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Is There an IT Security Expert Shortage?

March 11, 2017

 Is There an IT Security Expert Shortage?

As your customers' trusted technology advisor, you have a unique perspective on the IT staffing situation at the businesses you work with: close enough to know their needs well but on the outside and able to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses accordingly. The next time you work with a customer, take some time to see if they're suffering from an IT-security-expert shortage.

Such shortages are more common than they should be in the enterprise. With limited budgets and other IT needs that may seem more pressing than the need for overall security leadership, many organizations choose to put their resources toward everyday operational costs rather than to invest in qualified security experts whose expertise may or may not be needed down the line. Thus, security decision-making often falls to IT administrators and generalists rather than security subject-matter experts.

It is more serious than your customers realize. The lack of security leadership at an organization of any size creates a number of weaknesses that remain invisible until it's too late: when systems have been breached, when data have been exposed, when losses resulting from security incidents have already been incurred. In other words, the lack of security leadership at an organization causes problems that generally go undetected until it's too late. And in today's threat landscape, no business can consider itself safe. Even small and niche businesses can become—and often already are—targets, specifically because cybercriminals know that such organizations are less likely to have implemented strong security measures than larger enterprises.

Successfully communicating the importance of security that goes beyond simple compliance, and of security leadership that goes beyond the ability to set up a firewall, will benefit both you and your customers. As you consult with the IT decision-makers you work with, ask about their plans to remedy the IT-security-expert shortage at their organizations. If they're unconvinced that there is an IT-security-expert shortage where they work, offer services such as vulnerability assessments and penetration testing in order to make sure that their security really is as solid as they believe it to be. Your distributor can provide such services if your business does not. 

And be prepared for customers that acknowledge the IT-security-expert shortage in their organization but that are unable to recruit experts for their own teams. Budgets are often tight, and those everyday operational costs are necessary to the business. Consider offering managed security services, either through your own business as a value-added reseller or in partnership with your distributor. Whatever need arises, your distributor should be able to assist you in addressing it.

Not sure what resources your distributor makes available to help you fix the IT-security-expert shortage at your customers' organizations? Speak to an Ingram Micro specialist today to get the information you need.