Why The UK Desperately Needs 200,000 IT Security Specialists

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Businesses must take urgent measures to protect themselves from growing cyber crime threat, cyber security recruiter warns

The UK’s lack of available talent with the right cyber security skills presents a very real danger to British businesses, according to a London-based cyber security specialist recruiter.

Responding to recent reports by EY and the office of the Minister for Universities and Science, Cornucopia IT Resourcing, warned that the unless the deficit in the number of available cyber security professionals is addressed, British businesses will remain the target of cyber attacks.

Security breach

Accordingly, 93% of large companies and 87% of SMEs have suffered at least one security breach in the last 12 months, at an average cost of £450k-850k and £35k-65k respectively, according to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

cyber attackThis has fuelled a demand for cyber security experts which the industry is struggling to meet.

Janek Formella, managing director at Cornucopia IT Resourcing, said: “Incidences of cyber security breaches in the UK have risen sharply over the last twelve months, and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future if left unchecked.

“Estimates suggest that as many as 200,000 cyber security professionals are needed to counter the billions of cyber threats to the UK each year. Of concern, however, is that many organisations lack the necessary skills needed to fully protect themselves against cyber crime. This is leaving more than 1 in 3 organisations completely unprepared or adequately protected against a cyber attack.

The cyber security skills in highest demand are especially prominent when recruiting individuals with skills in implementing secure systems, followed by operational security management, incident management and information risk management and assurance roles.

Cyber security threats cost around 1.7% of the world’s GDP every year,” added Mr Formella. Yet what is worrying is the findings of the EY report published last week, which state that as many as two-fifths (43%) of all organisations still have no plans to increase their cyber security budget in the near future.

“The recent spate of high profile cyber security breaches involving AT&T, JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Target, costing $148m in the case of the latter, have highlighted the critical need for both industry and government organisations to invest in improving the skill set of the talent already available, whilst setting the foundations in place now to improve the talent pipeline moving forward.”

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