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In the wake of increased high-profile cybersecurity breaches, new research shows businesses are beefing up on their IT security specialists.
The 2012 Career Impact study by (ISC)2, a nonprofit organization representing security specialists worldwide, found that 72 percent of businesses hired new employees last year specifically for their information security skills.
Sixty-two percent of businesses reported they are looking to hire additional information security employees in 2012.
“This data reflects the increase in security breaches we saw throughout 2011 and the fact that organizations, both in the public and private sector, are finally realizing the importance of implementing sound security programs that should be run by experienced and qualified professionals,” said W. Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)². “Even in tough economic times, information security professionals are in high demand by hiring managers and organizations who understand that their skill sets are not only paramount to their organization’s ability to conduct business, but also give them a competitive advantage.”
As demand for IT security specialists increases, the research shows many organizations are doing more to reward the qualified employees they already have on staff. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed received a salary increase in 2011, with 55 percent expecting another raise in 2012.
“While it’s a very positive sign that this field continues to grow and is somewhat ‘recession-proof,’ one of the biggest challenges that remains is finding enough of the right people with the appropriate security skills to fill the huge void that exists right now,” Tipton said. “We must continue to build this workforce at an aggressive pace.”
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The study shows the top skills hiring managers are looking for include operations security, security management practices, access control systems/methodology, security architecture/models, risk management, telecom/network security, applications/system development security and cloud/virtualization.
The research was based on surveys of more than 2,200 security specialists from around the world.
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.
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