here.”

Research conducted by Deloitte recently found that companies in Canada will be aiming to take on over 8,000 cyber-security experts over the next 24 months. The States may be in a similar situation, where the website Cyberseek finds there are 313,000 job openings in the same sector.

“If you look at various studies, they say by 2021 the global shortage in skilled labour for cybersecurity will exceed three million,” added Thompson.

Demand for cyber-security has been on the increase for many years, but the issue gained extra prominence following the 2016 US presidential election when it was claimed that Russian hackers may have helped influence voters’ decisions.

CSIS director, David Vigneault told economic experts in Toronto this week:

“The scale, speed, range and impact of foreign interference has grown as a result of the internet, social media platforms and the availability of cheaper and more accessible cyber tools.”

“Using the internet, states or people acting on their behalf can mount attacks on your servers from almost anywhere in the world with no threat to personal safety and little risk of being caught.”

In the USA, Georgia and Texas have been put into focus as hub locations for the country’s cyber defence strategy. In Israel, meanwhile, the city of Beersheba has been elected as a global cyber technology centre which is thought to create 30,000 sector jobs over the next ten years.

“A country of 8.4 million people has more innovation and more skilled labour than a continent of 340 million. We have a bit of a problem,” Thompson said

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