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2010 Sees Hiring Increases for IT Security Professionals

ISC Squared : 05 March, 2010  (Technical Article)
Employees with professional skills in IT security have seen salary increases during the last 12 months and expect to see more jobs coming available during 2010 according to career impact survey performed by ISC Squared
Defying expectations amid a global recession, the (ISC)2 2010 Career Impact Survey, conducted in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with the support of Infosecurity Europe found that more than half of information security professionals surveyed received salary increases in 2009, while less than five percent of participants lost their jobs. (ISC)2 ("ISC-squared"), the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information security professionals worldwide with over 71,000 credentials issued to 66,000 members in more than 135 countries, today announced the results of its second survey tracking the impact of the economic climate on salaries, hiring outlook, budgets, threats and more. Nearly 3,000 security professionals, about 600 residing in the EMEA region and 150 from the United Kingdom, participated.

Globally, more than half of the professionals surveyed, 52.8 percent (47.9 percent in EMEA), received salary increases in 2009. Less than 11 percent (9.8 percent in EMEA) of respondents saw their salaries and/or benefits cut, while 4.8 percent (4.1 percent in EMEA) were laid off by their employers.

Of the 800-plus respondents who identified themselves as having hiring responsibilities, more than half, 53.3 percent (55.2 percent in EMEA), said they were looking to hire permanent and/or contract employees in 2010. Of those hiring, 40 percent (28.2 percent in EMEA) said they will be hiring three or more information security professionals this year. In the EMEA region, this represents a significant improvement over the previous year's survey, when 43 percent of hiring managers said they expected to be hiring in the second half of 2009, and just 11 percent would be hiring three or more new or contractor employees.

Over 90 percent of hiring managers globally and in EMEA said their biggest hiring challenges were finding candidates with the right skills and the right amount of experience. The hiring managers surveyed in EMEA said that they were looking for candidates with specific skills in these top five categories: operations security; information risk management; security management practices; telecommunications and network security, and ISO/IEC 17799 (Code of Practice for Information Security Management).

"Harsh economic times force many organisations to examine new, more cost-effective ways of accomplishing their goals. This is helping to enrich the career choices in information security, with more and more new business processes becoming dependent on a stable and secure online world," says John Colley, CISSP, managing director EMEA, (ISC)2, who will be participating on a keynote panel discussion on professionalism and speaking on "Current Choices: The Skills Needed for Today's Infosecurity Market" on the first day of Infosecurity Europe 2010, April 27-29.

Other findings from the 2010 Career Impact Survey include:

· About half of the respondents (51.1 percent globally; 48 percent in EMEA) saw their information security budgets decrease somewhat or significantly in 2009; 47.5 percent expect no change in their budgets for 2010. This compares to over two-thirds (72 percent) of respondents who reported in the 2009 survey that their budgets had been reduced last year.

· Approximately 54 percent (50.8 percent in EMEA) of respondents expect no personnel reductions or layoffs in 2010, while 20 percent (21.6 percent in EMEA) expect additional layoffs, compared to 40 percent of respondents from the previous survey in 2009.

· In EMEA, 31.8 percent of respondents believe the economic downturn is causing an increased security risk within their organization, 53.5 percent of whom identified employee misconduct as the most common security risk attributed to the economic downturn, compared to 37.7 percent globally. Outside attacks from hackers was identified as the second most common risk by 31.3 percent globally and 18.4 percent in EMEA.

· The numbers receiving salary increases and expected new hires in 2010 were more prevalent with respondents outside the United Kingdom, where 41.7 percent received a salary increase in 2009; six percent experienced a layoff and 10.7 percent took a salary cut. 41.9 percent of hiring managers in the UK plan to hire permanent or contract employees.

"These findings are in line with our own research which tells us that 92% of organisations expect security breaches to increase in 2010. This concern coupled with the reliance of so many organisations on IT and online services are factors that are driving renewed investment in information security technology and services.' Says Claire Sellick, Event Director Infosecurity Europe, 'For this reason, Infosecurity Europe has grown year on year, where last year we had over 12 thousand visitors. We now have over 300 of the top infosecurity providers exhibiting from across the globe, and host Europe's largest free educational programme addressing both strategic and technical issues.'

The 2010 Career Impact Survey was conducted from December 2009 to January 2010 with 2,980 respondents from 80 countries to gain insights into how the economic downturn affected the profession in 2009 and gauge the 2010 outlook. The most common sectors represented were government, at 30 percent (14.8 percent in EMEA); information technology, with 28.5 percent (34.4 percent in EMEA) ; professional services, with 18.2 percent (23 percent in EMEA); banking at 11.3 percent (17.9 percent in EMEA) and telecommunications at 9.9 percent (16.5 percent in EMEA). The majority of respondents' organizations had over 1,000 employees. Ninety-five percent of respondents hold (ISC)2's Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) credential.

(ISC)2 conducts research regularly to gain insight on the state of the information security workforce and offers support for its certified members seeking employment and career enhancement, including free resume posting and job alerts on its Career Tools site. Employers can post jobs and search resumes for free as well, giving them a direct line to an audience of qualified information security professionals.
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