How to manage security risk management amid skill shortages?

Generative AI
March 29, 2024

Unveiling the Essence of Security Risk Management

Security risk management is crucial for organizations to proactively identify, assess, and manage potential risks to their information assets. This process involves a detailed analysis of threats and their possible impacts, allowing organizations to reduce the likelihood and severity of security incidents.

However, the cybersecurity field faces a significant challenge due to a skills shortage, which exacerbates issues like increased workloads, recruitment difficulties, and high turnover rates, ultimately threatening business continuity. Despite these hurdles, there are effective strategies and best practices that organizations can adopt to navigate the cybersecurity landscape successfully. This blog explores these approaches, offering insights into how organizations can manage security risks effectively while also addressing the talent gap in cybersecurity.

Gravitas of Skill Shortages

Cybersecurity skill shortages have emerged as a pressing challenge with far-reaching consequences for organizations worldwide.

·  According to the (ISC)² Cybersecurity Work force Study 2020, the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals reached 3.12 million in 2020, representing a 20% increase from the previous year.

·  The ESG/ISSA research report "The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2018" reveals that approximately 74%of respondents acknowledge the significant or moderate impact of the cybersecurity skills shortage on their organizations.

These statistics underscore the severity of the cybersecurity skill shortage and highlight the urgent need for organizations to address this challenge through strategic workforce development initiatives and talent acquisition strategies.

Navigating skill shortages: What can companies do to bring up the slack?

Addressing skill shortages in the cybersecurity domain requires a comprehensive approach. According to Micheal Page Report, the cybersecurity field is currently experiencing a 43% talent shortage with skills such as application development security, cloud security risk management, threat intelligence, data privacy, and security being most in demand. "India is expected to have over 1.5 million unfulfilled job vacancies in cybersecurity by 2025."

Let’s explore some of the effective strategies for building a resilient cybersecurity workforce.

Figure1: Effective strategies for building a resilient cybersecurity workforce.

·  Harnessing Hidden Workers: Ironically, amidst this scarcity, a vast reservoir of workers goes ignored by companies while hiring. Termed “hidden workers,” these individuals may represent an overlooked solution to the skills shortage. Harvard Business School revealed companies employing hidden workers were 36% less likely to encounter talent and skill shortages than those who did not tap into this resource.

·  Adopting a Skills-First Approach: A strategic talent management approach that prioritizes skills over traditional credentials can help organizations identify and leverage the right talent for the job. By focusing on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required for success, organizations can ensure a better match between talent and job roles, thus enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness. Matching the skill to a job is most important, necessitating a skills-first approach.

·  Establishing internship and apprenticeship programs: This can help organizations cultivate a pipeline of emerging talent in cybersecurity. Collaboration with educational institutions through internship and apprenticeship programs can provide valuable hands-on training and mentorship opportunities for students and recent graduates. By nurturing emerging talent in cybersecurity, organizations can cultivate a skilled workforce and bridge the gap between academia and industry.

·  Offer opportunities for professional advancement: You have attracted top talent. Now the challenge is keeping it. By providing opportunities for career advancement, flexible work arrangements, and performance-based rewards, organizations can create an attractive work environment that encourages talent retention.

·  Promoting a culture of continuous learning: Encouraging everyone in the organization to share knowledge helps cybersecurity experts keep up with new threats, technologies, and strategies by getting involved in conferences, webinars, and industry discussions. Offering chances for teamwork across different departments and enhancing skills can spark creativity, toughness, and flexibility among team members. By investing in training and certifications, organizations can tackle the skills gap head-on. Upskilling the team we have and bringing in fresh talent can make our cybersecurity team stronger and ensure we're prepared for the future.

·  Automation: Automating routine and security-related tasks is a crucial strategy in environments facing skill shortages. By leveraging automation tools, organizations can streamline repetitive, high-stress tasks and complex security processes. This includes monitoring for security alerts, managing risk assessments, creating security dashboards, and ensuring compliance with security policies and regulations. Automation not only alleviates the work load on internal cybersecurity experts, allowing them to concentrate on more strategic initiatives but also speeds up incident response, controls effectiveness monitoring, and boosts security agility.

·  Consolidate Security Tools: Many organizations use a range of stand alone security solutions, which can complicate monitoring and management. Security automation can integrate these solutions, enabling centralized monitoring and management and enhancing the sharing of threat data across the organization's security infrastructure. This integration helps in proactively managing, identifying and responding to potential threats more efficiently. To maximize the benefits of security automation, organizations should set clear strategies, identify reputable security partners, define, and prioritize automation use cases, and ensure that automated processes are monitored and reviewed regularly.

The influence of RiskNestTM in overcoming key challenges

Alfahive's RiskNest offers a smart solution to the cybersecurity skills gap with its cutting-edge cyber risk automation platform. This platform simplifies cyber risk management by using advanced risk modeling and machine learning to provide real-time insights, automate assessments, and create actionable treatment plans. It integrates smoothly with existing security tools, translating security measures into cyber risks and helping organizations prioritize and make smarter decisions. Here's how Alfahive makes cybersecurity management easier and more effective:

·  Automatically Convert Security Controls into Cyber Risk insights: Our Cyber Risk Automation Platform seamlessly integrates with enterprise security tools through APIs. By using MITREATT&CK and D3FEND frameworks, it intelligently translates security controls into the likelihood of Cyber Risks. 

·  Effortlessly Quantify the Impact of Cyber Risks on Your Business: Alfahive's platform is trained on a large set of cyber loss events data and industry-specific risk scenarios. It enables you to effortlessly assess the impact of Cyber risks on your business, compare with your peers, and make informed risk decisions. 

·  Prioritise Risks and Report Strategically: Alfahive's platform automates risk prioritization by simulating the controls against cyber threats. With built-in reporting and dashboarding capabilities, the need for manual reporting is significantly reduced, enabling strategic engagement with board members and regulators.  


Navigating security risk management amid skill shortages requires a multifaceted approach. By understanding the mundane tasks of security risk management and the critical impact of skill shortages, organizations can develop effective strategies that can fortify their cybersecurity posture and thrive in the face of evolving threats. Alfahive's RiskNest stands out as a pioneering solution in this space, offering an advanced cyber risk automation platform that simplifies risk management through real-time insights, automation of assessments, and strategic risk prioritization.