Vulnerabilities / Threats
2/14/2012
01:25 PM
50%
50%

Help Wanted: Businesses Seek Information Security Professionals

Enterprises worldwide need more 'infosec' professionals and are willing to pay high salaries for experienced talent, says new survey.

10 Companies Driving Mobile Security
10 Companies Driving Mobile Security
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
It’s good times for information security professionals: In 2011, only 7% experienced unemployment, and 70% saw an increase in salary. In 2012, more than half expect to see their salary increase.

Those findings come from a new survey of 2,250 information security professionals in 87 countries, conducted by information security professional body (ISC)2. Interestingly, 96% of the respondents were employed at the time they took the survey.

In other words, despite the lagging economy, demand continues to be strong for information security professionals. "In spite of all the things that are going on that one would normally expect to have negative effects on job employment across the board, it really doesn't seem to be manifesting for security people," said Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)2, via phone. In 2011, notably, 72% of organizations said that they hired information security personnel, and 62% said they plan to hire more permanent or contract employees for that purpose this year.

According to Tipton, demand for information security professionals appears to be strong worldwide. "Looking across all sectors and all types--and this is not just a U.S. survey--there is consistency across the board in the findings. No one country stands out, so it's essentially a global situation," he said.

[ What's in store for mobile security? See Mobile Security's Future: 4 Expert Predictions. ]

One explanation for the apparent job security is the fact that the frequency and complexity of attacks against businesses and government agencies appears to be increasing. Notably, 56% of survey respondents said they'd seen their organization's security risks increase in 2011, for which one-third blamed on the profusion of mobile devices in the enterprise. As a result, 30% of surveyed organizations said they'll increase their security budgets in 2012.

When it comes to the discipline of information security, what's hot? For respondents who said they'll be hiring, the top skills they're seeking are a solid grasp of information security concepts (for 80%), technical skills (76%), and relevant experience (72%). Other top skills include operations security (55%), security management practices (52%), access control systems/methodology (51%), security architecture/models (50%), risk management (49%), telecom/network security (45%), applications/system development security (44%), and cloud/virtualization (35%).

At least half of hiring organizations appear to be seeking security generalists. "One of the things we see, particularly with the tightening economy, is that while it would be nice [for organizations] to have deep technical specialists in all facets of operations, that's just not realistic. Budgets do not allow that, and when you see the listing of skills they're looking for ... they're really looking for multi-focused people," said Tipton.

Regardless, information security appears to be a seller's market. Notably, while one-third of respondents said they'd changed jobs, half of them said they made the move because it offered better opportunities for advancement. On the flip side, half of organizations report that it's been "somewhat difficult" to find good-fit candidates for open security positions, while one-third said it's been "very difficult." Furthermore, hiring appears to often be a drawn-out process. One-third of organizations reported that it had taken between three and six months to fill an open security position, while 13% said it required more than six months.

There are no silver bullets when it comes to protecting company and customer data from loss or theft, but there are technological and procedural systems that will go a long way toward preventing a WikiLeaks-like data dump. Download our How To Prevent An Online Data Dump report. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
noor.topan
50%
50%
noor.topan,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/16/2012 | 5:59:38 AM
re: Help Wanted: Businesses Seek Information Security Professionals
Hi Bprince,

InfoSec Certifications are always in demand and will stay there because in any corporation, Information security is very important. Data is asset to any corporation and if there is loss or hack of data, it is loss of revenue and value to the corporation. You would had heard about sony and citibank hack recently and hence we can alwasy say that infosec professional demand will not go down in far future.

Nuruddin
http://techno-lounge.com
Drew Morrigan
50%
50%
Drew Morrigan,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/16/2012 | 5:52:56 AM
re: Help Wanted: Businesses Seek Information Security Professionals
Very important, I hope! (I just passed my SSCP test and am awaiting cert approval from ISC2)

But objectively, I think if you want to be taken more seriously than an amateur or someone who is 'helping,' you need some letters after your name. You can't wholly demonstrate IS competancy through straight-up experience unless you have a boatload of it, at which point a cert would be redundant.
Bprince
50%
50%
Bprince,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2012 | 12:12:41 AM
re: Help Wanted: Businesses Seek Information Security Professionals
@readers: How important are security certifications these days?
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: You should see what I wear on my work from home days!
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.