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A report by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) has revealed that there is now a gap of 4 million cybersecurity jobs to be filled globally, even as Nigeria records one of the lowest cybersecurity professionals.

The global report shows that the two African countries surveyed as part of the study, Nigeria and South Africa have more gaps to be filled as they currently have a lower number of cybersecurity experts compared to other countries.

Specifically, the number of cybersecurity professionals in Nigeria as of 2023 stood at 8,352, while South Africa recorded 57,269.

While the report was not specific about the number of professionals each country will require aside from the global estimate of 4 million, it indicated that American and European countries have far higher numbers of cybersecurity experts compared to their counterparts from other continents.

For instance, the U.S. had 482,985 cybersecurity experts while Brazil recorded 231,921.

Demands outweigh supply

While noting that the global cybersecurity workforce increased by 8.7% year on year to 5.5 million in 2023, the ISC2 report indicated that demands for cybersecurity professionals far outweigh the supply.

  • “ISC2 estimates the global cybersecurity workforce at 5.5 million, representing an 8.7% increase year over year and nearly 440,000 new jobs. All regions saw growth this year, but these gains are particularly high in our two new Middle East countries, Asia-Pacific and North America. Japan in particular is growing rapidly — 24% year over year.
  • “Despite the continued growth in the workforce, ISC2’s cybersecurity workforce study revealed that demand is still outpacing supply. The workforce gap grew an additional 12.6% this year, with the greatest rise in Asia-Pacific (especially Japan and India) and North America. Areas with particularly rapid growth in supply like the Middle East and Latin America are starting to finally see demand catch up such that the workforce gap actually shrank this year,” the report stated.

According to ISC2, the workforce gap calculates the difference between the number of cybersecurity professionals organizations require to properly secure themselves and the number of cybersecurity professionals available for hire.

The workforce gap does not aim to estimate the actual current job market for cybersecurity professionals.


Jobs cutbacks

Despite the need for more workers in this field, the study revealed that the current macroeconomic environment is pushing many organizations to implement cost-saving cutbacks, that is budget cuts, layoffs, hiring freezes and promotion freezes, to support their balance sheet. ISC2, however, noted that these organizational cutbacks — especially within cybersecurity teams — have implications that extend beyond just cost.

  • “Cybersecurity professionals are critical protectors against risk and vulnerability, but cutbacks throttle their productivity, satisfaction and skill development. In this study, cybersecurity professionals share how cutbacks and related challenges like staffing shortages and skills gaps truly impact their day-to-day work, so organizations can discover opportunities for improvement,” it said.

ISC2, is a non-profit organization which specializes in training and certifications for cybersecurity professionals globally. Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were included in its 2023 Cybersecurity Workforce Study for the first time.


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