Information security jobs unfilled as labor pains grow
Posted on: April 1, 2015

Information security jobs unfilled as labor pains grow
Alan R. Earls
April 1, 2015

There is a hiring crisis in cybersecurity. Many organizations are desperate to find qualified security professionals and fill key staff positions. Consider this from ISACA: According to the 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status Report, which surveyed more than 3,400 ISACA members in January, 92% of those hiring cybersecurity professionals this year say it will be difficult to find skilled candidates. Another 53% of organizations plan to increase cybersecurity training for staff in 2015, while only 9% say they do enough security training already.

“There are currently over a billion dollars worth of unfilled positions globally,” says James Arlen, director of risk and advisory services at Leviathan Security Group, a Seattle-based company that provides integrated risk management and information security to Fortune 100 companies and governments.

Companies looking to hire cybersecurity professionals can do themselves a big favor by just simplifying the application process. “Promote employee value and benefits, and put positions in the context of the broader organization,” says Jeremy Bergsman, managing director at CEB, a member-based advisory company based in Arlington, Va. Human resource organizations need to make job postings comprehensible so potential candidates are more inclined to actually apply for open positions.

The professional hiring challenge is multifaceted, however. For starters, the breadth of knowledge required for many cybersecurity positions remains a moving target. Job descriptions can ask for expertise across multiple domains — ranging from malware, threat mitigation, cryptography and forensics to industry-specific knowledge, advanced analytics, network virtualization, cloud and mobile security. The failure to find qualified candidates creates an attitude of near panic in some quarters.

The result is skyrocketing salaries, especially after the highly publicized breaches of 2014. While the labor concerns are genuine, experts offer hope beyond the headlines and differing views about the severity of the problem.

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