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An increase in cybercrime has led to a rise in salaries for IT security professionals, according to Robert Walters.
Research by the recruitment firm has found the salaries of IT security specialists has risen by an average of 14%,
Steve Corbett, associate director of IT recruitment for Robert Walters, said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen a massive increase in both permanent and interim cyber security roles due largely to the ongoing threat around IT and cyber crime.
“The challenges facing companies continue to grow in volume and complexity as cyber security threats constantly evolve.”
Leading roles in cyber security, such as cyber security head, will see an increase of 18% in salary, while roles in cyber security analysis will see a pay rise of 7%.
“The impact of high-profile IT security breaches involving attacks on major companies have brought this emerging threat into the public eye,” said Corbett.
“This has increased the pressure from regulators and legislators on companies to have a dedicated cyber security representative and to meet specific standards of security.”
The research emphasised that the need to react appropriately in the face of a cyber attack is particularly important where customer data is involved, and many firms experienced customer data breaches in 2015 and early 2016.
In November 2015, telecoms group TalkTalk suffered a cyber attack, which led to millions of customer details being exposed.
Pub chain JD Whetherspoon was among other high-profile firms to suffer a data breach, after security professionals warned the chain a database containing 657,000 customer records had been hacked.
As a result, the research roles for professionals who can secure firms through firewalls and digital checkpoint systems are well sought after, especially in the financial services and banking sector.
Digital transformation is also playing a role in IT salary rises as firms see an increased need for websites.
Developer’s salaries will increase by an average of 9% and – in some roles – pay has increased even more, with up to a 38% rise in salary for third line infrastructure support roles. An average salary growth of 5% is expected across the entire IT industry in 2016.