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UK's Security Skills Shortage Second Worst Globally

The UK has a cybersecurity skills gap second only to Israel, putting the country’s critical infrastructure and businesses potentially at risk, according to Indeed.

The recruitment site analyzed the number of roles advertised versus the number of searches for those roles in Q3 2016 and found a huge difference in the extent of skills shortages around the world.

Israel (28.4%) had the biggest gap, with the number of cybersecurity job searches just 28.4% of the total number of jobs advertised. IT was followed by the UK (31.6%), Brazil (33%) and Germany (35%), but at the other end Canada (68.1%) and the US (66.7%) had the least to worry about in terms of skills shortages.

The number of cybersecurity vacancies in the UK jumped by nearly a third (31.9%) between 2014 and 2016 but the number of new candidates looking for roles in the industry has failed to keep pace.

That means the skills shortage problem has grown 5% in the period. By comparison, Ireland reduced its cybersecurity skills shortages by 14%, said Indeed.

At either ends of the spectrum are network security and ethical hacking. The former was the UK’s most in-demand skill and accounted for 223% more job postings than mobile security, while the latter actually had more job seekers than available roles.

Indeed EMEA economist, Mariano Mamertino, claimed UK firms are desperately trying to recruit enough skilled professionals to protect key data.

“Sadly the supply of skilled workers isn’t keeping up with employer demand, and Britain’s cybersecurity skills gap – already the second worst in the world – is getting worse,” she added.

“The problem is fast approaching crisis point and British businesses will inevitably be put at risk if they can’t find the expertise they need to mitigate the threat. This should serve as a wake-up call to Britain’s tech sector – it must pull together to upskill and attract more people into cybersecurity roles.”

In July last year, Intel Security polled 700 IT executives in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Israel and found 82% admitting cybersecurity skills shortages. What’s more, nearly three-quarters (71%) said these shortages had directly damaged the organization.

Last year’s A-Level results showed an encouraging 16% increase in those taking computing. However, it seems as if too few go on to study the subject at university, and fewer still specialize in cybersecurity.

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