Businesses and government departments need to adapt their cyber recruitment policies to consider more candidates if they hope to combat hackers, according to the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).
Adam Kramer, a cyber expert at the NCA, told V3 that, despite positive work by the UK government, businesses must continue working hard to recruit and train new cyber security professionals.
"There is a range of different threats and we have to tackle everything from a targeted attack hitting one person or organisation, all the way through to mass attacks that just want to get the largest number of victims possible. That's why we always want more people in the industry," he said.
"We need more people in cyber security, not just in law enforcement, but generally to help protect people and companies from cyber attacks."
Kramer said that businesses should recruit, encourage and train people from a wide variety of backgrounds to increase the number of people entering the field and avoid a skills shortage.
"When you're looking at cyber security specifically, you can get people with a foundation of computer science, but we want people with these skills and an understanding of threats and an analytical ability. When combating threats you need tech skills and interpersonal skills," he said.
"There will be people doing subjects at university with those skills, but we want to increase the size of the pull available to us and to do that we need to encourage people to get into this industry.
"No matter what age, after or before university, you need to be able to engage with people and find those with the talent whether they have done courses or not."
Kramer highlighted initiatives like the Cyber Security Challenge as key ways for business and agencies to spot untapped talent.
The NCA helped launch the 2015 Cyber Security Challenge earlier this week. The opening stages task entrants with mitigating and gathering data on a series of simulated cyber attacks by a fictional hacker group.
Those that win the opening stage will participate in the first of the Challenge's face-to-face, one-day cyber battles. Top-scoring candidates then qualify to take part in the Challenge's masterclass final next year.
Recruiting more people into the cyber security industry has been a goal of the NCA since it launched in October. The organisation has pledged to recruit and train 400 new cyber security intelligence officers over the next year.
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