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The cyber security industry in Australia may be on the brink of a mass exodus, with workers considering leaving their jobs as the current cyber environment causes workloads to skyrocket.
This comes at a time when Australia has become a lucrative target for cyber criminals, with major attacks on companies such as Optus and Medibank rocking millions of the Australian public and raising privacy concerns to a government level.
A survey by cloud security company Lacework has found that IT and cyber security staff in Australia and New Zealand are suffering from burnout, which could contribute to a severe staff shortage in the industry in the coming years.
Eighty-seven per cent of those surveyed said that the workload and resultant rising stress was causing them to burn out, while 57 per cent are looking for new employers or new lines of work.
Fifty-four per cent also say that the work environment of cyber security is considerably more challenging than when they started.
Based on the responses of workers surveyed, the cyber security skills shortage is already here, with a quarter saying that the workload is too great for current resources. Workers in ANZ are required to learn 12.9 different programs on average, with almost one in three rating them as poor, and three in four saying they could improve in accuracy.
The result of massive workloads and poor tools is that 64 per cent of all ANZ organisations don’t check all alerts, which poses a risk to the company and its staff and customers.
The current cyber climate is already a dire one in Australia. Outside of the major attacks on Optus and Medibank this year, 2021 saw 745 cyber attacks reported in Australia per day, meaning one every one to two minutes.
Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (ACSSCP) has previously stated that by 2026, the industry will face a shortage of 3,000 workers.
At the same time, cyber attack numbers are set to double over the next five years.
Federal and state governments are working hard to bolster the nation’s cyber capabilities to lessen the blow of the looming cyber crisis. The NSW government earlier this month announced the new Institute of Applied Technology, which will offer 19 new courses on digital topics including cyber security.
“These courses have been developed hand-in-glove with industry to meet current and emerging skill needs,” said Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens.
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