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This is potentially a very rewarding area of IT, and one where there is a shortage of skilled workers, but it can be a difficult specialist area to break into.

Failure to protect the personal and private data of individuals and the commercially sensitive data of businesses has grabbed headlines, across the world. The threats of reputational damage and fines from data privacy watchdogs mean that data holders and processors must maintain adequate safeguards.

 Click here to request your copy of our IT Salary and Benefits Guide for 2013.

Wider trends in the use of IT across the private and the public sectors are reflected in the areas where demand for security professionals is at its strongest – and growing.

More hacking means more demand for penetration testers; the spread of e-commerce means increased demand for accredited Certified Information Security Systems Professionals (CISSP) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) experts; the spread of commercial and public sector use of cloud services, mobile devices, and cellular networks is driving up demand for information security architects with up to date skills.

Central government organisations are obliged by security mandate to protect their networks and this coupled with increased use of the G-Cloud framework, will increase demand for accredited security specialists who understand government procedures and best practice and for CISSP and CESG and CLAS qualified professionals.

The world of information security is a great place to be a skilled IT professional – with the right accreditation, qualifications and, most importantly, the right experience. Salaries have risen significantly over recent years to reflect the increased use of data and the need to keep it safe. Today, organisations must protect their own sensitive data and that of others in their often long and multi-faceted operational and financial supply chains. Employers are looking for security candidates who can bring appropriate technical and sector specific experience with them to a role – be it contract or permanent.

Salaries are increasing and this seems likely to continue into the next year and beyond. There is strong demand for security experts across contract and permanent roles. There are, however, more permanent roles available, as many organisations want to build up their internal information security teams and avoid paying high daily rates. Interims are particularly valuable commodities and charge accordingly. During the year ahead demand is expected to continue to outstrip supply at all levels for both permanent and contract roles.
But this candidate driven market can be hard to break into.

Aspiring security specialists might benefit from funding their own training or accreditation. Employers might benefit from taking on candidates with a basic understanding of security concepts and then developing this. As employers realise the value of their existing security staff they fight to keep them, which is leaving some senior information security roles open for some time. If current trends continue employers will need to pay excessively high salaries to both attract and retain the best talent, whilst those looking to enter the industry will continue to struggle.

 Click here to request your copy of our IT Salary and Benefits Guide for 2013.

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