Survey: Cloud computing will foster IT security careers

Though data loss and unauthorised access are still key concerns

Around half of information security professionals believe that cloud computing will drive an increase in demand for their skills, according to a new survey.

Researchers Frost & Sullivan surveyed 7,547 of security education provider (ISC)2's information security worker members in autumn last year and found that the majority of respondents believe that cloud computing would either increase or maintain the same the demand for IT security professionals.

"About 50 percent think demand for security professionals will increase due to cloud computing," John Colley, managing director for EMEA at (ISC)2 told the Infosecurity European Press Conference in London.

Respondents in the IT (55 percent) were most likely to think demand would increase, closely followed by those working in services and telecom and media (both 51 percent), and those working for government in defence roles (50 percent).

On average, around 38 percent of respondents believed that cloud computing would just cause the demand to stay the same. This sentiment was particularly strong among IT security professionals working in retail and wholesale (44 percent) and utilities (44 percent).

However, just six percent believe that cloud computing would decrease the demand for information security workers.

According to Colley, over half of the respondents are using cloud computing of "one sort or another", which includes public and private cloud.

The survey showed that the joint top cloud computing concerns for respondents was exposure of sensitive information to unauthorised systems or personnel, and confidential data loss or leakage.

The third highest point of concern was a weak system and/or application access controls, followed by susceptibility to cyber attacks, which Colley said was an especially big concern for workers in government organisations.

Unsurprisingly, the skill most cited to be required of information security professionals for dealing with cloud computing was a detailed knowledge of cloud computing. This was followed by a requirement for enhanced technical knowledge, and then contract negotiation skills.

The (ISC)2's full fifth annual report, which will cover other aspects of information security workers, such as the impact of mobility and social media, is due to be launched on 17 February.

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