Cyber Security Skills Shortage Hampering Internet Of Things Development

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Apr 24, 2019 01:15 pm PST

New research from Experis explores the impact of Internet of Things on the cyber security jobs market 

UK businesses are struggling to find the right blend of security skills to harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). This is according to the latest Experis Industry Insiders report, which examines how the growth of IoT is impacting the cyber security jobs market. The report delves into the latest trends that are driving employers to think differently about their business and workforce strategies. 

Gartner predicts that 25 billion connected things will be in use by 2021. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to harness data, optimise their operations and deliver more relevant experiences to users. But this new technology also opens up more vulnerabilities to potential cyber threats. Businesses need to be able to capitalise on the promise of IoT without exposing themselves to dangers, and that all starts with talent and skills.   

The latest Experis Industry Insiders report reveals the strain on the cyber security jobs market and potential impact on the future of IoT. It shows that there were 13,214 cyber security roles advertised in Q4 2018 – up 10% year-on-year and 16.6% from the previous quarter. Average salaries for the cyber security dipped 2% year-on-year to £58,557, while contractor day rates soared by 19.6% during the same period, to £505. So, while demand for cyber security professionals continues to rise, businesses are prioritising short terms fixes via contractors, over long-term solutions to their talent needs.   

IoT is currently a much smaller jobs market, but the demand for these roles rose 48.8% to 4,968 in Q4 2018 – from 3,338 in the previous quarter. Both permanent salaries and contractor day rates also increased year-on-year as well, by 1.5% and 4% respectively. The demand for IoT technology skills is building, and could be set to soar, alongside the business demand for the technology, over the next few years. With the cyber security market already stretched, businesses will need to consider creative solutions to both skill sets if they are to harness the power of IoT technology securely.   

Martin Ewings, Director of Specialist Markets, Experis, comments: “IoT offers huge opportunities for organisations, if they have the right cyber security foundations in place to take advantage of new innovations safely. We can see that there is a strong demand for top talent, but the market is struggling to keep pace. Businesses are having to be creative and take a blended approach to their talent acquisition strategies – tapping into the contractor market to build a hybrid team of permanent and temporary workers. In doing so, they can have fast access to the skills they need right now, while taking a longer-term view by building permanent capabilities and investing the time required to enable strategic development.”   

An analysis of job titles reveals that it is front line workers who are most in demand. In cyber security, there are more open vacancies for security engineers, consultants, architects and analysts than any other position. For IoT-related postings, software engineers, technical architects, managers and testers are most sought after. This highlights how much emphasis is being put on actually being able to build and analyse, in both areas of technology.   

This increased demand for workers in these roles translates into higher remuneration, with security and technical architects being among the best paid in both sectors. Information Security Architects can command up to £87,658, less than £2,000 short of the advertised salary of a Head of Information Security, while IoT-focused Technical Architect roles were being posted with an average pay of £77,341.   

Ewings continues, “The rise of IoT is transforming the world of cyber security and the focus is now on being able to spot, isolate and deal with anomalies in data. As more devices are connected, data is continually passing in and out of an organisation. Trying to put a wall around all of it simply is not possible, so cyber security is shifting towards allowing data to pass unhindered, but monitoring it for unusual or unexpected patterns. We’re seeing the skills that are most in demand shift with this trend – from security information and event management (SIEM), in tools like LogRhythm, QRadar and Splunk; to auditing and compliance experience with Qualys, or knowledge of implementing holistic security tools from Sophos or Symantec.” 



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