Trends in the cyber security skills market – what we’ve seen

Mpg Trends In Cyber Security 1920
30 April 2021 by Experis
cyber business-transformation

Cyber security has long been an under-invested and misunderstood niche within IT – often an ‘add-on’ to those who have been hired for other remits. Even those who consider themselves cyber experts often struggle to grasp the full range of skills required to really own the discipline, as it’s been a fuzzy area since its inception.

While this was a challenge even before Covid-19, the pandemic has brought the issue into sharp focus: as remote working became the norm, most weren’t prepared for this immediate shift. The pre-Covid skills gap and shortage was compounded with a sudden move to the Cloud and other technologies, which offered huge opportunities for those who knew that attention was being diverted to business continuity.

What we’ve been seeing in the market

As leading recruiters in this discipline, we can’t underestimate the growth and maturity we are seeing within cybersecurity: we have the jobs, but we need the people and the right expertise – and that is not necessarily available. In short, it’s a candidate market, but those candidates need the right skills and attitude to succeed. Cyber is taking centre stage and evolving as a more sophisticated and strategic function for organisations.

Recent drivers for the huge demand in cyber – many of which existed pre-Covid – include:

  • Replacing or migrating end-of-life firewall and related technology that is unsupported – for instance, Cisco and Check Point

  • Installing or strengthening data loss prevention and PUAM (in bigger companies and banks)

  • Greater need for alerting technology and instant messaging for security events

  • Governance process and policy expertise gaps to complement to technical skills

  • The growing need for social engineering expertise to educate users to recognise phishing and other tactics that can be very subtle and sophisticated

  • Security vendor consolidation, majority of IT organisations plan to consolidate vendors over the next 3 years (overall simplification)

Almost half of organisations plan to work remotely post pandemic, meaning a reboot of policies and tools suitable for their remote workspace. This also includes the continued transfer to cloud security.

There has been a corporate migration to gain ISO 27001 certification over the past 18 months (rapidly becoming the minimum standard), with bigger companies and regulated sectors in particular recognising the value of this security standard (including integration with GDPR) in giving their customers confidence.

With SMEs playing catch up to boost their in-house teams which have been largely understaffed, there are challenges because there is a substantial skills shortage: most contractors are in work, and permanent employees tend to already be in good, well-paid roles. Pre-Covid, there was already an estimated need for around 150% more cybersecurity experts, and the need has grown substantially over the last year.

Salaries and day-rates are going through the roof, especially for experts in:

  • SIEM Technologies (Qradar, Arcsight, Splunk, LogRhythm, Azure Sentinel)

  • ForcePoint

  • Information Security Manager

  • Cyber Professionals

  • MS Azure – creating alert packaging and system updates

To overcome the high remuneration that cyber professionals are demanding – along with the challenges of finding talent – many companies are now establishing or growing their in-house cyber teams. They are increasingly looking at training up their existing staff: it’s not only cheaper, but also develops more ‘business-centric’ expertise.  For more information on changes in the market and if you are interested in changing roles, speak to one of our team.

Our related blog offers our insider insight into predicted trends in the employment market in the future, along with practical expert advice on how you can stay relevant in the market.

If you’re looking for your next career challenge, we’re here to help. Experis is the global leader in professional IT resourcing and solutions, operating in more than 50 countries worldwide. Thanks to our expert industry knowledge, history of success and strong relationships with organisations large and small, we’re well-equipped to share market insights like these and match specialist IT professionals into permanent and contract assignments. Browse all our current job opportunities here.