UK cyberskills lagging behind Europe

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UK IT leaders have become increasingly concerned that they do no have adequate levels of expertise in cloud-based security and data protection with new research revealing that over half (51%) believe they will need to grow these skills over the next five years. 

According to Rackspace's 'The Cost of Cloud Expertise' report, the UK has fallen behind other western nations when it comes to upskilling IT professionals in skills such as security.  British IT leaders noted that on average they allocate just 10 per cent of their annual budge for training new hires which is less than their counterparts in Benelux (15%), Germany (14%) and the US (14%). 

The report also shed light on the fact that only a quarter (26%) of UK IT professionals say they have been adequately trained in cloud security.  These findings raise concerns that the UK could soon face a skills shortage that would leave the country exposed to cyberattacks and large fines once GDPR comes into effect. 

As 88 per cent of UK businesses now use the cloud in some form, the shortage of adequately trained cyber-security professionals is quite troubling.  Rackspace's research also suggests that just 32 per cent of British IT professionals want or expect to be supported with additional training to upskill their cloud security knowledge.

Lee James, EMEA CTO at Rackspace offered further insight on the findings of the company's report, saying: 

“Cyber-attacks or data breaches have become everyday news in the UK and businesses are under pressure to improve their own defences and build stronger security teams as a result. Yet, the reality is that years of neglect in recruiting cyber security professionals and developing their skills has created a hole for organisations to fill. These statistics show that companies are likely to face consequences from both cyber gangs and regulators, who will punish those not taking the right steps.”

“With attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, and regulations raising the stakes when it comes to consequences of data breaches, businesses cannot afford to be complacent about gaps in their security expertise. We now live in an age where cyber-attacks are an inevitability, rather than a risk, and organisations need to both upskill their workforce and work with trusted partners with the right security knowhow – or risk financial and reputational damage once GDPR comes into effect.” 

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