Large scale cyber-attacks are on the rise and, with more than 500,000 unfilled cyber security jobs, the situation could get worse before it gets better unless those positions are filled.
The Biden administration is urging the private sector to shore up cyber defenses with hackers stepping up their attacks against a broad range of businesses.
However, while the need for cyber security experts has increased, there remains a lack of people working in the field to combat those online aggressions.
Gary Davis, with the cyber security firm "Intrusion", told KCBS Radio that filling these jobs is more than a matter of increasing pay.
"Shortening the path of how you can get started in cyber security, and become a CIO or CTO or CSO in a company, that’s giving people a career trajectory that is intriguing would be another factor that companies can look at," he explained.
Most cyber security jobs also require a four year degree and Davis said that’s led to a pipeline problem.
"You have to think outside the box a little bit," he said. "You got out and try to find talent and look outside of the normal places you might normally look for cyber security professionals, in order to fill those gaps."
"Those who work in the industry are starting to get burned out," Davis added. "They’re spending so much time changing alerts, keeping companies protected, trying to stay ahead of the bad guy, that you have this double edged sword – you have unfilled jobs and a burned out workforce."
With defenses weakened at many businesses, hackers have set their sights on company’s employees, specifically the most vulnerable workers.
"You’re only as strong as your weakest link," he said. "And most successful attacks today start with a fishing email, so somebody in your company gets an email and instead of taking their time to understand if this is really somebody I know or I can trust, just clicks on the email and that starts the whole process."