IT Security market facing high workforce shortage

Over the past few decades, Technology has embedded itself into almost every aspect our daily lives. Aside from our personal lives, it has also revolutionised the way employees operate in the workplace, impacting productivity, services, communication methods and cost efficiencies.

Having and maintaining several devices for our personal and professional lives has become the norm for users and as a result passwords are typically shared over multiple devices for convenience, representing an increasing security risk.

Average number of internet devices in a British household. Source: The Guardian 2015.
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Online accounts are guarded by duplicated passwords. Source: TeleSign 2015

Phishing scams, whaling and other techniques are so effective at breaking through security barriers because they exploit the weakest part of the chain – which is often not the technology, but the user themselves. And unfortunately this means that as soon as a password is discovered it is likely that the hacker will have access to a multitude of online accounts.

IT Security as a profession has therefore become significantly more sophisticated as a role in just the past few years in response to this threat. Professionals are expected to understand a variety of different hardware and software considerations, but also user behaviour analysis. As awareness of technology and data privacy has grown, so too have the regulations surrounding it – ISO 27017 & 27018 which are both specifically cloud security standards means that professionals need to keep pace with ever evolving regulation.

The need to be secure is greater than ever

Companies are increasingly growing their online and digital presence, using technology for multiple purposes to drive their business forward. This digitisation has created endless opportunities to offer better service experience, creating value in their data assets (eg. the use of Big Data for cross-selling), as well as more streamlined processes. But this multi-use of technology platforms can leave any organisation under increased risks of more complex and severe security threats. IT Security has become one of the most urgent issues faced by businesses over the past few years, following the numerous high-profile security incidents for the likes of British Gas, M&S and Talk Talk to name a few.

Companies today have an ongoing need to continue developing their defence against security threats to stay ahead of hackers. They must also be certain that they are hiring IT professionals with the right set of skills, who are capable of protecting their systems and information, whilst being able to act rapidly if attacks do happen, with the right means of defence.

High demand for security professionals

These circumstances have led to companies hiring more security professionals, as demonstrated in the latest Tech Cities Job Watch report, where demand for IT Security roles soared by 19% since this time last year, and also showed the largest salary rise of the five key tech disciplines (Big Data, Cloud, IT Security, Mobile and Web Development).

It’s clear that with IT professionals across the board in short supply, security professionals can expect healthy salaries, as businesses are under pressure to offer more competitive salaries and benefits packages, or risk losing top talent to their competitors, and worse, expose themselves to an attack.

Read more in Experis’ Tech Cities Job Watch Report Q1 2016.

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