Over two thirds of IT professionals believe that hiring ex-hackers to fill cyber security roles could be the answer to filling the vacuum of available talent.
40 per cent of those surveyed said there was a lack of skilled candidates available to fill roles, and protect companies from growing threats.
Meanwhile, more than half said they believed their company did not take cyber security serious enough, the research by recruitment firm CWJobs found.
Out of the 352 IT professionals questioned, 70 per cent said that demand for security experts was on the increase whilst the vast majority - 95 per cent - said they believe large businesses are in the most need.
"These findings present an interesting tactic for those keen to find new ways to meet the demand for security professionals within their organisations – though perhaps one that should be treated with some caution," said Richard Nott, website director at CWJobs.co.uk.
"What is clear though, is that cyber threats are growing and evolving on an almost daily basis, so having skilled candidates who understand and can navigate this environment to protect the business is now crucial."
Two thirds of those surveyed also said that as a result of the huge demand for security specialists, they would consider retraining in order to take on a cyber security role.
The survey was released shortly before the UK government announced the formation of a reservist cyber defence force for which it is looking for civilian recruits with the necessary skills.
Famous hackers turn security experts include the current Chief Technology Officer at BeyondTrust Marc Maiffret and world renowned security consultant Kevin Mitnick.
Image credit: Flickr (Defence Images)