China faces cybersecurity talent shortage amid push to secure data and develop the digital economy
- A new report from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says China’s cybersecurity industry is facing a shortage of highly skilled talent
- Beijing has raised cybersecurity scrutiny this year, passing new laws and regulations and launching probes into tech companies like Didi Chuxing
China is facing a shortage of cybersecurity talent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), providing an obstacle to the country’s goal of further developing the digital economy in the coming years.
There is a severe “imbalance” in the supply and demand of cybersecurity talent in China, a report published by the MIIT on Tuesday said. In addition to a general labour shortage, the industry also faces a skills mismatch, according to the report.
While there is a ready supply of workers for low-end operation, maintenance, technical support and risk evaluation, there is a lack of high-end talent that understands both the business and technical sides of the industry, according to the MIIT.
The agency’s latest report was published during China’s eighth annual “cybersecurity week”, when central and local authorities promote good cybersecurity practices through a range of activities that include exhibitions and knowledge contests held in cities across China. A conference is also being held in Xian, this year’s host city, and the week’s theme is “cybersecurity for the people, by the people”, according to the event’s official website.
China has fleshed out its cybersecurity governance framework this year with multiple new laws and regulations, but businesses are still waiting for additional guidance to explain what this means for them operationally.
Why China is tightening control over cybersecurity
Another draft regulation, released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has raised scrutiny of overseas public listings on the grounds that exposed data could pose risks to national security.
The MIIT’s plan from July also mandates that key industries such as telecommunications devote 10 per cent of their budget for information technology upgrades to cybersecurity by 2023.