Security pros seek talent, feel budget pain

Survey of 1,500 IT security professionals shows most lost budget dollars and headcount due to economy

More than 70% of information security professionals reported that they lost budget dollars in the past six months, but more than half said they think the worst is over.

A Web-based survey of 1,500 information security professionals by the not-for-profit organization Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 revealed that a majority of respondents experienced budget cuts in the past months. On the plus side, 53% of those polled said they didn't expect spending to decrease any more in the remaining months of 2009. The survey also showed that nearly half of respondents experienced a personnel loss in their security departments due to the economy. Fifty-five percent said they didn't anticipate more personnel cuts throughout the rest of 2009.

About one-third of survey respondents identified themselves as having hiring responsibilities, and of those 44% expect to be looking to hire additional security staff in the coming year. Specific security skill sets hiring managers are seeking include information risk management, operations security, certification and accreditation, security management practices, and security architecture and models.

"(ISC)2 is dedicated to helping our members throughout their careers, and that includes during difficult economic times," said W. Hord Tipton, the group's executive director in a statement. The organization is planning career clinics and workshops for information security professionals during the economic downturn.

(ISC)2 released preliminary survey results at this week's RSA Conference 2009. It will release complete findings from the Web-based survey in May.

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