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August 25, 2015

Cloud & mobile fuel CIO demand for IT security skills

Businesses are set for a hiring spree of security pros.

By Alexander Sword

IT security professionals are set to be in high demand throughout the remainder of 2015.

47 percent of UK CIOs predict that they will appoint additional IT security personnel this year, according to a survey by Robert Half Technology.

In addition, 45 percent said that they will enhance cloud security in 2015, while 29 percent plan to enhance or implement mobile device security.

The research also revealed that on-site security is a major concern, with 78 percent of CIOs concerned by potential security threats due to running an open plan office. However, the fear of their own employees or third parties overhearing and viewing sensitive information was cited by 49 percent and 37 percent respectively.

However, only 25 percent plan to enhance IT security training, while only 7 percent plan to more stringently vet firms that have access to their data.

Measures taken to protect information included anti-virus software, password generator and management systems and network security systems such as firewalls, deployed by 72 percent, 48 percent and 44 percent respectively. 38 percent opted for multi-factor authentication services and 31 percent for hard drive encryption.

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology, said: "The demand for skilled IT security professionals is on the rise as businesses of all sizes are recognising the importance of IT security and are conscious they need to strive to continuously meet best practice standards or risk being vulnerable to an IT security threat.

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"Increased investment in cloud and mobile security by organisations is following hard on the heels of greater take-up of those technology platforms, so IT security professionals with these specialist skills and experience will be most in demand.

"However, it will also be important to have broad experience of overall security measures and how to protect corporate, customer and personal data, taking account of internal threats as well external risks.

"IT security professionals with the right combination of skills and experience will be in high demand for the foreseeable future, which means it will be important for businesses to provide attractive remuneration packages along with an innovative, technically challenging environment in order to attract the best candidates."

The study included responses from more than 100 online interviews with senior IT executives from companies across the UK in December 2014.

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