State of the Cybersecurity Job Market and How CyberSN Can Help


Since I was a young girl I have felt a sense of responsibility to care for others, a responsibility to always help when people are scared, sad or stressed. Today I feel this even greater, as our world and our country faces a major healthcare crisis and as our economy is negatively affected; I am compelled like you to help. Thankfully myself, my team, and those I love have not gotten sick. Those of us who have this luck must do more and so we will. 

We are all concerned, we are all affected; and we must stay informed. My team can help support us all to stay informed on the cybersecurity job market. By sharing what CyberSN sees in the cybersecurity job market from week to week we can lower our anxiety together 🙂 Knowledge is power. CyberSN can support the cybersecurity community by offering solutions to the new job challenges we will experience. Today is my first weekly share of knowledge and solutions. CyberSN is here to help. Please read on to learn how and share with our community. 

As you read my assessment of the state of the cybersecurity job market, it's good to understand where my data comes from. CyberSN is a national full-service cybersecurity staffing and technology company. We have a high concentration of staffing leaders specifically in New England and the Bay Area. In our almost six years of business we have only staffed cybersecurity roles, no IT, no SW developers. We are the largest solely focused direct hire cybersecurity staffing firm in the US. We speak only cybersecurity.  

Over the last four weeks myself and the entire CyberSN team have felt your stress, for your stress is our stress and vice versa. By way of business we are connected by jobs and jobs are the foundation of how we support ourselves and our families. In an economically challenged market, many jobs are at risk and everyone is concerned. At the same time the cybersecurity space was already short 500,000 professionals in the US before the COVID-19 crisis. In theory, this means that there should be no problems for cyber professionals to find work and yet there is more to this story.  Unfortunately, our current job searching and matching system is broken, I have spoken about this vulnerability for years. You can see my talk from the RSA Conference 2020 to learn more about our broken job searching system. Now and moving forward through this economic challenge we will feel the impact of this broken job searching system even more. Today amongst all the unknown, we must think strategically about what we are doing and understand the risks upon us. Here is what we are seeing in the market, the problems and solutions included 🙂  

As of today April 2, 2020:

Hiring on Hold

70% of businesses put all jobs on hold two weeks ago and these roles are still on hold. These firms are putting all roles on hold, not just cybersecurity positions. Most cyber leaders feel the hold will last two to four more weeks and yet there has been no concrete timeline from those they report to. In addition, companies that are pre-IPO or directly affected by the health crisis directly such as manufacturing, travel, hotels, airlines, restaurants, and staffing services have put all roles on hold indefinitely and beginning layoffs or furloughs. We have not seen cybersecurity professionals being laid off at these firms. We have not seen these layoffs for cybersecurity professionals amount to greater than 1% as of yet.

Some Hiring Is Moving Ahead

30% of the market is moving forward, interviewing, hiring and onboarding cybersecurity professionals. These organizations understand that their cybersecurity teams are already overloaded and putting roles on hold would do more harm than good. The challenge for these organizations is the candidate pool is scared to make a move during the health crisis, further diminishing the available pool of talent. 

Pushing Start Dates

Companies are pushing start dates for new hires that were scheduled for late March or April. We have not seen offers being rescinded from our clients and we have heard from 2% of the market that this has happened to them. Much of the start date push is due to the work from home mandate for non-essential industries. Many companies are not in the cloud and find the remote onboarding process to be too difficult. 

Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) seems to be a big challenge since law is that I-9 has to be verified in person. Good news, on March 20, the Department of Homeland Security provided some assistance for I-9 verification by announcing temporary COVID-19 provisions that permit employers to inspect the Section 2 documents remotely, through a video call, email or fax, to onboard remote employees. This knowledge should help leaders through this challenge so they can move forward and onboard remotely. 

Longer Hours for Cyber Staff

Exhausted cybersecurity professionals are working even more during the crisis. They have no relief in sight. Their firms have been looking to hire people year over year with little success. Now their already overworked cyber teams are doing more work. What these companies are lacking is a budget to pay for an external recruiting service. 

This was a challenge way before the health crisis and now our fellow colleagues feel this pain even more. Already, recruiting departments don’t have the skill to find and match qualified and interested cyber professionals to jobs. This is because they don’t speak cybersecurity and they don’t have access to cybersecurity professionals. As this case study conducted by Chenxi Wang reports, “cybersecurity roles remain unfilled on average eight months; until an outside recruiting firm is brought in”. 

Help for Companies Who Need to Hire

Cyber professionals are getting burned out quicker due to working around the clock during this crisis. This bothers me greatly at a time like this when stress is high at home and work. I want to make sure that all cyber professionals affected by this crisis will find well-matched jobs quickly. To do this and help those leaders that don’t have a budget to use an outside staffing resource like CyberSN, I am offering our services at our cost for new job searches.

We are a privately held firm with no outside investments. We care deeply about the health and well-being of our community. I am grateful that we can make this offer. This offering will allow organizations who truly want to fill their roles the ability to do so and at the same time make sure no cyber professional goes unemployed for long. There is no greater stress than that of unemployment. I suspect we will see layoffs and we will feel greater pain. Together we will succeed. I will keep sharing what we are seeing as things change rapidly. Love and safety to you all.