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Report Forecasts Job Growth in Online Security Field

Report Forecasts Job Growth in Online Security FieldWASHINGTON
The number of professionals in the cybersecurity field is predicted to grow at an annual rate of nearly 14 percent from now until 2008, according to a study released last month at the Computer Security Institute (CSI) trade show in Washington.

The Information Security Workforce Study, conducted by the IDC research firm for the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2, projects that the number of information security professionals globally will be 2.1 million in 2008, up from 1.3 million in 2004. 

The study’s authors predict that information security jobs will grow at an annual rate of 13.7 percent worldwide, while the number of those jobs in the Asia/Pacific region will grow (at a rate of) 18.3 percent a year through 2008, compared to a 5 percent to 7 percent growth in IT jobs in general.

 Those numbers indicate that the United States is the most advanced in dealing with information security and adopting security technologies, while companies in the Asia/  Pacific region are trying to catch up, according to Allan Carey, an IDC analyst and an author of the study.

“Organizations are looking for security talent right now, particularly those who can marry technology know-how with business savvy,” Carey told the Dow Jones News Service. “Their skills are in high demand, and there’s been a shortage of those individuals.”

Billed as the first major global study of the information security profession, the IDC survey also found that 23 percent of respondents reported to bosses outside of the information technology division, such as CEOs and chief financial officers. Executive management titles such as chief information security officer and chief security officer made up more than 10 percent of respondents, although neither position existed 10 years ago, the study’s authors noted.

The study seems to show progress in getting information security issues recognized outside the IT department, according to James R. Wade, a member of the (ISC)2 board of directors. “It’s beginning to be recognized more broadly as an enterprise-wide area,” Wade said.

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