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JUNE TOP READER PICK Wage war takes toll on data security teams, leaving most under-staffed

Organizations are struggling to keep their cyber security workforce staffed, as competitors increasingly lure employees who are enticed by higher pay and bonuses.

That is the finding of new research from ISACA, a global association that helps individuals and enterprises achieve the positive potential of technology. For its study, ISACA surveyed more than 1,500 cyber security professionals worldwide, and found that 69 percent of respondents said their cyber security teams are understaffed.

Cyber security professionals are particularly hard to find for roles that require technical proficiency, the report said.
While 57 percent of respondents said their organizations offer increased training as incentives to keep people within an organization, 82 percent indicated that most individuals leave their companies for another because of financial and career incentives such as higher salaries, bonuses, and promotions.

More than half of the respondents (58 percent) said their organizations have unfilled cyber security positions.

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Joseph Galo, application support engineer at MobiTV, Inc., along with other engineers run the daily maintenance and procedures in the network operations center at the company's headquarters in Emeryville, California, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

“We’re in a highly fluid environment where organizations are increasingly challenged by competitive forces,” said Rob Clyde, board chairman of ISACA. “Creative and competitive retention efforts are more important than ever in the current environment, and organizations should make it a priority to identify ways to boost their cyber security teams.”

Only 45 percent of the survey’s female respondents think both men and women have equal opportunity for career advancement. This represents a downward trend from 51 percent the previous year. The report found that less than half of cyber security organizations have a gender diversity program.

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