News & Analysis

Cybersecurity Hirings Continue Despite Freeze

In spite of the global freeze on new hires over recession fears, the one professional who continues to be in demand is the cybersecurity expert

Led by the stern warning over an approaching cyber storm by the World Economic Forum (WEF), top companies are sparing no efforts to hire cybersecurity and privacy professionals, in spite of the general slowdown in tech hiring across several other job functions. 

In its annual report, WEF says “as economic and geopolitical instability spills into the new year, experts predict that 2023 will be a consequential year for cybersecurity. The developments, they say, will include an expanded threat landscape and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity job vacancies are growing

A report published in ET says there are as many as 18,000 cybersecurity-related job vacancies in India at this point, an indicator of the widening gap between the skilled resources and demand in the industry as it prepares to meet new cybersecurity challenges fuelled by economic instability and geopolitical struggles. 

The article quoted sources from staffing company Xpheno to suggest that application security, threat management, VAPT and cloud security were some of the skills that were in most demand at the present moment. 

At a global level, Cloudflare, a major US cybersecurity firm that provides protection services for over 30% of Fortune 500 companies, found that DDoS attacks — which entail overwhelming a server with a flood of traffic to disrupt a network or web page — increased last year by 79% year-over-year.

What are the challenges the industry is facing?

According to the article in ET, the Xpheno data also indicated that incident response, threat intelligence and cloud security have seen the fastest rate of growth over the past 12 months. As a result of this trend, the volume of active accessible talent in cybersecurity and privacy grew by 40% over the past two years. 

By the looks of it, being a cybersecurity professional appears to be the most paying IT job with salaries going up almost 40% over the past 24 months. The packages range between Rs.5 to Rs.8 lakh for junior levels to above Rs.42 lakh for those at the top echelons. However, Xpheno also says that hiring has moderated by 18% in the October-December quarter. 

Speakers at the WEF last month were sure that things aren’t looking good. Jürgen Stock, the Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) describes the current situation as a global threat that requires a global response and enhanced and coordinated action. “The key to winning the battle against cybercrime is, of course, to work together to make it a priority across the geopolitical fault lines,” he said. 

ISACA had predicted this scenario earlier

In fact, the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals was predicted by ISACA which said in a recent report that 70% of respondents in its survey felt this way. The survey also brought up the issue of lack of competent resources as a key challenge in devising an effective privacy program among enterprises. 

With the AI / ML wave adding considerably to the data packets in circulation, privacy concerns would only go up in the months ahead and any laxity on this front could impact a lot of the digital transformation efforts currently taking place, ISACA says adding that skill gaps were the crucial issue facing cybersecurity professionals apart from lack of experience in diverse technologies. 

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