[ISN] Boom times ahead for IT security profession
isn at c4i.org
Wed Nov 10 05:18:49 EST 2004
By John Leyden
9th November 2004
Boom times are ahead for security pros. The information security
workforce will expand by an estimated 13.7 per cent annually to reach
2.1m workers by 2008. Approximately 680,000 of this expanded workforce
will work in Europe.
The (ISC)2 2004 Global Information Security Workforce Study found the
wider use of internet technologies, a dynamic threat environment and
increasingly stringent government regulations are driving the growth
of the profession. The 1.3m information security professionals
currently employed will see their ranks swell by more than 60 per cent
within five years, according to IDC, which conducted the study on
behalf of security certification body (ISC)2.
Show me the money
IDC analysed responses from 5,371 full-time information security
professionals in 80 countries worldwide, with nearly half employed by
organisations with $1bn or more in annual revenue. The web-based study
is described as the first major study of the global information
security profession ever undertaken.
On average survey respondents had 13 years work experience in IT and
seven years specialised security experience. This wealth of skill is
often well rewarded. Around 10 per cent of the survey participants in
both the US earned more than $125,000 per annum; 22 per cent of US
residents who took part in the survey earned between $100,000-$120,000
a year (Europe 16 per cent). At the other end of the scale, five per
cent of security pros in the states and nine per cent in Europe earn
less than $50,000. In Asia, 60 per cent of security professionals earn
less than $50,000.
Managers hiring security professionals (93 per cent) said
certification was important in choosing potential recruits; but
commercial awareness is also becoming increasingly important.
"The study shows a shift in the information security profession,
indicating that business acumen is now often required along with
technology proficiency," said Allan Carey, the IDC analyst who led the
study. "This widening responsibility means information security
professionals not only have to receive a constant refresh of the best
security knowledge but also must acquire a solid understanding of
business processes and risk management to be successful in their
"With competing demands on industry and government to expand access to
services and information, the highly trained and experienced
information security professional must now be an active participant to
fulfil stringent regulatory requirements and provide proactive
solutions to circumvent emerging risks," he added.
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