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In parallel with some of the most devastating security incidents and a rapidly-growing skills gap, 2021 has been a true inflection point for security training and education in the workplace. After an in-depth analysis of millions of users of its learning experience platform, Skillsoft observed a 53% spike in the total number of annual hours employees are spending on cybersecurity training, education, and upskilling since 2019.

A line graph that shows spikes in total hours of security training content consumption in April 2020, December 2020, and February 2021.

Above: Total hours of Percipio security training content consumption by month

Image Credit: Skillsoft

This comes during a year that has been riddled with some of the most devastating cyberattacks on record, a large gap in security skills, and growing talent wars. Skillsoft identified especially large spikes in March, April, and June 2021, which coincide with the infamous Hafnium state-sponsored attack and Nobelium phishing incident.

After analyzing 25 industries — ranging from aerospace to banking and finance to medical — it found that 80% of organizations have seen significant increases in the total number of hours spent by employees on security training content in 2021 compared to the year prior. Legal, energy and utilities, healthcare, training and development, and nonprofit organizations have seen the largest surges in training year after year.

Corporate security learners are spending their time in a variety of areas, many of which map back to the digital transformation wave and the rapid global shift to the cloud brought on by the pandemic. Looking at the top 10 most frequently completed security courses so far in 2021, OWASP Top 10 List Items takes the lead spot, followed by a cloud security fundamentals course. Following are various CompTIA Security+ pre-certification courses — ranging from social engineering techniques to basic cryptography principles.

This list correlates with cybersecurity and cloud certifications being the two most in-demand skills and technology areas for organizations today, confirming how essential risk management has become to organizations.

Read the full report by Skillsoft.

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