Over half of firms plan to recruit IT security contractors this year

Tuesday 23 February 2016

More than half of businesses are planning to recruit additional IT security contractors over the course of 2016, new research reveals.

Barclay Simpson's 2016 Security & Resilience Market Report led to the discovery that just 46 per cent of companies do not intend to increase the headcount of their cyber security departments this year. This marks a climb in demand from 2014, when 52 per cent of respondents to Barclay Simpson's survey said they would not be taking on extra security contractors. 

Therefore, this suggests that a greater number of organisations are aware that they need to be taking advantage of limited company contractors and other self-employed individuals with cyber security skills and expertise. 

The report states that the increase in demand for such contractors is likely to be primarily due to the growing emphasis on cloud technology and the Internet of Things. 

What's more, the ever-more prominent nature of cyber breaches means businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the damage that can be inflicted on their reputation and finances following a hack, making this another factor behind the rise in recruitment. 

For example, the cyber attack suffered by TalkTalk is estimated to have cost the telecoms company around £60 million in compensation and damages, alongside losing the firm more than 100,000 customers.

Together, each of these factors has led to increased demand for IT contractors' services, with businesses willing to spend more money on accessing key cyber skills to protect their organisations as best as possible.

In fact, Barclay Simpson found that contractors operating as IT security consultants in London can feasibly demand £500 to £600 per day for their services, while data privacy analysts can charge between £425 and £475 for just one day's work in the capital.

Outside of London, these daily pay rates fall slightly, but are still significant, coming in at between £350 and £400 for contractors working as data privacy analysts and £450 to £550 per day for security consultants. 

However, Computer Weekly has reported on the results of a Carbon Black survey, which found that the majority of chief information officers (CIOs) are over-confident about the level of cyber security protection their organisation has in place, wrongly believing that they won't be the victim of a breach. 

Some 85 per cent of CIOs said they were not actively investing in measures to protect their organisations' data and other IT-based assets, and were doing nothing to tackle threats until they arose, by which time it could be too late to repair the damage.

With this in mind, these firms may wish to look to increase their recruitment of specialist IT contractors, particularly as 82 per cent said they were facing growing pressure from their directors' boards to improve their company's' cyber security credentials.

Cyber security is a lucrative sector for contractors and other self-employed individuals to work in, and Brookson is on hand to help deal with any accounting queries these workers may have.

By Victoria McDonnell

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