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Hiring Cloud Talent Will Improve Cybersecurity

The use of advanced cloud technologies will require a security strategy that matches the requirements of cloud products and services themselves.

Joseph Strongone is VP of  Global Talent Acquisition for Palo Alto Networks.

Public, private and hybrid cloud environments are more accessible than ever, allowing organizations to scale more quickly and efficiently. With more companies migrating to the cloud, concerns for data protection also increase. From safely enabling SaaS applications to securing physical data centers, the adoption of cloud technologies will, in large part, depend on the perception of the cloud as being “safe.”

While cloud technologies offer efficiencies of cost and scale, they also create a challenge in securing the hybrid world of on-premises, platform and cloud security. The reality is that as cloud adoption continues to rise, the value of the data stored within the cloud rises as well, and cybersecurity threats aimed at the cloud will increase in intensity and frequency.

This makes it critical that today’s organizations have a plan in place for hiring elite cloud talent who are prepared tackle tomorrow’s toughest cybersecurity challenges, because use of advanced cloud technologies will require a security strategy that matches the requirements of cloud products and services themselves.

A new report from Cybersecurity Ventures estimates there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021, up from 1 million openings last year, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of IT security analysts to grow by almost 40 percent by 2022 – a rate higher than most other IT careers.

With cloud becoming business critical and cloud security talent being a relatively new area of expertise, we recommend breaking up cloud security into three interworking components and hiring for each category based on its unique needs and skill sets:

Securing cloud technologies and products: Enterprise security companies will need candidates with strong SaaS development experience. Aside from strong technical proficiencies in common programming languages, such as Python, Java and C, ideal candidates will have experience in developing micro-services, an architectural style of a single application comprising independent services, commonly found in consumer-facing web applications.

Securing the physical infrastructure of the cloud: The increasing popularity of public, private and hybrid cloud services will create a need for candidates with significant public cloud experience (Azure, Google Cloud and especially AWS), virtualization expertise, and tool development skills in the areas of securing public and private cloud environments.

Using cloud technology itself to enhance cybersecurity: Candidates with backgrounds in big data engineering, cloud architecture, machine learning, data science and DevOps can bring added value to developing network security technologies, even if their backgrounds do not include “traditional” cybersecurity experience.

Cyberattacks will continue to occur, and demand for cloud talent will continue to grow. Ultimately, increased focus on hiring the right cloud talent will encourage many organizations to search for candidates outside of the security industry, including those experienced in developing successful consumer-facing technologies. The industry as a whole will be challenged to attract these highly sought-after candidates by offering compelling roles and exciting, highly technical projects, as well as educating them on the importance cybersecurity in protecting our way of life in the digital age.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.


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