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Many Companies Short on Security Skills

Enterprises increase demand for security expertise, but find their staffs in short supply

There is a wide gap between the IT security skills that organizations want and the corresponding skills that workers bring to the job, according to a survey published today by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Security is at the top of the list of the technology skills that are most important to organizations today, according to the survey of more than 3,500 technology professionals in North America, Europe, and Asia. But there is a significant gap between what they want and what they can get, the survey indicates.

Among organizations surveyed in nine countries with established IT industries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, U.K., and U.S.), 73 percent identified security, firewalls, and data privacy as the IT skills most important to their organizations. But just 57 percent said their IT employees are proficient in these security skills, a gap of 16 percentage points.

The gap is even wider in five countries where the IT industry is still emerging (China, India, Poland, Russia, and South Africa). Among respondents in these countries, 76 percent identified security as the top skill their organization needs; but just 57 percent said their current tech staff is proficient in security. That's a difference of 19 percentage points, CompTIA noted.

The telephone and online study was conducted by the Center for Strategy Research Inc., a Boston-based market research firm, during the fourth quarter of 2007.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

  • The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)
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