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Cybersecurity professionals see salaries increase 6% in one year 

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Analysis of 56 key cybersecurity positions by Acumin Consulting has revealed that, on average, salaries in the sector have risen 6.3% from 2017 levels. This increase is over double the national average, which saw UK wages rise 2.9% this year. 

To celebrate 20 years’ worth of contribution to the cybersecurity industry, the 2018-2019 ‘Salary Survey’ features Acumin’s largest collection of industry and role specific analytics within a single report. 

The report uses data collated from across its end users, systems integrators, consultancies and public sector divisions to provide a holistic view of salaries across organisation type, and role seniority.  

With new regulation such as the GDPR shining a light on business resilience and reputation, the increase in salaries is evidence that compliance, governance and process-driven roles are increasingly considered business-critical.  

Digital transformation initiatives; specifically the digitalisation of central services, is driving a growth in demand for experienced security and assurance professionals within the public sector, and as a result the accompanying day rates to match.  

Within the private sector, the impact of breaches is creating a catalyst for investment and wage inflation across multiple verticals and scales. Companies that have fallen foul of cybercrime can no longer ignore lax practices considering the magnitude of financial and reputational loss. For the most part, cybersecurity budgets and board investment are steadily increasing to match the challenge.  

Within this, ensuring a pragmatic hiring strategy is necessary to secure business operations – technical investment alone cannot mitigate risks modern businesses face, people and process being a key attribute to any holistic cyber strategy.  

In particular, Awareness Managers, responsible for security education and user awareness programmes within organisations, saw a 20% increase to between £60-£90k. The rise in salaries also reflects a rise in number of positions available on the market over the past 12 months – reflecting a trend of organisations mitigating the human risk factor in a bid to maximise existing controls.  

Security Analysts also experienced increased demand as organisations sought to improve their understanding of data flows and trends within their own networks, maximising the outputs of the solutions they have previously invested in and establishing baseline behaviours for their operations.  This is reflected in Acumin’s data, that saw salaries increase by 13% on average. 

The lowest salary increase of 2018, at just 1.5%, was for those in the role of Information Security Officer. This is followed by Application Security Specialists and Product Directors who saw their salaries rise by 2%. 

“Our 2018 Salary Survey provides a snapshot of the issues that have been driving boardroom agendas this year, namely data protection regulation and user education,” said Simon Hember, group business development director at Acumin.

“With the pressures brought down on organisations by the GDPR, professionals with skills in compliance and process are commanding record salaries. 

“Opportunities for security professionals in the public sector should be booming, especially given the government’s commitment to the National Cyber Security Strategy and GCHQ’s recent drive to recruit 2,000 roles to deal with the threat of nation state actors,” said Hember.

“However, it’s no surprise that the public sector is struggling to offer the salaries, and attractive packages that can be offered by private sector organisations or indeed well-funded security start-ups. One way they can look to solve this disparity is to look to offer training and support to those who can be upskilled from within and help command loyalty through benefits such as flexible working.”  

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