The lack of skilled cyber security workers on top of a meteoric rise in cyber incidents in the UK has sent wages soaring for those in the field.
Average wages of cyber security workers, analysts, and engineers in the UK have risen by up to 10.5% over the past year, recruitment group confirms.
With GDPR approaching, businesses in the UK are rushing to ensure compliance with the upcoming legislation which promises to raise the costs of non-compliance by a significant margin.
As such, the average spending on cyber security has increased across the board, with companies rushing to hire experienced CISOs, implementing perimeter security and two-factor authentication, and encrypting corporate and customer data as quickly as possible. However, cyber security workers, analysts, and engineers have emerged as the real beneficiaries of the revolution.
Earlier this year, the Experis Tech Cities Job Watch for Q1 2017 revealed that following a 5% increase in 2016 and another 1% increase in Q1 2017, average annual salaries of IT security experts touched £58,725 this year.
If statistics published by recruitment group Hays is to be believed, 2017 is turning out to be an even better year for cyber security workers compared to previous years, with average wages of cyber security workers, analysts and engineers in the UK rising by up to 10.5% over the past year.
According to Hays, average salaries of cyber security engineers rose by 8.4% and those of cyber security analysts rose by 10.5%, thereby signalling the largest jump ever in the cyber security industry. Non-security IT staff also enjoyed the fruits of the boom, with their average salaries rising by 2.3% over the past year.
A major contributor to the rise in average wages is the fact that there is a huge dearth of skilled cyber security talent in the country. This factor, clubbed with the rising cyber threat landscape, has made existing cyber security workers invaluable resources for their employers.
The recruiting firm added that firms are facing difficulties in finding and hiring cyber security workers with the set of talents that they sorely need. One in three firms told the agency that the shortage of workers has curbed their growth, and 27% of them said that they are unable to implement their development plans due to the said shortage.
Back in October, a survey of 315 IT security professionals conducted by Tripwire revealed that aside from raw cyber security skills, firms are also looking for employees with other 'soft' skills like analytical thinking, good communication, and troubleshooting.
While every single IT professional admitted that soft skills are a must for cyber security workers, 65% of them said analytical thinking has to be the most important trait, 60% prefer good communicators and 59% want to hire cyber security workers who are also good troubleshooters.
At the same time, 72% of respondents said that the need for soft skills among cyber security workers has increased in the past two years and one in every five actually said that soft skills are considered more important than technical skills while hiring new staff!
With almost every modern business running operations digitally and also embracing cloud solutions, it is clear that the cyber security industry will continue to boom in the coming years unless new technologies start replacing manpower as effective cyber security weapons. However, it remains to be seen if the rising wages of cyber security workers will attract more youngsters to the field in the coming years.