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Hiring for IT Security Positions – What should be on your Radar?

02-01 EditedThere will be more than 1,000,000 unfilled cybersecurity job openings across the globe in 2016, according to a recent report from Cisco.

Is your business armed with the right talent to protect against the growing threat of cyber attacks?

Unfortunately, chances are: no. The headline grabbing, jaw dropping hacks of the past several years, such as those on Target, Sony and JPMorgan Chase, illustrate that the incredibly complex task of securing your business and its customers is daunting no matter what your size. Government entities aren’t immune either, as more than 21.5 million people had their information stolen from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management this past July.

When you combine increasing threats like these to a widening skills gap—it’s forecasted by Symantec that by 2019, there will be an even greater projected shortfall of 1.5 million workers in the cybersecurity industry—cybersecurity hiring should be at the top of your to-do list this year.

Knowing exactly what type of talent you need, and the right tech skill sets required to meet evolving cybersecurity threats is a challenge, though. With 2016 underway and cybersecurity emerging as a top hiring priority for many companies big and small, here are a few things to keep on your radar:

  1. Understand the certifications
    Most technology businesses are familiar with constant change as the sheer nature of their work means keeping up with the latest breakthroughs. It’s no different in the cybersecurity area. As cyber attacks become more sophisticated and threats require 24/7 vigilance from those with a special skill set, companies must stay on top of the latest certifications.

A report from Burning Glass states that certifications are more frequently required in IT security than in more general IT roles. What exactly are the certifications you should be familiar with? They can vary, depending on the source, but the most important and frequently cited we see include:

  • CISSP- ISC2 Certified information Systems Security Professional
  • CEH- ECCouncil
  • CompTIA Security+
  • GSE – GIAC Security Expert

This recent report from CIO.com covers the top 8 most in-demand IT security certifications.

  1. Be prepared to invest to get the best
    Cybersecurity is a tight labor market, where positions outnumber the skilled workers available, so the going rate for the best in the business is high. In fact, it well surpasses the national average far into the six figures. According to a Dice.com survey that ranked salaries of security-related jobs, a lead software security engineer earns an average of $233,333, followed closely by chief information security officer, director of information security and IT security consultant. All of these titles top out above $200,000 per year.
  1. Consider talent with transferable skills
    While you may not be able to find the perfect match for your cybersecurity job openings, cross training is a solution. Many internal IT staff have the appropriate backgrounds and building blocks in place to become fluent in cybersecurity. It may leave you having to fill broader IT-related positions that are vacated from those who transfer their skills, but this may be an easier task than finding external candidates who perfectly match requirements.

Cybersecurity is booming and demand continues to grow—employment is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Don’t get left behind and leave your business vulnerable to an attack—keep the latest trends in cybersecurity hiring on your radar and protect your organization.

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