There’s been talk of an IT skills shortage for years, but it’s beginning to get serious. The majority of UK CIOs – a huge 77% – are convinced that the high number of expected security threats is down to a shortage of security experts.
Data breaches and abuse top the “worst fears” list for most companies, because they mean a loss of personal data and public reputation, along with a monetary loss. Infrastructure to protect against cybercrime is being invented and improved at astonishing rates; but it’s not being implemented as quickly. This is down to the gap in IT security professionals.
What Are We Doing About It?
Around the world, cyber security incidents have increased by 38% in one year. This number is expected to keep climbing upward until our capacity for security and defence matches the number of threats we face.
Key to solving the threat of cyber attacks is this capacity for security. In the next year, 34% of CIOs are planning to increase their staff numbers. The positions they’re looking to fill include Security Analysts, Information Security Officers, and Security Operations Officers; all junior to mid-level positions, and all related to IT security.
The skilled staff shortage is sorely felt now, when these positions are being so readily sought after. As a temporary measure, industries of all kinds have started to make common the practice of hiring a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), which enables IT security to be handled efficiently. A CISO will be at the top of their field and fully capable of implementing IT infrastructure and processes. More importantly, however, they can help train people within the company while delegating to contractors outside of it.
There is no doubt that highly specialised skills are vital. But the ability to clearly articulate cybersecurity issues in a language that senior management and non-IT employees understand will not only increase security awareness but also enhance the reputation of the IT department as business partners who add value across the business. – Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology
This is where a CISO becomes an important bridging point. Currently, there’s a skills shortage. With the right education programmes and investments by technology companies like Robert Half Technology, the skills shortage doesn’t need to be permanent. It’s down to the CISOs of the world to make sure that companies are investing in future skilled staff as well as looking for present-day solutions.
Is There An Alternative?
Even with CISOs, the IT skilled staff shortage won’t go away quickly. Years of training are required to reach the level of expertise required by these companies. If every CIO in the UK is trying to hire an Information Security Officer at the same time – an increasingly likely scenario – then the majority will end up with a sub-par Officer or no-one at all.
The alternative is to outsource certain parts of IT to companies that specialise in off-site or on-line IT management. Companies like CBSIT specialise in protection and network management while remaining off-site, allowing you the freedom to run your business as-is without interference.
Security is scary, but at least you don’t have to panic about the skills shortage. Here at CBSIT we have many highly skilled staff that specialise in security as well as cloud connectivity; you can stay ahead of the game without ever having to hire in-house staff. If you want to learn more, please get in touch.