UK facing IT security talent shortage, expert warns

Friday 3 May 2013

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The UK is facing a severe shortage of professionals with the required IT security skills, it has been claimed.

Eugene Kaspersky, founder of spyware firm Kaspersky Lab, has called for additional training for young people, in a bid to increase the number entering the industry.

He said there are not enough skilled professionals to go around - and this is likely to have an inflationary impact on salaries.

"These experts are going to become the new footballers," Mr Kaspersky predicted, as reported by the Guardian.

"Governments have to recognise this as a big problem."

Speaking to the news provider, Stephanie Daman, head of Cyber Security Challenge UK, said the IT security industry needs "kids with raw talent in things like problem solving".

"One of the most important messages we need to get across is that cyber-security is a proper career, and it is not just for geeks," she stated.

Ms Daman said it is important to get away from that image, and encourage a much broader range of people to get involved.

With the UK suffering from an apparent shortage of IT security professionals, the importance of vendor-led product support continues to increase.

On the plus side, IT analyst IDC recently reported a 7.2 per cent rise in global spending on security appliances for the final three months of 2012.

With PC users facing a number of external threats when using the internet, news of increased spending on protective security solutions must be seen as a positive for the industry.

IDC said shipments increased 5.2 per cent to 538,428 units as more companies and home PC users invested in security appliances.

Asia/Pacific continued to see the highest growth at 18 per cent year-over-year, with a 19.3 per cent rise in Q4 2012. Western Europe growth also picked up in the final quarter of 2012, with factory revenue rising 3.9 per cent on year-on-year basis.

"Typical fourth quarter seasonality seemed to help the market a bit, with overall growth picking up thanks to end-of-year initiatives on the vendor side and budget flush on the buyer side," said John Grady, research manager for security products at IDC.

"Organisations continue to prioritise security within their overall IT budget. With advanced, targeted threats a growing concern, IDC expects continued high single-digit growth in the security appliance segment."

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Posted by Alex Boardman