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Government focus on cyber threat could spark job market bidding war

The National Security Strategy's focus on cyber threats could start a bidding war for the relatively few cyber forensics experts in the UK, says a recruitment firm.

The strategy will massively increase the demand for the right IT security professionals, particularly those trained in forensics, according to IT recruiter Greythorn.

Salaries are bound to rise in the ensuing competition for cyber security specialists as there are only about 2,200 people qualified for top-level IT security roles in the whole country, said Paul Winchester, managing director at Greythorn.

"The roles are extremely specialist and there are a lot of hoops to jump through before you reach that level," he said.

Winchester said IT professionals typically take networking positions to gain experience, then do qualifications in CCSA, CCSE, VPN, firewall and remote access, and finally get accredited as certified information systems security professionals, but all that takes time.

"It is the banks who will pay the price as the government will have to poach their best IT staff to tackle the cyber threat in the run up to the Olympics," he said.

With less than 600 top security specialists in London, professionals at this level will be able to command salaries of around £100,000 a year, said Winchester.


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