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A widening cyber-security skills gap is threatening UK companies

The UK corporate sector has been marred by several high-profile cases of cyber security breaches 

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Tuesday 17 January 2017 10:04 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The UK has a serious skills shortage when it comes to cyber security, and the chasm between supply and demand for expertise is widening at an alarming rate.

The results of a global study, conducted by job site Indeed and published on Tuesday, show that in the UK, the gap between employer demand for cyber security expertise and the number of people who have the necessary know-how is the second largest in the world.

The research shows that the number of cyber security roles advertised in the UK was the third highest globally. As a result, employer demand exceeded candidate interest by more than three times, according to Indeed, resulting in the biggest skills gap of any country in the world, bar Israel.

Indeed says that the number of those people looking for cyber security jobs in Britain reached just 31.6 per cent of the number of jobs posted. In Israel the number was slightly lower, at 28.4 per cent, but Germany, France, the US and Canada all showed a much smaller gap in the field, at 35 per cent, 38.6 per cent, 66.7 per cent and 68.1 per cent according to Indeed.

“The problem is fast approaching crisis point and British businesses will inevitably be put at risk if they can’t find the expertise they need to mitigate the threat,” says Mariano Mamertino, economist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Indeed.

“This should serve as a wake-up call to Britain’s tech sector – it must pull together to [...] attract more people into cyber security roles,” he said.

The UK corporate sector has been marred by several high-profile cases of cyber security breaches in recent years, including at companies like TalkTalk and Whetherspoons.

The Indeed survey shows that Britain’s cyber security skills gap has grown by 5 per cent in two years, a tally exceeded only by Brazil and Canada.

At the other end of the spectrum, Ireland’s booming technology sector has attracted a wave of expertise in the field, reducing its skills gap by 14 per cent.

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