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The Cybersecurity Talent Crisis in Canada: Implications and Solutions


The skill gap is one of the significant challenges industries face in the ever-evolving digital landscape. The growing incidents of cyberattacks have revealed the skill gap in the cybersecurity industry. Worldwide, cybersecurity jobs are going unfilled due to the talent gap...leaving organizations like yours at higher risk of cyberattacks.

A recent report by Talent Tech on Canada's cybersecurity labor market suggests that the country is facing a significant shortage of cyber professionals, which could be one of the biggest challenges to its digital economy.

Although there are over 100,000 cybersecurity professionals in the country, the demand for cyber talent is still growing, with at least 25,000 more professionals required now. Let's dive into why organizations should pay special attention to this (and how to find cybersecurity support before you need it!)

The Canadian Cybersecurity Shortage

On a per capita basis, Canadians spend 43.5 hours online per month—the highest globally. Furthermore, the Canadian economy is highly interconnected. Beyond the risks, Canada’s cybersecurity strategy also considers cybersecurity a potential and is taking measures to lead in this area.

Canada’s Cybersecurity Strategy (2019-2024) identifies these key areas to improve the infrastructure while benefiting from the global opportunity:

  • Secure and Resilient Systems to protect Canadians from cybercrime, respond to evolving threats, and help defend the critical government and private sector systems.

  • An Innovative and Adaptive Cyber Ecosystem to support advanced research, foster digital innovation, and develop cyber skills and knowledge to position Canada as a global leader in cybersecurity.

  • Effective Leadership, Governance, and Collaboration to take a leadership role to advance cyber security in Canada. This goal also includes working with the allies to shape the international cybersecurity environment in Canada’s favour.

But on the flip side, digital advances have also left Canada at a higher risk of cyberattacks. In 2022, Canada witnessed many cybercrime incidents, resulting in huge losses. Just some of these notable incidents include:

  1. Scarborough Health Network

  2. IKEA

  3. Panasonic Canada

  4. Global Affairs Canada

  5. Winpak Ltd.

  6. IMP Group

  7. Elgin County

  8. The University of Windsor

The shortage of talent puts Canadian businesses and the government at risk from cyber threats that are difficult to predict or defend against, as well as hindering the country's tech innovation and progress at large. 

Factors Responsible for the Cybersecurity Skill Gap

Despite digital advancements, Canada struggles to fill the cybersecurity talent gap. Many factors have led to this challenge, starting with the rapid pace of digitization. Other factors include:

  • Rapidly evolving cyber threats demand highly agile skillsets, but organizations struggle to keep pace

  • The rise of robust digital infrastructure with various environments, such as multi-cloud networks or next-gen branches, can expose networks to potential attacks. This calls for highly specialized cybersecurity skillsets to prepare and defend against such breaches

  • Outdated hiring perspective in which most CISOs hire an IT team with basic security skills, which are not enough to deal with today’s complex cybersecurity landscape

  • Amid ever-changing security regulations, cybersecurity professionals should be equipped with skills related to research, strategy, communication, and data science, which are hard to find

What This Means for Organizations Like Yours

Canada has strengthened its position as a cybersecurity hub in the world. The country ranks sixth in the world and is considered the sixth most secure nation in terms of cybersecurity protection. Further, global investors are pouring capital into Canada’s cybersecurity market, opening enormous economic growth opportunities.

The Federal government in Canada is taking multiple steps to bridge the skill gap, like:

  • Making smart investments in cyber security and leveraging the robust cybersecurity of the private sector to benefit all sectors across the economy

  • Introducing country-wide efforts to develop cyber skills, advance new solutions, and strengthen cybersecurity through a cohesive and coherent National Cyber Security Strategy

  • Major research institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations are producing cutting-edge research, establishing industry partnerships, and promoting Canada’s cybersecurity industry to the world


Canada is leading the cybersecurity landscape with its new Cybersecurity Strategy, but to proceed with confidence in the digital age, bridging the skill gap will be crucial. As the Federal government strengthens Canada’s cybersecurity skills, enterprises must also ensure proper employee training and "up-skilling" to keep up with the highly dynamic cybersecurity landscape.

The easiest solution? Partnering with the ethical hackers here at Packetlabs. Packetlabs is a Canadian SOC2 Type II accredited cybersecurity firm specializing in penetration testing services. To strengthen your security posture, we offer several solutions such as penetration testing, adversary simulation, application security and other security assessments. Our team is composed of highly skilled ethical hackers to provide expert-level penetration testing services that are thoroughly tailored to you; we partner with both MSPs and organizations of all sizes across healthcare, law, retail, and more industries to provide 360-degree solutions that are over 95% manual.

Reach out to our team today to receive your free, zero-obligation quote... and put your concerns about Canada's cybersecurity talent shortage to rest once and for all.

Have Questions? Need a Quote?

Contact our team today to see how we can help improve your security posture. Get a no-obligation quote and a copy of our sample report to help you get started.