Addressing the growing cybersecurity skills gap in Africa

Addressing the growing cybersecurity skills gap in Africa:  Building resilience with platforms, processes and people

By Essam Ahmed, Regional Sales Director, LogRhythm

The shortage of cybersecurity professionals combined with rising cyberattacks presents a critical challenge for African organizations. Over recent years, rapid digitalization has led to increased connectivity and economic growth across the continent. While this introduces new innovation to the region, it also heightens organizations’ exposure to threats and widens the cybersecurity skills gap.

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Combatting the increased digital threat landscape in Africa relies on informed and highly skilled digital professionals. However, the ‘Africa’s Tech Skills Scarcity Revealed report found that a lack of digital skills throughout the continent is damaging digital transformation efforts. As well as this, 41% of employees reported leaving due to pressures experienced from understaffing. The challenge is ensuring organizations have the skills and resources available to efficiently move transformation forward and protect their assets from the growing digital attack surface.

Organizations need to invest in upskilling, supporting, and expanding their cybersecurity workforce to successfully stay ahead of mounting risks.


Talent Risks

The cybersecurity skills gap in Africa is causing major vulnerabilities, with threat actors using it as an opportunity to target personal data, cause disruption and deploy extortion tactics. This is an issue that directly affects Africa as more organizations embrace digital transformation, which consequentially increases the security expertise needed to keep their infrastructure safe.

According to the 2023 ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, there are roughly 4 million cybersecurity professionals needed worldwide to close the cybersecurity skills gap. One of the core drivers of this issue is the ever-changing nature of cyberthreats. Staying on top of the threat landscape requires security analysts to be both technically competent and aware of the latest threat tactics. This becomes difficult to maintain without solid processes in place to upskill security teams.

As a result, cybersecurity burnout is becoming more common across the industry as pressure builds on overworked security teams. Burnout is a serious business risk that can lead to ruined momentum, lack of morale and the increased risk of missing critical threats.


Without enough trained professionals and tools available across Africa, organizations face further exposure to cyberattacks, reputational damage, and financial losses. It is therefore essential that organizations take proactive action to create a healthy and high-functioning security team.

People, Processes and Platforms

Upskilling and investing in the cyber workforce must be an organization’s top priority to close the ever-growing cybersecurity skills gap. This can be achieved by assessing current processes in place and using this as a foundation to ensure any areas of weakness are effectively addressed.

Organizations should focus on the following actions to establish a resilient security team:


Upskilling Through Education

Outlining a training program for continuous professional development is key to closing the cybersecurity skills gap in Africa. Attending workshops, seminars, and courses that focus on the latest cybersecurity trends and threats is an effective way to keep professionals up to date with modern threat tactics.

On top of this, creating a strong cybersecurity culture centered around performing the basics well ensures organizations can establish a secure foundation within existing workforces. This includes building awareness of the signs of a phishing attack, performing regular password maintenance and patching systems to relieve pressures on security teams.

Investing in New Hires

By nurturing and harnessing local talent, African organizations can build a strong security team that is ready to defend against emerging threats. One way this can be achieved is through looking into and taking advantage of cybersecurity training initiatives offered by African governments, educational institutions, and industry leaders.

Investing in new hires allows organizations to provide new perspectives and skills to their cybersecurity workforce. It arms them with a wider pool of talent to strengthen their threat detection and mitigation capabilities.

Supporting Professionals with Platforms

Introducing an effective security information and event management (SIEM) platform helps to solve visibility and skills gaps with round-the-clock monitoring and efficient detection abilities. Supporting employees by implementing an extra level of security protection will reduce the pressure on staff and allow for higher retention rates and more time to upskill employees in other areas.

Deploying a SIEM platform that can detect anomalous behaviors, identify threats, and mitigate attacks allows highly skilled analysts to focus on more complex tasks, further training and upskilling newer employees.

Addressing Future Shortages

The constant rise in cyberattacks will continue to threaten digital expansion and progression across Africa if action isn’t taken to address the widening cybersecurity skills gap.

Organizations must commit time and investment to upskilling current staff, recruiting and retaining professionals, and supporting teams with appropriate tools. These steps allow security analysts to manage workloads and provide space for growth which could be the key to digital success for African organizations.

Author: Essam Ahmed, Regional Sales Director, LogRhythm

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