Securing Our World, One Cybersecurity Course at a Time

October 10, 2023 | Cybersecurity & CISO Insights | 5 min read

This October, the world celebrates its 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month – a partnership between the private and public sectors that is meant to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

“Secure Our World,” this year’s theme, focuses on four easy ways that individuals can stay safe online. These include:

These tips send a clear message that cybersecurity is not just an IT problem. In fact, everyone needs to play a part in protecting their data online. And organizations looking to mitigate cybersecurity risks must be proactive in educating employees on best cybersecurity practices.

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Cybersecurity Training Is Critical

Each year, Skillsoft investigates the most impactful cybersecurity learning trends we see across our learning experience platform. We are curious: Is the appetite for cybersecurity training growing? Who is spending the most hours consuming cybersecurity courses? What topics are they focusing on? Why?

Today, we’re pleased to share the results of our Lean Into Learning: Cybersecurity Awareness Report to help answer some of these questions.

As suspected, cybersecurity learning continues to grow in 2023, underscoring the growing importance and investment organizations are placing in staying current with cybersecurity practices.

Interestingly, the distribution of learning hours across various cybersecurity topics—ranging from cloud, data, infrastructure, programming, security, and software development—has been nearly equal. However, software development claimed a slightly higher share of attention at 19% of the total cybersecurity learning in 2023.

Our learning data also highlights the significant uptick in the consumption of security and infrastructure/operations courses in 2023. This trend underscores the burgeoning focus of organizations on strengthening their security infrastructure and instituting robust data protection measures.

And while employees may not directly manage the cybersecurity infrastructure, their understanding and awareness of it are crucial to an organization’s overall security posture. By promoting cybersecurity education, organizations can foster a security-conscious culture and mitigate risks arising from human errors or unawareness.

Empower Employees to Protect Their Data

With new security threats emerging daily, organizations worldwide are recognizing the need to equip their employees with the right skills to protect their data from unauthorized access or misuse. A review of the top cybersecurity training content consumed this year reveals some interesting trends.

Namely, the Security Essentials Aspire Journey by Skillsoft’s Codecademy has seen widespread adoption globally. This popularity underscores the growing commitment to establish a robust security culture within organizations, equipping employees with foundational knowledge to handle common security threats and understand their business impact.

Simultaneously, as operations increasingly migrate to the cloud, understanding and leveraging the security measures implemented by cloud service providers is becoming critical. In fact, securing cloud operations is a shared responsibility between organizations and their cloud service providers.

Maybe that’s why there’s been a decline in the consumption of Threat Intelligence courses. This may suggest a shift in focus from traditional threat intelligence measures towards utilizing the enhanced security capabilities offered by cloud service providers. This trend highlights the evolving landscape of cybersecurity and the need for organizations to stay abreast of these changes.

Cybersecurity Training Transcends Industry

Delving further into the consumption data of cybersecurity courses across various industries, our data reveals interesting trends and provides insights into how different sectors prioritize and engage with cybersecurity training.

One notable trend is the significant increase in cybersecurity content consumption by education and training organizations globally. Since 2020, a staggering 51.6% of all cybersecurity content consumed by education and training organizations was consumed in 2023. This surge might be attributed to various factors such as the evolving cyber threat landscape, high-profile incidents affecting the industry, changes in cybersecurity regulations and compliance requirements, unique security issues related to remote learning environments, and more.

Moreover, there's been a significant growth in the number of badges earned in 2023 by learners in the education/training sector. This suggests an increased focus on demonstrating proficiency in cybersecurity through badge earning.

Interestingly, the business services and consulting industry consistently leads in terms of the total number of cybersecurity badges earned each year. This trend could be due to a commitment to protecting client data, meeting clients' cybersecurity expectations, and safeguarding sensitive client information and intellectual property from theft or unauthorized access.

An Uptick in Cybersecurity Certifications

Our data indicates a significant increase in cybersecurity certifications in 2023, with a 110.2% rise in the past year and a 270.9% increase since 2020. This surge may be attributed to several key factors:

  • Validation of Skills: Cybersecurity certifications serve as formal validations of professionals' knowledge and skills in the field, providing evidence of their expertise in safeguarding digital assets.
  • Career Advancement: Holding relevant certifications can enhance job prospects, facilitate promotions, and lead to higher salaries.
  • Specialization: Certifications enable professionals to specialize in specific domains within cybersecurity, showcasing their expertise in areas like ethical hacking, incident response, or network security.
  • Staying Current: Certification requirements mandate staying up-to-date with the latest trends, tools, and best practices, ensuring that professionals remain relevant in the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.
  • Risk Management: Equipping professionals with the skills to assess and mitigate security risks effectively is vital for organizations seeking to protect data, ensure business continuity, and comply with regulations.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Achieving a cybersecurity certification can boost personal satisfaction and confidence among professionals.

By understanding these factors, organizations can enhance their cybersecurity efforts, build robust defenses against cyber threats, and foster a culture of resilience. This data serves as a reminder of the critical need for continuous learning and adaptation in our approach to cybersecurity.

Interested in learning more? I’ll be hosting a cybersecurity webinar on October 12, 2023 at 12:00PM ET. I’d love to see you there, and answer any questions you might have. Register now!