With over 3,000 data breaches and 2.2bn records lost to cyber attacks in the last year, businesses have made safeguarding their online gateways a priority in 2017.

So much so that Cybersecurity Ventures annual report into cybercrime suggests that by 2019 the global workforce will hit six million, with a projected skills gap of 1.5 million workers. This year alone will see one million global vacancies in cybersecurity.

When demand outstrips supply the value of recruiters with access to talent soars. The current urgency for cyber security specialists puts recruiters in the driving seat when negotiating their price.

If you consider that there are currently 1,000 top-level security professionals globally, with demand for up to 30 times that, you have an insight into the value of a recruiter’s network in this finite field.

Who’s hiring in cyber security?

In short, everybody.

As part of a National Cyber Security Strategy the government has poured £1.9bn to Define, Deter, and Develop our nation’s defences against cyber attacks.

This means direct funding – with recruitment to follow – into government departments, law enforcement, utility based industries like transport and energy, and financial institutions.

GCHQ kicked off the year with Wayra UK by announcing the first seven cybersecurity startups for its Cheltenham based accelerator, which will provide companies with mentoring, an investor network, office space and direction to scale quickly.

 

A second cyber innovation centre, backed by up to £50m from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport will open in London later this year with the next wave of startups entering the fold.

We put together a list of the ten leading cybersecurity firms in the UK that have received the highest level of venture capital funding to date and are driving the £22bn UK sector. With investment comes growth and these ten companies should be a port of call for agencies in 2017.

Where to find the talent?

Cybersecurity specialists are thin on the ground with unemployment in the sector lying at zero. This means that until the training and development being poured into the nation matures, businesses will need to draw candidates from other roles, or look to similar sectors, skill sets, and those with translatable experience.

According to Intel Security’s Hacking the Skills Shortage report, the majority of data breaches are born from vulnerabilities in software code, which make those with software development, intrusion detection and attack mitigation the most highly sought candidates in 2017.

See the secret recruiters use to establish themselves in a micro-niche!

The certificates needed

While practical field experience is valued highly in this field, as is an underlying knowledge of hardware, software and networks, those with basic certificates in information security from the recognised giants Cisco, HP and Microsoft will take the competitive edge.

Specialists will likely have these foundations and then drill down into the dark arts by taking industry recognised certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GCPT).  

Top level seniors hired to lead a team will need experience in a leadership role, a deep knowledge of risk management and mitigation – which are provided with ISO 27001 qualifications and CISMP examinations.

With ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks dominating the headlines in 2016, this year will introduce a whole new wave of concern as technological advancements in drones, wearables and the internet of things, creates a whole new area of risk.