Skills gap increases likelihood of cyber attacks

UK businesses are facing risks to their IT security due to a lack of requisite skills, as the majority (77%) of UK CIOs believe they will face more security threats in the next five years due to a shortage of IT security talent.

According to a report from Robert Half Technology, UK CIOs believe the top three IT security risks facing organisations in the next five years are data abuse/data integrity (60%), cybercrime (54%) and spying/spyware/ransomware (39%).

In response to increased threats, more than a third (34%) of UK CIOs are planning to increase headcount.

The positions that are most in demand are IT Security Analyst (junior level), Information Security Officer (mid-level) and Security Operations Officer (mid-level). The appeal of having experts on hand when needed is expected to grow, with 27% of UK CIOs saying they will increase the number of contract IT security professionals in the next 12 months.

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology commented: “There is no doubt that highly specialised skills are vital. But the ability to clearly articulate cybersecurity issues in a language that senior management and non-IT employees understand will not only increase security awareness but also enhance the reputation of the IT department as business partners who add value across the business.

“The prominence of cyber breaches has lifted the demand for cybersecurity experts as cyber risk becomes a company-wide point of discussion.”