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IT Security Professionals: Well Paid and Staying Where They Are

Posted By John Zappe On February 26, 2013 @ 2:27 am In News and Features | 2 Comments

IT security workforce study [1]Information security professionals are among the most stable of tech workers. They are paid well, the majority got raises last year — 20% of them of more than 5%. Plus the demand for security specialists will grow 11% annually for the next five years.

Those are findings from the most recent survey of IT security professionals conducted by (ISC)2, the world’s largest not-for-profit information security professional organization. More than 12,000 members and non-members took part in the biennial Global Information Security Workforce Study [2], reporting on matters ranging from salaries and workload to their views on the current state of information security and protection.

Among the key findings:

  • Average salary globally is $92,835. Salaries in the developed countries of the Americas are among the highest in the world, with 79% of workers earning more than $80,000 annually.
  • Worker stability is high; 83% of the global security workforce had no job change in the last year, a percentage virtually unchanged from the previous survey in 2011. Only 11% reported leaving a job for another employer in the last year.
  • Both staff tech security specialists and C-suite executives agree their organizations have too few workers doing the job. Remarkably, more executives believe that — two-thirds of the respondents — than do the workers themselves (56%).
  • One reason for the under-staffing: a shortage of qualified workers. Security analysts, said 47% of respondents, topped the list, followed by security engineering-planning and design (3%), and security auditor (31%).
  • 30% of all respondents, and 34% of executives expect spending on personnel to increase this year, while about the same percent of respondents expect increases for training and education.

IT Security success factors [3]In hiring security specialists, technical knowledge is essential as might be predicted, but even more important, the survey found, is a broad understanding of the security field and communication skills. Respondents in different industries ranked some skills differently, but across the world technical and communication skills and a broad understanding of the field always ranked in the top three.

The survey also asked the world’s security specialists what most worries them. Hackers, state-sponsored spying, which has been much in the news recently, and cyber-terrorism all made the list, but not at the top. Of most concern is the vulnerability of the various applications and programs — many of them commercially popular products most of us use. Next is the malware Internet users get tricked into downloading, followed by mobile devices and internal users, meaning company employees.


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[1] Image: http://www.ere.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/IT-security-workforce-study.png

[2] Global Information Security Workforce Study: https://www.isc2cares.org/uploadedFiles/wwwisc2caresorg/Content/2013-ISC2-Global-Information-Security-Workforce-Study.pdf

[3] Image: http://www.ere.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/IT-Security-success-factors.jpg

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