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Cyber security professionals set to see more employer demand in 2018

Dec 20
Tags: Change Management
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Cyber security professionals set to see more employer demand in...

IT consultants who specialise in cyber security could see an increase in employer demand for their expertise in 2018.

In a recent survey of recruitment agencies by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), 81 per cent of respondents predicted that demand for cyber security professionals will increase "significantly" over the next 12 months.

Demand to outstrip supply?

Another significant finding from the research showed that, according to four out of five recruitment agencies (81 per cent), the UK workforce is unlikely to meet demand for staff in the cyber security space over the coming year. Only 16 per cent think employer demand will be met.

While this represents a significant challenge for businesses, it also provides an opportunity for professionals with skills and experience in this area.

A substantial majority (94 per cent) of recruiters predicted that pay for cyber security workers will increase in 2018.

Cyber security roles were cited as hard to fill due to candidate shortages in eight of the past nine months of the REC's Report on Jobs.

The past year saw a number of high-profile hacks, data breaches and cyber assaults, including the WannaCry ransomware attack, which hit hundreds of thousands of targets around the world. Among the affected organisations was the NHS, with hospitals and doctors' surgeries temporarily crippled by the malicious sotware.

In light of these incidents, REC chief executive Kevin Green said it is "no surprise that demand for cyber security staff is set to increase".

"However, there are very few people with the skills needed, so employers will be competing with each other for the limited talent," he noted. "The good news for people working in cyber security is they could well see a pay increase next year as a result."

Discussing the challenge of finding people with the right skills, Mr Green added: "We need to maintain access to the best people from around the world to create a secure environment where British businesses can flourish."

Businesses willing to invest

As technology and digital innovation play an increasingly important role in modern business, organisations have shown that they are willing to invest in order to acquire the skills and tools they need.

For the first edition of its new Digital Disruption Index, Deloitte surveyed more than 50 organisations about their plans to invest in digital technologies including cyber security solutions, analytics and the Internet of Things.

More than half of respondents anticipated that, by 2020, they will invest more than £10 million in digital tech and ways of working.

Paul Thompson, UK digital transformation leader at Deloitte, said the UK has the opportunity "to be a market-leader in harnessing and exploiting the opportunities digital brings, including increased productivity and driving growth".

However, he also acknowledged that "digital skills, at all levels, are in short supply and high demand".

In a recent study by EY, nearly six out of ten chief financial officers (58 per cent) identified improving performance through the use of digital technology as the top strategic priority for their organisation.

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Image: Kirill_Savenko via iStock

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