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Japan needs 80,000 EXTRA info-security bods to stay safe

Chronic shortage of 'outstanding manpower' in the Far East

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Japan has an 80,000 shortfall in infosec professionals, and needs to provide extra training for more than half of those currently in the industry, if it’s to protect key IT systems from attack, according to the government.

A government panel of information security experts met back in June to draw up a long term plan to address Japan’s chronic shortage of trained infosec pros, according to Kyodo news agency.

The panel apparently concluded that aside from the 80,000 new recruits, some 160,000 of the 265,000 currently in the industry need additional training to bring them up to speed on the latest threats.

The strategy calls for a review of the current qualification system for info-security professionals as well as an update to university and other courses in the field.

The aim is apparently not only to boost numbers but to find “manpower with outstanding abilities” – which is easier said than done, especially when budgets are tight and graduates continue to favour other careers.

One way Japan is trying to overcome the shortage is through hacking competitions and training camps, according to Kyodo.

The Information-Technology Promotion Agency, overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is responsible for these and has also apparently been given budget to hire a dozen info-security grads every year.

It’s unclear how the government plans to encourage the tens of thousands more needed into the industry.

Cyber security skills shortages and gaps are endemic pretty much all over the developed world.

Certifications body ISC2 interviewed over 12,000 members to compile its sixth annual Global Workforce study, published in February. Some 56 per cent said there is a workforce shortage, compared to 2 per cent that believe there is a surplus, with "security analysts" (47 per cent) most in demand.

In the UK, the National Audit Office said in its Landscape Review report earlier this year that “it could take up to 20 years to address the skills gap at all levels of education”. ®

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