Report: 80% of data breaches caused by lack of cyber security skills

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An overwhelming majority of businesses across the globe have experienced data breaches that have been directly linked to a lack of adequate cyber security skills or awareness across their organization.

The year 2021 saw a staggering 64% of organizations lose revenue or incur fines in response to security gaps, according to a new report by Fortinet. The same report also found a tenfold increase in ransomware attacks.

Consequently, the cyber security skills gap remains a key concern for C-level executives, with 60% of leaders admitting recruitment is an ongoing struggle, while 52% reported difficulty in retaining talent.

“A significant challenge for organizations has been finding and retaining the right people to fill critical security roles ranging from cloud security specialists to SOC analysts,” stated Fortinet in its report.

“Globally, 7 out of 10 leaders see the recruitment of women and new graduates as a top hiring hurdle and 61 percent said hiring minorities has been challenging. As organizations look to build more capable and more diverse teams, 89% of global companies have explicit diversity goals as part of their hiring strategy.”

The report also stresses the importance of training and certification in bridging the skills gap, as affirmed by 91% of survey respondents who asserted they were willing to pay for an employee to attain cyber security certification.

Additionally, it is reported that 87% of organizations have successfully implemented training programs to make their employees more cyber-aware. Even so, 52% of leaders question the effectiveness of their current security awareness programs.

The global cyber security workforce needs to grow 65% to effectively defend organizations' critical assets, according to (ISC)²'s 2021 cyber workforce report.