July 7, 2022
Photo: Susan Fisher Plotner/View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: why the cybersecurity industry needs to invest in entry-level roles to help fill the talent gap and accomplish its diversity goals, why layoffs across some sectors of the security industry may not reflect the larger picture and enterprise tech moves.
The talent shortage might be the most-discussed topic in all of cybersecurity. What's talked about less are the stories of the people who do everything they can to fill some of those open jobs — and give up when no one will hire them.
Nicholas McLaren was almost one of them.
The lack of entry-level jobs is not only perpetuating the cybersecurity talent shortage, but it's also bad for diversity.
But some companies are showing that entry-level security roles are possible.
The competitive edge of digital solutions: For the last 50 years, SAP has worked closely with our customers to solve some of the world’s most intricate problems. We have also seen, and have been a part of, rapid accelerations in technology in response. Across industries, certain paths have emerged to help businesses manage the unexpected challenges over the last few years.
A month-and-a-half ago, the cybersecurity industry shuddered as news spread about major layoffs at mega-unicorn Lacework. And it would turn out to be just the first in a series of cutbacks by security vendors (thanks, economy). But here's a reality check: It hasn't been that long of a series.
I counted a total of seven cybersecurity companies that have laid off employees since late May. But there are at least 3,000 security vendors right now, per CyberDB. Which means that less than 1% of cybersecurity companies have disclosed layoffs. (Actually, way less — 0.2%). Among unicorns, the figure is higher — about 7%, or four out of 60 — but still doesn't seem that crazy to me.
Today, I tried to get a VC that I've known for years, Deepak Jeevankumar of Dell Technologies Capital, to agree with me that, actually, the more interesting story is how few security companies have done layoffs. And he did agree — sort of. "I don't think it's a trend yet," he told me. "But the question is, will it become a trend?"
Well, it might. While spending on cybersecurity is expected to be more resilient than most other types in the enterprise, plenty of smart prognosticators are expecting a big wave of industry consolidation ahead. And cutting back on staff, especially in areas like sales, is often seen as a good idea before shopping yourself for an acquisition. (A good idea from a management perspective, at least.)
Still, most cybersecurity unicorns seem pretty confident in their prospects. At least for now. According to Jeevankumar, looking ahead, "anybody who became a unicorn too fast is probably at the highest risk."
Over the past week VMWare and Stack Overflow added technical C-suite roles, Amplitude snagged an executive from UiPath and more.
Chip Childers joined VMware as chief open source officer. Childers was formerly executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.
Jody Bailey is the new CTO at Stack Overflow. Bailey was previously director of product development at AWS and CTO of Pluralsight.
Thomas Hansen joined Amplitude as its first president. Hansen most recently took UiPath through its IPO as chief revenue officer, and also worked at VMWare, Dropbox and Microsoft.
Tom Keane left his role as corporate vice president at Microsoft. Keane was at Microsoft for over two decades working on Office 365 and Azure. His departure comes shortly after allegations of verbal abuse.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded AWS and Microsoft with the country’s peace prize for their work preserving key parts of its digital infrastructure.
The competitive edge of digital solutions: When companies invest in maintaining their “green ledger” with the same commitment they have to their financial ledgers, they will be able to connect their environmental, social, and financial data holistically so they can steer their business towards sustainability. At the end of the day, what gets measured, gets managed.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!