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Indeed says there’s a cybersecurity skills gap, could you capitalize on it?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Capitalize on the surplus of jobs by learning a new tech skill.

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Cyber war

Data breaches, election hacking, and remote spying are all very real issues we face, and surprise, apparently we’re not entirely equipped to deal with it. According to Indeed, there’s a huge global cybersecurity skills gap.

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Indeed compiled two years of data from ten countries to identify where the greatest demand for cybersecurity jobs are and where the field is showing growth.

Vacancies everywhere

There are currently around one million cybersecurity jobs left unfilled.

Based on millions of job postings, Israel’s need for cybersecurity professionals more than doubles the need of the US.

Israel’s demand surpasses the US by 187.4 percent, and is 89.2 percent higher than Ireland, who falls in second place.

Though Israel and Ireland are quite small countries compared to others who ranked in the top ten, they put a strong emphasis on security and technology.

Israel in the lead

In fact, Israel has more startups and scientists than any other country in the world per capita.

Israel ranks second only behind the US as a cybersecurity goods and services exporter.

Likewise, Ireland is a major tech center who house European operations for Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Dell.

Shortage in skills

Cybersecurity skill shortages are a problem worldwide.

According to the key findings, the supply of job seekers only exceeds 50 percent of employer demand in the US and Canada.

This truly is a crisis. With so few professionals seeking out cybersecurity jobs, the more positions left unfilled, the more exposed we all are to cybercrime.

Picky, picky

Certain skills are more sought than others. Network security specialists are in the highest demand in Israel, Ireland, the UK, the US, and Germany.

Network security outranks mobile security, application security, identity, and access management in these countries.

But there simply aren’t enough skilled professionals to fill the demand.

Job supply > job demand

According to Indeed’s findings, the supply for cybersecurity jobs outweighs the demand in all top ten countries.

Although the gap varies, across the board there are not enough job seekers worldwide looking to fill the postings.

Fortunately, over the past two years the supply of cybersecurity professionals has increased in some markets.

Ireland is closing the cybersecurity gap

So far Ireland has come closest to closing the skills gap, with 39 percent of job seekers interested in positions in 2016 versus only 25 percent in 2014.
The US has seen only a seven percent increase in interest, but at least it is some improvement.

However, some countries mismatch between supply and demand is getting worse.

Canada, the UK, and Brazil all saw decreases in job seeker interest, with Canada suffering a 12 percent decline.

Cloud security roles are the least met supply, but there are some skills with a surplus of job seeker interest.

For example, in the US Chief Information Security Officer interest surpasses employer demand by 200 percent.

This doesn’t mean that everyone seeking this position is highly qualified, but it is still important to consider why there is such a demand for this position among job seekers.

Part of the draw could be due to the high salary and prestige of certain positions.

What to do about our gap?

So how can countries suffering a supply-demand imbalance close the gap?

Employers could look to other countries as a source of talent since interest gap is not the same for each country.

Those seeking to fill ethical hacking positions might seek applicants from the UK where there is a surplus.

Additionally, some cybersecurity organizations stress that treating cybersecurity as a nesting doll within computing rather than its own standalone field is part of the problem.

Organizations can identify qualified professionals and offer on-job training to help close the gap. However, there isn’t one simple fix.

A bit exposed

Cybersecurity is a complex profession that requires advanced certifications and an in-depth understanding of risks businesses face.

Closing the skills gap is crucial, but until the talent pool grows, cybercrime will continue to be a major threat.

#CyberSecurity

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Business News

What you need to know about the historic TikTok deal (for now)

(BUSINESS NEWS) No one really knows what’s happening, but the TikTok deal’s impact on business, US-China relations, and the open internet could be huge.

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Male black hands holding app opening TikTok app.

So, maybe you’ve heard that Oracle and Walmart are buying TikTok for national security!

Um, not exactly.

Also, Trump banned TikTok!

Sort of? Maybe?

But then he said he approved the Oracle-Walmart-TikTok deal!

We guess?

The terms of the proposal seem to shift daily, if not hourly. The sheer number of contradictory statements from every player suggests no one really knows what’s going on.

Just one example: Trump said the deal included a $5 billion donation to a fund for education for American youth. TikTok parent ByteDance, said, “Say what now?”

Here’s what we think we know (as of this writing):

Oracle and Walmart would get a combined 20 percent stake in a new U.S.-based company called TikTok Global. Combine that with current US investors in China’s ByteDance, TikTok’s parent, that would give American interests 53 percent. European and other investors would have 11 percent. China would retain 36 percent. (On Saturday Trump said China would have no interests at all. But that does not jibe with the reporting on the deal.)

Oracle would host all user data on its cloud, where it is promising “security will be 100 percent” to keep data safe from China’s prying eyes. But reporting has differed on whether Oracle will get full access to TikTok’s code and AI algorithms. Without full control, skeptics say, Oracle could be little more than a hosting service, and potential security issues would remain unaddressed.

Walmart says they’re excited about their “potential investment and commercial agreements,” suggesting they may be exploring e-commerce opportunities in the app.

The US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is overseen by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, still has to approve any deal.

As for the TikTok “ban” – which isn’t really a ban because current users can keep it – the Commerce Department postponed the deadline for kicking TikTok off U.S. app stores to September 27, to give time for the deal to be hammered out. Never mind that it’s still not clear whether the U.S. government has authority to do that. Unsurprisingly, ByteDance says it doesn’t in a lawsuit filed September 18.

Whatever happens with the whiplash of the deal’s particulars, there are bigger issues in play.

According to business news site Quartz, moving data storage to Oracle mirrors what companies like Apple have done in China: Appease the Chinese government by allowing all data hosting to be inside China. A similar move could “mark the US, too, shifting from a more laissez-faire approach to user data, to a more sovereign one,” says China tech reporter Jane Li.

More obvious: Corporate sales and mergers are now part of the parrying between the U.S. and China, which adds a whole new playing field for negotiations among businesses.

In the meantime, TikTokkers keep TikTokking. White suburban moms continue to lip sync to rap songs in their kitchens. Gen Z continues to make fun of the president – and pretty much everything else.

And downloads of the app have skyrocketed.

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Business News

Hobby Lobby increases minimum wage, but how much is just to save face?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Are their efforts to raise their minimum wage to $17/hour sincere, or more about saving face after bungling pandemic concerns?

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Hobby Lobby storefront

The arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby announced this week that they will be raising their minimum full-time wage to $17/hour starting October 1st. This decision makes them the latest big retailer to raise wages during the pandemic (Target raised their minimum wage to $15/hour about three months ago, and Walmart and Amazon have temporarily raised wages). The current minimum wage for Hobby Lobby employees is $15/hour, which was implemented in 2014.

While a $17 minimum wage is a big statement for the company (even a $15 minimum wage cannot be agreed upon on the federal level) – and it is no doubt a coveted wage for the majority of the working class – it’s difficult to not see this move as an attempt to regain public support of the company.

When the pandemic first began, Hobby Lobby – with more than 900 stores and 43,000 employees nationwide – refused to close their stores despite being deemed a nonessential business (subsequently, a Dallas judge accused the company of endangering public health).

In April, Hobby Lobby furloughed almost all store employees and the majority of corporate and distribution employees without notice. They also ended emergency leave pay and suspended the use of company-provided paid time off benefits for employees during the furloughs – a decision that was widely criticized by the public, although the company claims the reason for this was so that employees would be able to take full advantage of government handouts during their furlough.

However, the furloughs are not Hobby Lobby’s first moment under fire. The Oklahoma-based Christian company won a 2014 Supreme Court case – the same year they initially raised their minimum wage – that granted them the right to deny their female employees insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Also, Hobby Lobby settled a federal complaint in 2017 that accused them of purchasing upwards of 5,000 looted ancient Iraqi artifacts, smuggled through the United Arab Emirates and Israel – which is simultaneously strange, exploitative, and highly controversial.

Why does this all matter? While raising their minimum wage to $17 should be regarded as a step in the right direction regarding the overall treatment of employees (and, hopefully, $17 becomes the new standard), Hobby Lobby is not without reason to seek favorable public opinion, especially during a pandemic. Yes, we should be quick to condone the action of increasing minimum wage, but perhaps be a little skeptical when deeming a company “good” or “bad”.

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Business News

RIP office culture: How work from home is destroying the economy

(BUSINESS NEWS) It’s not just your empty office left behind: Work from home is drastically changing cities’ economies in more ways than you think.

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An empty meeting room, unfilled by work from home employees.

It’s been almost six months since the U.S. went into lockdown due to COVID-19 and the CDC’s subsequent safety guidelines were issued – it’s safe to say that it is not business as usual. Everyone from restaurant waitstaff to start-up executives have been affected by the shift to work-from-home. Even as restrictions slowly begin to lift, it seems as though the office workspace – regarded as the vital venue for the U.S. economy – will never truly be the same.

Though economists have been focusing largely on small businesses and start-ups, we are only just beginning to understand the impact that not going back into the white-collar office will have on the economy.

The industries that support white-collar office culture in major cities have become increasingly emaciated. The coffee shops, food trucks, and food delivery companies that catered to the white-collar workforce before, during, and after their workday, are no longer in high demand (Starbucks reported a loss of $2 billion this year, which they attribute to Zoomification). Airlines have also been affected as business travel typically accounts for 60%-70% of all air travel.

Also included are high-end hotels, which accommodate the traveling business class. Pharmacies, florists, and gyms located in business districts have become ghost towns. Office supplies companies, such as Xerox, have suffered. Workwear brands such as J. Crew and Brooks Brothers have filed for bankruptcy, as there is no longer a need to dress for the office.

In Manhattan – arguably the country’s most notorious white-collar business mecca – at least 1,200 restaurants have been permanently lost. It is also is predicted that the one-third of all small businesses will close.

Additionally, the borough is facing twice as many apartment vacancies as this time last year, due to the flight of workers no longer tied to midtown offices. Workers have realized their freedom to seek more affordable and spacious residence outside the city. As companies decentralize from cities and rent prices drop, it isn’t all bad news. There is promise that particular urban white-collar neighborhoods will start to become accessible to the working class once again.

Some companies, like Pinterest and REI, are reporting that their shift to work from home is in fact permanent. The long-term effects of deserted office buildings are yet to make themselves evident. What we do know is that the decline of the white-collar office will force us to reimagine the great American cities – with so much lost due to the coronavirus, what can now be gained?

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