The IT workforce lacks expertise in network security, disaster recovery, and other critical cyberdefense skills, according to a recent study from Brainbench Inc., an online IT skills testing and certification company. The report comes as disturbing news at a time when the federal government is considering legislation to help prevent acts of cyberterrorism.
By analyzing the 4.5 million online tests and certifications taken on the Brainbench site during the last 12 months, the firm's Cyber Defense IQ Report shows disaster recovery and planning, with only 111 certified professionals in the nation, to be the weakest of the five skill sets analyzed. "With disaster recovery, the truth is everyone thinks someone else is doing it," says Mike Russiello, Brainbench's president and CEO.
Professionals skilled in network security and wide area network technologies are few as well, with nationwide experts numbering 211 and 640, respectively. Internet security (4,098) and TCP/IP administration (4,258) ranked much higher, because of the draw of higher compensation in those areas, Russiello says.
Russiello says one reason there are so few disaster-recovery, network-security, and WAN experts is that those skills traditionally haven't been in great demand, and thus there was no monetary incentive to be certified and trained. But that might change as companies reassess their infrastructure needs in the wake of Sept. 11.