Although 2018 didn’t quite reach the heights of 2017, we still saw 6,515 publicly disclosed data breaches that exposed more than 5 billion records worldwide, according to Risk Based Security. Naturally, C-Suite executives are concerned and clamoring to build a technical team that can prevent these events at their own company or at least reduce the damage if it occurs. For most, the thought is that data breaches are no longer an “if” but a “when”.
In order to protect against the presumably inevitable, businesses need to attack he problems of cybersecurity and technical talent retention together. The better your technical employees, the more able they will be to secure the enterprise. And the longer they stay, the harder it will be for something to fall through the cracks and lead to a breach. According to Dr. Rao Papolu, founder, chairman, and CEO and Cavirin, “Given that the top U.S. CEO external concern is cybersecurity, hiring focus will be on individuals with the skills to go on the offense against the hackers versus the defense.” Waiting around for a cybersecurty breach can no longer be the plan of action at the vast majority of companies. Instead, Dr. Papolu recommends that companies, “put in place the processes, people, and technology to avoid issues in the first place, or to quickly identify any breaches via continuous monitoring.”
In order to build and maintain a technical team that can handle the increasing chance of a cybersecurity breach, many companies are turning to cyber insurance and increasing the amount that they spend on their cybersecurity initiatives. According to Jack Kudale, founder and CEO of Cowbell Cyber, spending on cybersecurity has increased over the past three years. But, in order for this spending to be as effective as possible, it needs to be matched with initiatives that are focused on lengthening technical employee tenure. Simply attracting the right technical talent to your organization is step one. This step is complex and challenging on its own and will involve offering attractive benefits, competitive compensation, an employee-friendly work environment, training and growth initiatives, and more. Then, it’s up to each company to keep the technical talent they already have around because, if one valuable technical employee leaves a company, it could create a domino effect that leads to a cybersecurity breach. These employees aren’t just valuable on what they can bring to the table while at your organization, but also what their absence at your organization could lead to.
A study from Radware estimates that the cost to clean up and recover from these incidents is about $1.1 million per incident. If even a portion of that staggering figure were invested preventatively in the IT hiring process and in efforts to retain existing technical talent, companies could save themselves from these costly, damaging incidents that are becoming more common than ever.