Looking for a job in cybersecurity? Healthcare hiring is about to pick up

While the crisis in cybersecurity staffing grows, healthcare IT and HR executives could be in a good position to lure cybersecurity talent.
By Bill Siwicki
04:14 PM

If you’re a worker with cybersecurity expertise, to paraphrase the old Uncle Sam poster, “Healthcare wants YOU!”

It’s well known that there’s a shortage of qualified cybersecurity workers in the United States today. In fact, the lack of information security skills in healthcare is so drastic that nearly three out of four hospitals do not even have a designated security person, according to a recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report.

This could be a crisis as healthcare organizations face increasing attacks from cybercriminals hungry for healthcare records. Healthcare C-suites need to know they have their backs covered when it comes to cybersecurity today, and the lack of qualified job candidates for healthcare CIOs and human resources managers to interview doesn’t help.

[Also: Webinar: Preventing and dealing with ransomware attacks]

But healthcare IT and HR executives could be in a good position to lure cybersecurity talent because healthcare is the hottest hiring hotspot when it comes to cybersecurity, a new study reveals.

Healthcare hiring managers in North America plan to increase their cybersecurity workforce by 39 percent this year, more than any other industry, according to a new study of 19,000 cybersecurity professionals worldwide conducted by Frost & Sullivan for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, with the support of (ISC)2, Booz Allen Hamilton and Alta Associates.

[Also: HHS targeting outdated regs in wake of damning cybersecurity report, WannaCry]

Retail hiring managers in North America plan to increase their cybersecurity workforces by 37 percent, manufacturing by 37 percent, education by 35 percent, construction by 33 percent, professional services by 32 percent, energy by 31 percent, military services by 30 percent, finance by 29 percent, government by 27 percent, and media by 25 percent, according to “The Global Information Security Workforce Study.”

“We find it very encouraging that the healthcare sector tops the list of expected cybersecurity hiring,” said Dan Waddell, director of the North America region at (ISC)2, an organization that certifies cybersecurity professionals. “Health records are a treasure trove of personally identifiable information that makes healthcare institutions and their partners irresistible targets for cybercriminals.”

[Also: Games-based cybersecurity training: Beaumont Health System's latest safety tactic]

Healthcare provider organizations that staff up with qualified, experienced cybersecurity professionals will be better equipped to implement the strategies, policies and user education necessary to address many of the security issues they face, Waddell said.

The study offers workers with cybersecurity expertise a glimpse into where healthcare and other organizations are looking when it comes to finding staffers to round out their cybersecurity programs.

About 48 percent of hiring managers in North America in all industries are recruiting from social and professional networks, 47 percent from internal human resources departments, 36 percent from online job boards, 31 percent from university graduates, 22 percent from other departments, 17 percent from retained search firms, 16 percent from former and active military, 16 percent from placement services, 8 percent from career fairs, and 6 percent from trade shows and conferences, the study found.

[Also: Healthcare is facing a security staffing crisis, HHS says]

Healthcare organization leaders can learn a few things when it comes to gaps to close in order to find the right cybersecurity pros; for example, detailing career paths for cybersecurity staffers, creating employee retention plans, and educating organization leadership on what is needed in cybersecurity and why it is key, the study found.

Also, 42 percent of North American study respondents in all industries say requirements for cybersecurity are not understood by leadership, 34 percent say security workers are difficult to retain, and 28 percent say there is no clear information security career path, the study found.

The cybersecurity workforce gap is on pace to hit 1.8 million by 2022 – a 20 percent increase since 2015 findings were released, the study said.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com

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