Friday, June 14

Cybersecurity Deficit May Leave Arizona’s Small Business Vulnerable

As the majority of businesses operate online in some capacity, the demand for quality cybersecurity has skyrocketed. Since over half of businesses are worried about cyber attacks, these types of security jobs are growing significantly.

But are Arizona’s IT professionals up to par?

Some experts don’t think so.

Daily Miner reports that the state is in need of cyber security workers and those who are in this profession may need additional training to keep up with demand. Brett Scott, founder of Arizona Cyber Warfare Range, told Daily Miner that IT employees are not being held to the right standards.

“We have a huge cybersecurity skills gap,” he said. “And most people that are in the cybersecurity industry are so bad at their jobs that if they were in any other job, they would be arrested or indicted for fraud.”

According to Daily Miner, there are also not enough workers to fill open IT positions. There are about 285,000 jobs open nationally and almost 7,000 in Arizona. Lyn Harry White of the Arizona Small Business Association said that the state is over 90% small business, so this deficit could be potentially dangerous to these vulnerable firms.

While many IT professionals advance in the field through hands-on experience, there is not a set degree or path to becoming successful. John Garduno, who studies cybersecurity at a local university, said in a statement to Daily Miner that cybersecurity is a stable industry with a wide variety of entry points — particularly when working for the government.

“To be an agent, you have to have either a cyber defense degree or criminal justice,” he said. “There’s always new advances, new attacks, so you always have to stay on top of it. Obviously, they only want the best.”

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