Looking after people is key to addressing the cyber skills shortage

Jeff Paine quote

Cyber security has become a rapid growth industry as companies and governments react to the increasing threat of attack from individuals, criminal groups and foreign states.

And that means competition to acquire skilled team members is now reshaping the workplace as employers respond to demands from their highly specialised teams for improved work-life balance.

In 2018, AustCyber released an update to its Australian Cyber Security Competitiveness Plan, which outlined that a serious skills shortage is limiting the growth of the sector. AustCyber found that Australian cyber security firms are struggling more than their global peers to attract the right talent for their businesses.

Jeff Paine, the Chief Executive of Melbourne-based cyber security company, ResponSight, said one of the ways his company is addressing the skills shortage is by making ResponSight an attractive place to work.

But Paine said he is just as keen to discuss with other business leaders their ideas for and experiences in growing and nurturing their teams and improving workplace culture.

Previously a director of security at PwC and said he has learned valuable lessons on building teams from working with bigger companies.

“It’s important to be thinking about how you are going to provide existing and new team members with a great experience, a great place to work,” he said.

“You have to develop and sustain a workplace culture that attracts and retains people.”

One of the initiatives ResponSight has implemented to boost workplace culture is an offer to staff of unlimited leave.

“Tech roles can be highly intense and it’s our role as leaders to ensure we recognise that and structure the workplace accordingly,” he said.

“People are actually respectful of the licence unlimited leave provides - if they need to take more time off to recharge their batteries - or go and learn Italian in Tuscany, they can.”

Paine said provisions are also made for carer and parental leave in recognition of the importance of family life.

“Having this sort of environment means people feel far more engaged and for many people that is far more important than money.”

A creative team that is able to take a break, that is engaged and happy, helps deliver some amazing results - our goal as an industry should be to look after our people.”

About ResponSight

ResponSight is an Australian data science company that provides behavioural analytics software to monitor desktop, laptop and server use, identify abnormal user behaviour and detect real-time enterprise risk. ResponSight was founded in Melbourne in 2015.