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UK heading for major cybersecurity job drought

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/jijomathaidesigners)

The UK is struggling with an increasingly acute cybersecurity talent gap, claims a new report from recruitment firm Robert Walters and data provider Vacancysoft.

According to the report, only a fraction of IT experts are able to offer the most in-demand skills today, which relate to cybersecurity.

The report states that half of UK businesses do not have adequate cybersecurity provision to allow for complete remote working. For this reason, more than half (58 percent) of hiring managers are hunting for cybersecurity experts - but just 10 percent of tech pros in the UK fit the criteria.

Looking at Europe as a whole, the problem grows even larger, with 70 percent of companies claiming not to have a sufficient cybersecurity team. In total, Europe lacks some 140,000 cybersecurity workers.

In the UK, some 43,000 people work as fulltime cybersecurity professionals, which represents a 37 percent increase over 2018. This year, cybersecurity job volumes rose six percent, despite the Covid lockdown.

“The move to remote working, cloud-based file sharing, rise in video calls, and cashless transactions has highlighted to all businesses the importance of adequate IT security to allow for business continuity and protection from online breaches,” said Darius Goodarzi, Principal - Information Security and IT Risk at Robert Walters.

“In fact, there are over 65,000 attempted cyberattacks on UK SMEs every day – with around 4,500 being successful at a cost of £2.48m per instance. Given the cost – both financially and reputationally to businesses – it is surprising to hear that cybersecurity only accounts for 5.6 percent if total IT spend in a company.”