Businesses around the world are today reporting a new round of cyber attacks, as the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) have announced that IT Security vacancies increased by 6.2% during the year ending 30 April 2017. The recent attacks are only likely to see this trend increase.
There was strong demand for IT Security staff from the Accountancy (40%), Retail and Education sectors, all of whom hold huge amounts of sensitive data. While the largest industry increase in terms of vacancies came from Professional Services, driven by the demand for Accountancy jobs.
Across the country, the Greater London region dominated the IT Security sector, with vacancies up 12% up year-on-year, thereby accounting for just over of UK vacancies (51%). Elsewhere, the figures found that Yorkshire and Humber had the fastest growth in vacancies in percentage terms, with a 41% increase in demand, despite accounting for only 5% of the UK’s vacancies in this sector.
Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, commented on the report saying:
“As the recent WannaCry attacks on the NHS have demonstrated, the importance and profile of IT Security roles has never been greater. Our figures show that IT Security is taking on a life of its own, challenged only by the financial services sector, as it continues to expand.
“This growing trend is backed by Kroll’s 2017 Annual Global Fraud and Risk Report where 92% of UK executives said their firm had suffered a cyber security attack in the last 12 months, which is a huge number of attacks for firms to be subjected to. It’s clear that firms, in whatever business they are in, are taking this growing threat seriously and looking at increasing their staffing levels, to cope with the higher threat levels.”
Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director of HR Software specialists Activ People HR, however, added a word of caution:
“Often when there’s a security risk, the HR team hire more IT professionals – but it’s important for businesses to remember that IT security is the responsibility of every employee, not just the IT department. HR have a huge role to play in reinforcing messages from the IT team, which are often dismissed as ‘tech stuff’.
“Your systems are only as secure as the weakest link in the chain – the weak link is unlikely to be an IT expert. They would be horrified to find desktops unlocked and showing critical data while users have gone for lunch, especially if there is no physical security to stop anyone walking into the building – yet it happens in businesses everyday. Password sharing between home and work is another common problem. It’s therefore important to make sure that the companies providing critical systems are certified to ISO27001 standard, and that staff are trained in basic security practices.
“Staff should also be trained to follow to the letter any guidance given by your IT security team – you pay them for their expertise, so staff should be following their advice.”