‘Demand for security professionals more than doubles; set to increase threefold in four years’

Demand for security professionals, including chief security officers has increased more than 100% now from a year earlier in the country after cybersecurity emerged as a key concern following the global pandemic, data from executive search firm Kingsley Gate Partners showed.

Over the past year, technology has permeated every function of an enterprise like never before. Remote working, new ways of managing workflows and efforts to ensure business continuity have only made these companies increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats, said a senior executive at the firm.

“This has exponentially increased the risk of security failures,” said Umesh Ramakrishnan, senior Partner and co-CEO. “To combat this, global enterprises are beefing up their security to avoid possible catastrophes. As a result, we are seeing a 100% spike in demand for CSO jobs and other cybersecurity positions in India and abroad.’’

Confirming the trend, Supaul Chanda, vice-president, Experis, part of ManpowerGroup India, said, “In the current context, cybersecurity has taken a major leap across the globe in spend and R&D. CSO is a new position in the market.’’

Due to heavy dependence on technology, enterprises are under pressure to secure their IT infrastructure, with a focus on data, communications, business, product understanding, security and technical know-how, said Mr. Ramakrishnan. CEOs are increasingly realising the need for a dedicated specialist who can monitor, evaluate, predict and protect their companies from security intrusions, he added.

“We know CEOs traditionally interacted with CMOs, CFOs and CTOs. Many companies are now in the process of creating the position of Chief Security Officer as cybersecurity worries have already started haunting CEOs around the globe,’’ said B.S. Murthy, CEO, Leadership Capital, a Bengaluru-based executive recruitment firm.

On the outlook for jobs, Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, a specialist staffing firm, said the demand for cybersecurity professionals was expected to rise 200% in the next four years.

“In 2021 alone, the country will require some 70,000 people with crucial skills such as application development security, cloud security, risk management, threat intelligence, incident response, data privacy, security strategy and health information security. However, we still do not have enough people in cybersecurity.’’

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