RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — 2022 was a big year for cyber attacks worldwide and experts believe we can expect hackers to up their game and launch even more attacks this year.

This comes as the cybersecurity industry is facing a shortage in workers and N.C. State computer science professor Laurie Williams tells CBS 17 that shortage is playing out at many tech companies here in the Triangle. She said fewer workers presents a real threat to our efforts at fighting these hackers.

“It’s real from all aspects, from security operators that can look at networks and try to detect whether there is an attack underway all the way to Ph.D. level people,” Williams said.

When you think of cybersecurity, you may think of people with masters or doctorate degrees. But Williams believes a lot of people don’t know about the jobs available and training programs, like those at NCSU’s McKimmon Center, to prepare people for cyber careers in less than a year.

“You’re an Uber driver, you want to be a cybersecurity professional. You take this program and you have certifications that are attractive,” Williams said.

Researchers say they’re making advancements in fighting cyber attacks. N.C. State University just received a $9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to find ways to make it harder for criminals to launch an attack.