Global firms facing shortage of security pros, says report

Asia Cloud Forum editors
06 Mar 2013

Latest(ISC)2 study results revealed a global shortage of information security professionals, with 56% felt their security organizations being short-staffed.

Cloud security, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), and social networking were also found to be the major concerns that companies have in terms of newer security threats on the horizon, in addition to the existing threats from malware and mobile devices.

(ISC)2, a global not-for-profit information security professional body and administrators of theCISSP, today released the results of its sixthGlobal Information Security Workforce Study(GISWS) in partnership withBooz Allen Hamilton, conducted byFrost & Sullivan.

Conducted on 12,000 plus information security professionals worldwide, the (ISC)2 study revealed a global shortage of information security professionals, and is creating a profound impact on the economy. This is caused by a combination of business conditions, executives not fully understanding the need for security, and an inability to locate enough qualified information security professionals.

Hactivism (43%), cyber-terrorism (44%), and hacking (56%) were identified as the top concerns among the survey respondents, yet more than half -- 56% -- feel their security organizations are short-staffed. Many organizations (15%) are not able to put a timeframe on their ability to recover from an attack, even though service downtime is one of the highest priorities for nearly three-quarters of respondents. The data concludes that the major shortage of skilled cyber security professionals is negatively impacting organizations and their customers, leading to more frequent and costly data breaches.

New security threats: Cloud, BYOD, social networking

The GISWS finds that there is also a major shortage of software development professionals trained in security and that application security vulnerabilities still rank highest among security concerns -- a trend identified in the 2011 GISWS.

Threats from malware and mobile devices are also at the top of the list, and cloud security, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), and social networking are all reported as major concerns in terms of newer security threats on the horizon.

"Now, more than ever before, we're seeing an economic ripple effect occurring across the globe as a result of the dire shortage of qualified information security professionals we've been experiencing in recent years," said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)².

"Underscored by the study findings, this shortage is causing a huge drag on organizations. More and more enterprises are being breached, businesses are not able to get things done, and customer data is being compromised."

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