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Internet of Things growth accelerates info-security worker shortage to 1m

Internet of Things growth will cause a global shortage of some one million information security workers over the next five years as companies struggle to get to grips with the current area of boom in the technology industry.

Related: Cameron throws £45m at Internet of Things research, pledges UK support for 5G

Managers at Cisco told eWeek that the expansion of the IoT will make the web infrastructure a more complex and challenging place and mean a greater demand placed on the current crop of information security professionals.

Sujata Ramamoorthy, director for global information security for Cisco's Threat Response, Intelligence, and Development [TRIAD] group, identified a number of different trends that are contributing to the shortages. This includes “the increasing complexity of information infrastructure”, “lack of visibility into cloud services”, and “the rapidly expanding number of devices connected to the IoT”.

"These trends are what are fuelling the need for additional security skills in the industry, and because the networks themselves are getting more complex, the applications communicating over them are getting more complex," she said. "Business overall, as we know it, is evolving."

Cisco’s projected number is the highest of any prediction so far with most hovering around the 300,000 mark and the firm added that the effect being felt by online crime and cyber espionage is meaning that demand is increasing for defenders with a more advanced skill set. That doesn’t just go for those on the frontline either, with Cisco of the belief that the entire ecosystem must remain switched on to new threats.

"We need to advance the skills set of the entire community, not just network engineers or security people, but users of the critical infrastructure that nations use," she said. "In the end, we want for everyone to improve their security knowledge, and apply it in their jobs.”

Related: How to make the most of the Internet of Things

Just days ago a survey from Spiceworks found that 86 per cent of IT professionals expressed considerable security and privacy concerns about the IoT, which is expected to hit 26 billion units worldwide by 2020.