Survey by IDC, T.E.N. Finds Security Talent Shortage at the Senior Level

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T.E.N., an information technology and security executive networking and relationship-marketing firm, partnered with the International Data Corporation to conduct a survey of 155 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other senior information security executives about their organizations’ security personnel.

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Survey results show that the real problem with the security industry talent shortage is retention and churn at the higher levels.

The results of this survey show that matching an executive to the organization is the best solution for chronic churn in the security job market.

T.E.N., an information technology and security executive networking and relationship-marketing firm, partnered with International Data Corporation (IDC) to facilitate a survey of 155 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other senior information security executives about their organizations’ security personnel. The survey included questions about staffing numbers, salaries, open positions and the requisite skills security professionals should possess.

The talent shortage in information security is a popular topic of late with many experts suggesting that training new recruits is the best solution to the growing problem. Contrary to popular assumptions, the T.E.N. & IDC survey found that the perceived job shortage in security is not happening at the entry levels, where expectations for new hires are basic and filling a position takes about 3 months. Instead, the shortage comes at the higher experience levels, those that start after about 10 years to be more specific.

According to survey results, CISOs and senior security level practitioners typically have approximately 25 years of work experience with 15 years in the field of security. The survey also found that respondents have changed jobs on average more than 6 times over the course of their careers. Additionally, the skill set demanded by higher level practitioners is significantly more complex, and demands for the positions much higher. Positions at this level often take 18+ months to fill.

Results show that the real problem is retention and churn at the higher levels, which would be better addressed by dedicating resources to more closely matching a CISO to the organization in terms of risk tolerance, competitive salaries and anticipated responsibilities.

Marci McCarthy, CEO and president of T.E.N., suggests that organizations who partner with specialized executive search firms, such as ISE® Talent, often have more success in acquiring and retaining the right security professionals in the complex security job market.

“Finding the best candidate requires more than a position description; it requires robust industry knowledge, a practical understanding of the CISO/CSO role, and a proactive, innovative approach built on trust, collaboration and confidentiality,” McCarthy said. “The results of this survey show that matching an executive to the organization is the best solution for chronic churn in the security job market.”

These conclusions and others can be found in the full report available from IDC: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=257225

About International Data Corporation
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company.

About ISE® Talent
ISE® Talent is an executive search and talent management firm dedicated exclusively to Information Security Executives. A 100% woman-owned business, ISE® Talent is a division of T.E.N., the leading national technology and security executive networking firm that facilitates peer-to-peer relationships between top executives, industry visionaries and solution providers. Learn more about our parent company by visiting http://www.ten-inc.com.

About T.E.N.
T.E.N., a national technology and security executive networking organization, facilitates peer-to-peer relationships between top executives, industry visionaries and solutions providers. Nominated for numerous industry awards, T.E.N.’s executive leadership programs enable information exchange, collaboration and decision-making. Its flagship program, the nationally-acclaimed Information Security Executive® (ISE®) of the Year Program Series and Awards, is North America’s largest leadership recognition and networking program for security professionals. Other offerings include the ISE® Lions’ Den and Jungle Lounge, T.E.N. Custom Programs and the ISE® Industry Expert Advisory Services, empowering IT solutions providers to gain access to highly credentialed IT business veterans’ expertise. For information, visit http://www.ten-inc.com.

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Jennifer Tanner
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