Solving the Cyber Security Skill Gap

Demand for trained security professionals remains at an all-time high. Without training and hiring cyber talent, the skills shortage will only deepen.

Solving the Cyber Security Skill Gap

Cyber security continues to face two significant, intertwined challenges: an increased global threat and an alarming shortage of professionals to fill millions of open positions.

Demand for trained security professionals remains at an all-time high as the cyber security industry is inevitably facing a major shortage of cyber security skills. This global shortage is estimated to be 3.5 million, with the workforce required to grow 65% to defend organisations’ critical assets effectively.

In a cyber security study, 41% of respondents claimed the cyber security skills shortage has led to recruiting junior employees (instead of hiring experienced cyber security professionals) which has left businesses needing to invest in areas they may not have previously.

The cyber skill gap has left businesses across the globe ​​"inundated" by an endless stream of cyber attacks.

What Cyber Security Skills Are in Demand?

Highly trained cyber security professionals are becoming more critical than ever before. Knowing what skills are needed for cyber security is crucial.

Penetration Testing

Any individual, business, or government is at risk of being hacked, and ethical hacking can protect you from real-world malicious attacks. Penetration testers use hacking techniques to test an organisation’s security systems for weaknesses lawfully and are crucial in enabling an organisation to fix vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit them.

Penetration testing is a critical skill in high demand for businesses of all sizes, with 20% of employers reporting this area as ‘hard to fill’. The most common shortage in a specialist role is in penetration testing.

Cloud Security

Cloud-based services and storage are becoming increasingly popular among businesses today. However, using cloud services also introduces serious security risks, highlighting the vital need for cloud security professionals to protect data and applications in the cloud.

The demand for cloud security roles has substantially increased due to more organisations taking advantage of cloud apps, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud strategies. Cloud skills are exceptionally scarce, with 86% of companies reporting a skills gap for implementing cloud.

Programming Skills

Professionals in the field of cyber security must be fluent in at least one programming language, with a basic understanding of Java, C, or C++ advised. This knowledge will allow your team to detect code flaws and, therefore, increasing abilities to solve complicated software-related problems.

As programming skills are vital in ethical hacking, it’s among one of the most in-demand skills within cyber security. It is considered one of the most valuable essential skills for cyber security.

Computer Forensics

With a great understanding of computer forensics, cyber security professionals can more effectively protect against data breaches and cope with the aftermath of attacks by identifying, preserving, recovering, analysing and presenting.

Computer forensic skills are a crucial aspect of every business in the internet age, despite only 33% of companies reporting they felt confident in their forensic analysis operations. The lack of skilled professionals is one of the major causes of restraining market growth, with computer forensics recorded as one of the top three areas with a technical skills gap.

Application Security

Application Security Engineers are responsible for developing and maintaining software application security policies and procedures. As smartphone and tablet usage continues to soar, the need for improved application security will also rise. Demand for developers and engineers to design and build secure applications is predicted to grow by 164% in the next five years.

Locating qualified professionals with experience in application security is proving to be an obstacle, with organisations across the globe seeking experts to protect their applications from hackers.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence will become increasingly crucial in analysing vast volumes of data while detecting unauthorised and suspicious activity. Currently, an estimated 72% of organisations rely on AI to expose cyber attacks.

“Given that AI skillsets are not yet widespread, embedding AI into existing toolsets that security teams are already using in their daily processes will be key to overcoming this barrier.”


Businesses across the globe are struggling to source employees with the skills necessary to create, train and work alongside intelligent machines. Experts predict that 97 million jobs involving artificial intelligence (AI) will be created between 2022 and 2025.

Addressing the Cyber Skills Gap

Industries cannot protect themselves against cyber threats if the cyber skills gap isn’t addressed globally. Alongside international collaboration, societal awareness, cooperation between public and private sectors, and high-level commitment from businesses and governments, preparing a new generation of cyber professionals is crucial in combatting cyber security risks.

Gender is another hurdle in the cyber skills shortage, with women accounting for just 25% of the global cyber security workforce. On a positive note, experts predict that women will represent 30 per cent of the global cyber security workforce by 2025.

Empowering women in cyber and diversifying cyber teams should be a global interest, with women considerably underrepresented in the sector. Common predictions behind the cyber gender gap include the notion that roles are specifically geared towards males, alongside the lack of targeting from educational bodies.

Efforts should be shifted into exposing teenage or younger women to cyber security as a viable career option, therefore welcoming underrepresented groups into the field.  It’s important for the cyber security industry to represent and open opportunities to all. Here at TryHackMe, accessibility is a core pillar of our ethos. Whoever you are, wherever you are in the world, you should have the opportunity to learn cyber. We will continue to support this movement alongside accessibility drivers as a whole.

Employers and organisations across the globe are advised to minimise employee turnover where possible, with a strong emphasis on training and upskilling. Without training and hiring cyber talent, the skills shortage will only deepen.

Cyber Security Upskilling

The cyber security environment changes rapidly; therefore, searching for qualified individuals to enter the job market can be a long waiting game. Identifying existing staff to develop, adapt, and learn new skills creates a solution to the cyber security skills gap.

Therefore, there has never been a better time to upskill your team through short, gamified, real-world labs alongside various learning resources.

Our training pathways explore high-level offensive and defensive security content, allowing your team to stay on top of new threats and advances in the industry, and are perfect for strengthening the skills needed for cyber security demand.

Cyber security is an ever-evolving field, and so the need in different cyber niches will fluctuate, relative to external factors. The sheer need for skilled professionals in volume remains to be strong, and continues to grow with the increased sophistication and risk of attack.

TryHackMe enables businesses to train teams of all levels in cyber, from the complete beginner, through to the seasoned professional upskilling on the latest threats. We also enable individuals to learn cyber security and achieve lucrative jobs, as well as working with schools and universities around the globe to get the next generation passionate about our industry.