Demand for Kubernetes skills soars eight-fold in two years

But the lack of security skills leaves DevOps environments open to security threats

Skills gap

More businesses are seeking out qualified Kubernetes developers and engineers as they turn to the tech for building their DevOps environments, a report by security software company CyberArk has found.

The company's IT Jobs Watch report revealed that demand for Kubernetes skills has grown by 752% over the last two years, making it one of the most in-demand IT industries in terms of growth - rising up 729 places to the top 250 most needed roles in IT.

"Kubernetes has become a massive money word, and these figures show that DevOps teams are seeking more skills to help them manage and deploy applications at scale," said Josh Kirkwood, DevOps Security Lead at CyberArk said.

"There is a very real danger that the rush to achieve IT and business advantages will outpace awareness of the security risks. If privileged accounts in Kubernetes are left unmanaged, and attackers get inside the control panel, they could gain control of an organisation's entire IT infrastructure," Kirkwood said.

However, he warned that if businesses rush to onboard inexperienced Kubernetes staff, they risk opening up their organisation to attack. This is demonstrated in another CyberArk report, which revealed many of the DevOps professionals being employed by organisations have security knowledge gaps - particularly around privileged accounts and secrets and container environments.

"Many organisations simply task the same DevOps hires  often with no security experience  to protect these new Kubernetes environments, in addition to the numerous other responsibilities they have to deliver," Kirkwood added. "That's no longer sufficient, and security teams need to get more closely involved to support the platform."

Kirkwood advised that businesses take advantage of cross-team collaboration to ensure they are able to recruit those needed to fill roles, while also securing their existing infrastructure sufficiently to ensure they can create the safest, secure and effective DevOps environment.

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