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Evidence of security skill woes cropping up more widely

Even when a survey is undertaken around attitudes to security risks the evidence that skill gaps are having an impact can be found

The most acute area for shortages in IT skills is on the security front and illustrations of it keep cropping up fairly regularly at the moment.

Even when it is not the main focus of a study into the current state of attitudes from customers towards risk the question of skills also comes up.

Earlier this week NTT Com Security issued its latest version of its risk report one of the themes that it picked up on was the difficulty that some customers were having protecting themselves without being able to lean on in-house expertise.

Stuart Reed, senior director, global product marketing at NTT Com Security, said that although it had not asked directly about skills problems the traces of the issue could be felt in the report.

"There is a skills shortage aspect as well if you are going to look at some of the inferences [that are produced by the risks report]," he said.

He added that although the threats were becoming more sophisticated they did not always need to be to succeed with staff not always keeping up on threats that were two to three years old.

There is no doubt that the industry is doing its best to try and improve the situation and earlier this week Avnet cut the ribbon on its TrainingNow service to enable resellers to provide training directly to customers.

But this is not a problem that will disappear anytime soon. That could be a positive for the channel if it is able to position itself in the gap left by the lack of expertise.

“The security concerns have not changed significantly; however, the cybersecurity skills shortage is on the rise. As more organizations struggle with the challenges of hiring and retaining staff, as well as the complexity of deploying and managing multiple products, we saw a surge in both end user customers and MSSP partners deploying USM," said Barmak Meftah, president and CEO at AlienVault, about its last financial year.

The worries about staffing issues have been picked up at various points over the course of last year and were a highlight in the most recent figures in the Report on Jobs, published by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed there was a strong demand for security staff.

Heath Jackson, partner in the CIO Advisory practice at KPMG, said recently that it was security skills in particular that were being looked for in the current market.

“In the wake of several high profile breaches, companies are investing heavily in their cyber security teams and demand for IT specialists surged in December,” he said.

“This hiring boom has caused a skills shortage in the sector, with recruiters struggling to find enough candidates qualified in IT security to satisfy demand,” he added.

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