The Cybersecurity Problem
Cybersecurity is an area of particular focus within the media at present and as a result the profession as a whole is under the spotlight. With so much attention drawn to it, what are the key trends and issues within Cybersecurity right now?
SALARIES ARE INCREASING AT A DRAMATIC RATE
Due to the level of demand for cybersecurity professionals within the UK, the salaries on offer for full time, permanent IT security opportunities are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The average full time salary has increased by 10.5% during the last year, meaning professionals now earn an average of a staggering £58,725 per year. In London, this is even higher at £62,596. Eventually, the individuals in these roles may out-price themselves due to the enticing offers they are accepting right now. It would be difficult for the majority of smaller organisations to reach these salaries in order to employ individuals to protect their business. Though not an issue right now, over the next few years we may see this problem manifesting itself in the form of inadequate protection against cybercrime for SMEs.
CYBERSECURITY PROFESSIONALS ARE MOVING FROM PUBLIC TO PRIVATE
In line with the rise of salaries, a further trend impacting the cybersecurity industry is the movement of cybersecurity professionals from the public space into the private sector. Salaries are generally considered to be higher in the private sector, which seems to be a key motivation for cybersecurity professionals to be making the transition. Salaries between public and private cybersecurity professionals can differ considerably. The same role can be advertised with double the salary between public and private.
Likewise, it’s understandable why infosec individuals who work in the public domain are so appealing to the private sector. At the end of 2016, the UK government announced an investment of £1.9Bn to support its cyber security strategy. As a result, the amount of money that is being spent on training of new cybersecurity professionals is substantial. In addition, career progression is clearly defined making it relatively easy for individuals to move up through the ranks, gaining experience and responsibility throughout. These candidates are therefore quite desirable to private sector organisations.
ORGANISATIONS ARE ADVERTISING LOWER SALARIES THAN THEY SHOULD
A further challenge within the cybersecurity industry at present is regarding the disparity between salaries that are advertised versus what gets offered. Findings from a recent report indicate that ‘more than 80% of the 83 cybersecurity positions studied…ended up with compensation offers higher than the salary caps stated in the original job descriptions’. This indicates that the salary research done prior to advertising for a job is not reflective of the level of candidate that is required. As discussed previously, there is presently a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals and as a result job seekers are able to negotiate further when seeking their next career move. It also allows them to be more selective in their decision making, and also demand a higher salary as a result of reduced competition for the role.
JOBS ARE UNFILLED
As a result of the shortage of cybersecurity professionals, the average cybersecurity job remains unfilled ‘for an average of six months’ and it has been predicted that by 2021 there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity roles. Furthermore, it is anticipated that by 2021 there will be over 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide. In 2016, the unemployment rate within cybersecurity dropped to 0 percent, where it is likely to stay until at least 2021.
As a result of its growing attention, it would be hoped that more individuals will look to move into Cybersecurity over the next few years. Are you a professional already working within the Cybersecurity space? Check out our jobs here.