Some 14% of IT roles in the UK now comprise cyber security roles as demand rises for cyber security experts.
According to research from consultancy firm Procorre, organisations increasingly want professionals to help protect them against hackers – with 1,420 out of 10,210 IT vacancies related to cyber security.
Wiktor Podgorski, contracts and HR manager at Procorre, said: “There is a global shortage of experienced and talented cyber-security experts, especially after a recent spate of high-profile attacks that have demonstrated the need for businesses to improve their cyber defences.”
Procorre points to a number of high-profile hacking cases for this increase in demand for cyber security professionals, including a breach of Carphone Warehouse data, revealing details of 2.4m customers; the leak of 13GB of data from dating website Ashley Madison; and a hack on Sony revealing the details of yet-to-be released films.
Alongside beefing up efforts to protect data such as firewalls and encryption, firms are willing to pay cyber large salaries, with 15% of cyber security roles earning more than £100,000 a year.
The need for cyber-security professionals has also driven up the number of available studies in the subject, with 42 universities offering degrees related to cyber-security degrees at undergraduate level and over 700 postgraduate qualifications offered in cyber-security subjects.
As businesses become more digital, they collect increasing amounts of data, much of it sensitive – but many firms are not doing enough to protect it, and many attacks on firms aren’t particularly sophisticated.
Procorre said that in the UK a firm can be fined up to £500,000 for a data breach but, with the European Data Protection Directive due for implementation at the end of 2015, a hack can lead to more serious retribution for firms – including fines of up to €100m.
This could help the close the cyber security gaps across the European Union (EU) causing discrepancies in how breaches are handled.
Podgorski said: “With the new directive imminent, businesses need to be even more secure with the data they are storing.
“Cyber security experts are being drafted in to address any concerns that could see hackers access sensitive information, which may lead to a drop in revenue and a hefty fine. Not to mention the reputational damage.”
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