7 Cyber-Security Skills In High Demand

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Businesses around the world report a shortage in cyber-security talent. Here are the skills IT managers should be seeking to keep their data secure.

Organizations across industries are challenged to address a cyber-security skills shortage leaving their networks open to attacks.

There will be 1 million to 2 million unfilled cyber-security jobs worldwide by 2019, according to a recent report released by Intel Security called "Hacking the Skills Shortage." The report includes the results of a survey of 775 IT decision-makers involved with security, 82% of whom reported a lack of cyber-security skills within their business.

The lack of security talent is both dangerous and expensive, especially as businesses face growing threats from external internet cyberattacks. Most organizations don't know how to detect or mitigate attacks that leverage digital channels such as social media and mobile.

Most respondents in the Intel study (82%) reported a lack of security talent within their organizations. One in three said this makes them hacking targets, and one in four claimed they have suffered reputational damage and proprietary data loss as a direct result of the skills shortage.

[Read: What can IT professionals learn from the DNC hack?]

Part of the problem is a lack of adequate cyber-security training for IT professionals. About half of survey respondents said they prefer entry-level candidates to have a bachelor's degree, but hands-on experience and professional certifications are typically more useful for developing the skills in greatest demand.

High-value technical skills are especially scarce. Skills such as secure software development, intrusion detection, and attack mitigation are in greater demand than comparatively "soft" skills, such as communication and collaboration, according to the study.

More than half of respondents (55%) believe cyber-security technologies will evolve to help close the skills gap within five years. Some also plan to outsource, but only for skills easily automated -- for example, threat detection through network monitoring.

Here, we take a close look at some of the cyber-security skills in greatest demand. This list can give IT managers a better idea of what to seek as they build a robust security workforce.

Do you look for these skills in members of your IT team? Are there any skills not listed that you value in your team? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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