Diversity Deficient Cyber Security Industry - Skills Gap Made Worse

18 Jun 2018

Diversity Deficient Cyber Security Industry - Skil...

The cyber gap, the difference between the demand for cyber security professionals and their supply, is projected to reach 1.8million by 2022, and with the on-going debate over the diversity in the workplace, it is particularly shocking that women currently only make up 20% of the industry’s workforce.

The cyber security world has a reputation for exploiting opaque techno-fear as a trading vehicle; often creating confusion in industry and public over the threat and solutions.  However, it is this very perception that also deters women from joining the ranks of a profession that desperately needs their skills, talents, as well as their numbers and the value inherent in simple diversity. The long and short of it is, the cyber security industry simply isn’t sustainable without the right balance of workforce, and something needs to be done about it.

While the sad shortage of women with a science, technology, engineering and mathematics background is well-known and undisputed, the truth is, the cyber security profession is made up of both technical and non-technical disciplines. Therefore, the lack of a technical background can’t be used as a deterrent for bringing more women into the profession. And even for those disciplines where technical knowledge is required, there are many entry level positions where basic technical knowledge is neither complex nor challenging to learn and understand.

Protection Group International (PGI), supported by Hawker Chase, a specialist cyber recruitment and human capital consultancy, have now set up an initiative to proactively address this problem. Women in Cyber is a DCMS sponsored training programme that converts candidates into an entry level cyber security professional, with employment guaranteed before training starts. Candidates will simply need to demonstrate aptitude for this kind of work (both technical and non-technical) and the training will do the rest. The goal is to empower large numbers of women who are looking to convert, or to start a new or different career, to use PGI’s state-of-the-art Cyber Academy and training programme expertise to move seamlessly into a profession where they are badly needed. It is hoped that this initial programme will be followed by a much larger roll-out of this model.

Women in Cyber is fully accredited by industry-recognised certifications, equipping the trainees with all they will need to carry out cyber security roles.

The beauty of all of this? The candidates do not necessarily need previous experience or qualifications; only aptitude. Everything they learn in the 10 to 12-week programme equips them for an entry level career in the industry, opening the talent pool for security professionals, reducing cost to hire and reducing cost to deliver, but more importantly, quickly addressing the cyber skills shortage and diversity issues before it becomes a bigger problem for UK based businesses.

PGI’s programme design involves:

  1. 1. Targeting female candidates and their representative bodies, regardless of technical background.
  2. 2. Target more forward-thinking employers who are looking to hire cyber security professionals.
  3. 3. Online selection process gauging the aptitude of candidates for cyber security careers.
  4. 4. Further assessment and an interview, leading to an offer of employment by partner employers.
  5. 5. Candidate completion of a 10 to 12-week cyber security training programme, with options for some home learning and child-care support available.
  6. 6. Subsequent deployment within employers as Information Security Specialists, Governance, Regulation and Compliance officers, SOC Analysts and Penetration Testers.

Brian Lord, PGI’s Managing Director says “the demand for cyber security specialists is at an all-time high. I refuse to sign up to the industry’s self-serving charade that only those with special technical skills can enter the profession.  No-one doubts there are jobs where deep technical expertise is required, but there are many more that are either non-technical or require a basic entry level technical knowledge that can be taught.  35 percent of organisations are unable to fill open security jobs, even though 82 percent expect to be attacked this year, and the industry is killing itself by creating artificial barriers to entry for 50% of the working population”

“We already have some progressive employers who both agree with this principle and have signed up to the programme. We have tested it with success in the UK and abroad and so know it works. This is the driving force behind the partnership between PGI & Hawker Chase, to ‘create’ the necessary diverse talent to transform a profession, and the world in which it operates, into something less opaque, less scaremongering and more normal.”

The success of the programme has already been demonstrated through a pilot of mixed-gender veterans from a variety of backgrounds who wanted to convert to the cyber security profession and in the banking industry in the Middle East. PGI is running a research project alongside the programme to analyse the best way in which this methodology can be scaled across the industry to help address the broader cyber security skills gap and kill the gender gap once and for all.

Protection Group International believes that cyber security doesn’t need to be overly complicated, incomprehensible or vastly expensive. We specialise in delivering strategic vulnerability assessment services and offer a range of senior cyber awareness education to enable you to tackle cyber threats in-house. For more information click here.

Our partner company, Protection Vessels International, is focussed on the efficient delivery of high quality, cost effective security solutions for the maritime community. We invest in our well-maintained logistic infrastructure to enhance customers’ business continuity through the protection of their assets and people. For more information click here.

Share this article


Your free global geopolitical
risk dashboard

PGI’s Risk Portal tool provides daily intelligence feeds, country threat assessments and analytical insights, enabling clients to track, understand and navigate geopolitical threats.

The Risk Portal gives users up-to-date information and analysis on global affairs.

The Risk Portal allows users to visualise information in a unique and instantly understandable way. Mapping filters enable the visualisation of incidents by threat category, time period, perpetrator and target type.

Risk Portal users can upgrade their accounts to include the Report Builder and Country Profile Generator features. The Report Builder allows users to select information, data and images from the Risk Portal and create bespoke reports and emails.

Subscribers to PGI’s Bespoke services receive tailored analysis on specific sectors and geographies of interest, delivered at a frequency they determine.

Visit the Risk Portal

GDPR Services

Making ongoing compliance easier for you and your business

GDPR is now in force. Make sure your business meets the necessary requirements, providing assurance for all of your customers and employees.

PGI GDPR Services

A full audit of your business to assess the level of your compliance against GDPR requirements.

Become GDPR compliant with minimal work. We will conduct an analysis, review, report and implement any necessary changes to your business.

We will conduct simple security assessments to help you understand and mitigate the potential risks to your business.

Find out more on GDPR

Compliance Services

Get your business ready to face the cyber challenge.

We provide a full range of accredited, certified and bespoke services that assess the resilience of your cyber security posture.

PGI GDPR Services

PGI’s Qualified Security Assessors (QSA) will help you meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Find out more on PCI DSS

Demonstrate your commitment to cyber security by achieving and maintaining accreditation for the globally-recognised information security standard.

Find out more on ISO 27001

Expert assistance on the implementation and maintenance of governance requirements for personal data.

Find out more on GDPR

Find out more on Compliance

Vulnerability Testing

Understand the threats of phishing and malware to avoid being targeted.

Undertake our phishing vulnerability assessment to reduce your organisation’s risk of attack, by measuring the cyber awareness of your workforce.

Malware & Phishing Services

PGI will conduct a tailored phishing campaign, using multiple methods, to identify realism and train employees where necessary to mitigate future attacks.

PGI monitor multiple metrics to identify the types of phishing, generate in-depth analytical reports and provide an informed decision to help improve your organisation’s level of security and awareness.

Find out more on Vulnerability Testing

Cyber Security

Prevent attacks, respond to breaches and protect your business.

Our bespoke range of cyber security services not only protect your critical assets but provide the education you need to keep your operations and data safe.

Cyber Security Services

Implement this cost-effective cyber security measure launched by the government to prevent cyber-attacks, demonstrate information security commitment to your clients, and attract new business by being recognised as a secure organisation.

Find out more on Cyber Essentials Accreditation

The most effective way to identify how attackers target your organisation’s weaknesses is by evaluating your system, your network security, and reporting on any vulnerabilities that could have an impact on your business.

Find out more on Penetration Testing

If your business has experienced breaches, network compromises or operational disruption, our team of cyber security specialists can deploy quickly, and will begin the process of detecting and eliminating the threat efficiently.

Find out more on Data Breach Response & Recovery

In the event of a computer security investigation, a vital part of the response process is making a copy of your data for safe forensic analysis. We will work with you to preserve and use this evidence to discover the extent of an intrusion.

Find out more on Digital Forensics

Browse our Cyber Security services

Data Breach Response & Recovery

We prevent attacks, respond to security breaches, and protect your business

Our team of specialists can deploy quickly and efficiently to begin the process of detecting, eliminating and preventing future threats of a breach.

Malware & Phishing Services

A vital part of the response process is making a copy of your data for safe forensic analysis. We will work with you to preserve and use this evidence to discover the extent of an intrusion.

Find out more on Digital Forensics

We will identify and minimise the risks, as well as the possibility of future risks to your business.

Consistent interaction with your management team and recommendations on how to approach all outcomes that need attention.

Find out more on Data Breaches

Subscribe to our Cyber Bytes Newsletter

Keep yourself in the loop with PGI by signing up to our Monthly Cyber Bytes email. You will receive updates, tips and narrative around what has been happening in the world of information security.

Get in touch today

For more information on how we can help you or your business, please contact us via:

Related News

International Womens Day - Pioneering Women in Tec...

08 Mar 2017

Pioneering Women in Technology – Katherine JohnsonThe Oscar season has been and gone. The...

Read news article

Law Firms and why they need cyber security

07 Sep 2018

Why Law Firms need Cyber Security. Suffering a data breach can be devastating! From the experts at P...

Read news article

Content from the expert - GDPR and Cyber Governanc...

12 Jul 2017

Will there be a knock on effect regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after the UK...

Read news article
Back to the News Hub

+44 (0)207 887 2699
©2019 PGI - Protection Group International Ltd. All rights reserved.
PGI - Protection Group International Ltd is registered in England & Wales, reg. no. 07967865
Address: Unit 13/14, Swallow Court, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, England, EX16 7EJ