Senior Information Security Specialists Feeling the Pressure

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Information security has never been more important as more and more sensitive data is stored in electronic format. However, this increased need for compliance with tighter information security regulation has not stopped the recession from taking its toll on infosec professionals. Barclay Simpson's interim report analyses the effect of the recession on recruitment opportunites for the sector.

Information security, despite its current high profile, has not been protected from corporate cost cutting. Q1 and Q2 redundancy levels were high and whilst many departments have vacancies few have permission to recruit.

In its Interim Market Report – July 2009, information security recruitment experts Barclay Simpson reviews the outlook for information security in the UK. Economic trends are analysed and market forces assessed to determine the employment prospects of those employed within the information security sector.

Owing to some rather high profile losses of sensitive data in 2008, information security has become a hot topic within the media. In addition, regulation in the form of the ISO 27001 and the PCI DSS standards have required companies to implement more thorough information security compliance procedures. However, despite the increased importance on data security and compliance there has not been a subsequent rise in new opportunities in 2009, and both employed and unemployed professionals within the industry, especially at senior levels, are currently feeling the pressure.

Information security redundancies have continued to grow over the last 6 months, and the number of professionals looking for work has increased by 17% over the last 12 months. Unfortunately the increased demand for roles has not been matched by their availability, with the number of new positions having fallen by 57% over the same time period. Hardest hit are senior practitioners. As business conditions force many companies to downsize existing teams or even undertake mergers to survive, the effects of cost cutting and headcount reduction has disproportionally affected senior and managerial positions. Junior roles are less affected, and practitioners at this level appear to be holding on to their current roles, reluctant to enter an unstable recruitment market or to risk moving to a new company.

Mark Ampleford, head of Barclay Simpson’s information security division says, “Information security, despite its current high profile, has not been protected from corporate cost cutting. Q1 and Q2 redundancy levels were high and whilst many departments have vacancies few have permission to recruit.”

To add further burden, employers are realising their strong bargaining position and are suppressing wage growth whilst at the same time being more demanding in their expectations. Senior practitioners are finding it increasingly difficult to find new employment and are being forced to be far more flexible in their salary expectations and preferred locations.

About Barclay Simpson:

Company Information
Barclay Simpson Associates Ltd, Hamilton House, 1 Temple Avenue, Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0HA
Contact – Adrian Simpson
T: 020 7936 2601 E: as (at) barclaysimpson.com

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Adrian Simpson

Ian Coyle
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