The growth in remote work has raised new concerns regarding an organization’s ability to maintain an effective cyber defense. Working from home often requires employees to use wireless networks that are not secured, which can leave their devices vulnerable to attacks.

Vulnerable systems are becoming more of a target for bad actors who have recently increased their capabilities through automation tools. It is now possible for attackers to easily access, disrupt, and retrieve data, and then leave an organization’s cybersecurity system completely undetected. In light of current events, it is clear that adversaries will continue to attack the U.S. cyber infrastructure, underscoring the need for proactive measures.

IT departments must be trained for today’s challenges and understand the value of outsourcing additional help from trusted managed service providers to improve their overall cybersecurity posture.

Training a new generation of IT experts

When most IT departments are understaffed, it can be hard to enforce an organization’s cyber defenses. In the last year, job openings within the industry have increased nearly a third, with over 600,000 positions remaining unfilled, despite the increased demand for knowledgeable cybersecurity experts.

Short-staffed IT departments are more vulnerable to data breeches due to less technical expertise and fewer eyes monitoring the system. Organizations struggling to maintain adequate cyber protection should look to partner with an accredited MSP in the interim.

The latest certifications show the expertise and trustworthiness of the Quality MSPs. Agencies should check with the provider to make sure they meet the criteria for data protection and high-quality cyberattacks.

Even though working with an MSP is beneficial, internal labor and skill gaps still need to be addressed. Educating the next generation of IT professionals is important and many are looking to future undergraduate students to fill the cybersecurity skills gap. Tech giants like Microsoft are working with community colleges to train potential IT practitioners. Educational institutions can’t produce enough college graduates to meet demand. American veterans want to work in the cyber workforce.

Reskilling veterans for success in cybersecurity

More than 18 million veterans and 200,000 service members retire their uniforms every year in the U.S. Many returning veterans don’t find it easy to get back into civilian life. Finding a job is a critical part of this transition, but many veterans lack experience needed to compete in the labor market in the cyber/IT sector.

Fortunately, nonprofits now offer training for former military and their spouses. These programs arm their participants with internationally-recognized credentials, skills and resources they need to pursue self-sufficient cyber careers. These lessons are updated regularly by cyber industry experts to make sure participants pursue the most relevant and in-demand certifications. Providing courses that reskill veterans will help eliminate America’s cyber workforce shortage and prevent unemployment.

Out with the old, in with the new

outdated technology is another challenge. Many organizations are prone to bugs and are subject to cyberattacks because they are tethered tolegacy systems and applications. outdated computing software and hardware expose organizations to new risks.

Organizations continue to use these obsolete systems because they don’t want to endanger the stability of their current applications by changing to a new program Modern technologies can be messy and costly. Many IT professionals are concerned about tampering with a program that already accomplishes its intended purpose

Upgrading an IT infrastructure is time-Consuming and can’t be done overnight. New cloud-based solutions can easily be integrated with legacy systems. IT professionals should be able to securely store, manage and process information remotely. They have access to critical features such as backup, recovery and data protection because they are backed by the newest certifications. IT management can be made simpler and more accessible if these capabilities are housed on a unified cloud platform.

Looking to the future

The threat of cyber warfare is more present today than it has ever been. Enhancing the current cybersecurity workforce with knowledgeable employees and implementing new cloud-based programs alongside legacy systems would significantly protect the U.S. public sector from looming threats.

New legislation by the federal government helps facilitate some of the needed changes. Billions of dollars were designated for new cyber spending in an infrastructure bill passed in November. This is the biggest government investment in state and local cyber security to date. Defining how public organizations can apply for these grants, raising awareness of eligibility, and then addressing these obstacles will go a long way towards protecting the US from future cyberattacks.

Zanni is the CEO of Acronis.