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Cyber security continues to drive up demand for IT professionals

Matthew Brown, managing director of giant group


Demand for IT professionals in the financial services market has grown considerably over the past twelve months, which can largely be attributed to one thing – cyber security. As online threats continue to evolve at an alarming rate some of the most vulnerable companies, those in the financial services market, are eagerly vying to protect themselves from potential breaches.


Statistics from the most recent analysis of our contractor database indicate that IT professionals expect the financial services sector to be one of the biggest providers of jobs over the coming 12 months. They also indicate that contractors are experiencing shorter gaps between assignments as demand continues to increase.


Cyber security has become a key business focus for companies in the financial services sector that, due to the nature of their work, are incredibly vulnerable to data breaches. A recent study by PwC, indicates that cyber security attacks rose by 38% in 2015 and intellectual property theft rose by an astounding 56%. With these figures in mind it’s unsurprising companies are looking to bolster their cyber security function by utilising the skills of specialist contractors.


Demand is also being impacted by ongoing skills shortages. A study from KPMG revealed that 57% of UK businesses find it difficult to recruit cyber security staff and with the risks for financial services companies higher than in any other sector, it’s unsurprising they are having to rely on the expertise of contractors. The same study found that 74% of companies are facing cyber security threats that demand new cyber skills suggesting this skills gap will only worsen, further increasing the need for contractors.


Remuneration for professionals is also rising in line with demand in the sector with statistics from our database indicating 77% of professionals expected their earnings to increase over the coming year. This uplift is somewhat unsurprising given both the incredibly high demand and wealth of experience possessed by these professionals. Whilst many sectors stand to benefit from a contractor’s extensive experience, few will reap the benefits more than financial services.


For the financial services sector, a cyber-attack has the potential to be devastating, both financially and in terms of jeopardising client confidentiality, so it’s no surprise that these companies are looking to bolster their cyber security function and utilise the skills of contractors.


Do you expect demand for cyber security experts to increase?




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