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Cyber attack fears fuel €1m CISO salaries

Is the high-demand for cyber security skills pricing smaller companies out of the market?

By James Nunns

The growing threat of data breaches has resulted in the salaries of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) topping €1m (£850,000) at some of the top European firms.

That’s according to City AM, which cites research from DHR International.

The research found that CISOs at the largest European firms can now expect €1m pay packets, while even those working in small and medium European companies can expect to be paid a minimum of  €200,000 (£171,000).

Gordon Morrison, Director of Government Relations, McAfee said: “It is unsurprising that a growing number of companies are now looking to invest in cyber expertise. Last month, the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 indicated that three-quarters of UK businesses state that cybersecurity is a high priority for their senior management.

“However, as the price for cyber skills increases, many companies will be priced out of the top talent. For many public sector organisations, for instance, the choice to pay up to 1 million euros to their CISO may directly impact the services that they can offer in their locality. 

“For those organisations that don’t necessarily have the resources to employ such top talent, more effective uses of technology and automation will be key to ensure that they can effectively protect their organisation. Only by automating repetitive security practices will existing IT and security professionals be able to apply themselves to developing a comprehensive security strategy for their organisation.”

Although the top companies are paying large sums of money for top CISOs to help guide their cyber security strategies, there has been damning research that even having a cyber security strategy is far from the norm.

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An IoD report, Cyber security: Ensuring business is ready for the 21st century supported by Barclays, found that 57% of businesses have implemented a formal cyber security strategy, leaving 43% with none in place.

Given the threat and damage caused by attacks such as WannaCry this is a startlingly high figure.

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