Australia is the place to be for information security professionals who high salaries, but the country spent the least on cyber security compared to five other major markets, according to a survey.
A survey of 900 information security professionals from five markets, including the US, Germany and UK, has found that you’re paid the most in Australia -- whether you’re entry level or a senior executive.
In fact, if you’re an aspiring 'infosec pro' and actually do land a job, you could earn $95,000 a year — and that’s in US dollars, which converts to AUD$127,000 per year. The downside is finding affordable housing in Australia’s commercial capital, Sydney, compared to the US — even New York City.
Nonetheless, Australian infosec “entry-level” salaries were far higher than any other country included in the survey.
Green infosec pros in the US could expect $30,000 less than their Australian counterparts, while UK entrants could expect just over the difference between the two at just $36,000 a year. Singapore, the closest in entry level salaries to Australia, offered $69,000 to lower level infosec staff.
The figures are based on responses from 900 security professionals from the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and Singapore.
The survey was commissioned by US anti-malware firm Malwarebytes and conducted by Seattle-based market research firm, Osterman Research Inc., which was tasked with finding out the “true costs of cybercrime” across different countries.
US respondents totaled 200, while other countries included responses from 175 professionals each.
The numbers need to be treated with caution, however, due to differences in market size for each country and the size of its typical organization. Respondents had to manage or work on “cybersecurity-related issues in their organizations”, and work for an organization that employs between 200 and 10,000 employees.
Senior Australian information security professionals were also the highest paid, on average reporting salaries of $155,000, compared to the global average of $130,000. Top average salaries in the US were around $133,000. The lowest salaries for senior execs was in Germany, where they reported earning about $108,000.
The research firm however noted that country which had the highest “upside potential” for those joining the industry was the UK, where a senior salary on average was $125,000 and slightly more than triple a new entrant’s salary, whereas an Australian senior security pro's salary was less than double an entry level role.
Oddly, Australia had the lowest annual security budgets in the survey and are expected to total $548,000 in 2018 compared to $845,000 in the US, and $1 million in Singapore, which just a discovered data breach that exposed health data on 1.5 million of its citizens, or a quarter of its population.
Other key findings were that US organizations with about 2,500 employees can expect to spend $1.9 on cybersecurity, whether it was budgeted for or hit by an unexpected ransomware attack. The global average was about $1.1 for organizations with 2,500 employees in other countries.
The survey also warns of “gray hat” hackers who are involved in protecting organizations but may also may be involved in cybercrime. The UK was most exposed to this threat, which the survey found that nearly eight percent of security professionals were “suspected” of being gray hat.