Security consultants' rates rocket

A massive increase in demand has seen security consultants' pay rocket by 25 percent over the past year, according to research

Pay for qualified security consultants has soared over the past year as budgets return and demand grows around the critical issues of application and system security.

On average, security consultants are currently charging 25 per cent more year-on-year, cashing in on demand in areas such as application testing, compliance and mobile device management as well as emerging technologies such as VoIP and Wi-Fi.

Skills such as penetration testing, computer forensics and ethical hacking are also increasingly in demand. With too few qualified consultants and high demand for their time, it is a situation in which the lucky few can charge a premium for their services.

According to research from the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo), this has seen the average hourly rate for security consultants jump from £40 in 2004 to £50 this year.

Rob Chapman, founder of the Training Camp UK, said he isn't surprised by this situation as his company, like other training companies, is seeing huge demand among techies looking to reskill in lucrative areas of information security.

Chapman said this security 'gold rush' is resulting in packed classrooms for courses such as CISSP (certified information systems security professionals), certified ethical hacking and computer forensics.

Chapman said: "A lot of the people taking these courses aren't from a security background. Often they are professionals from other areas of the IT industry looking to learn these skills."

Universities are also waking up to the potential of training individuals in these areas.

Ann Swain, chief executive of ATSCo, who conducted the research, said the elevation of data security issues to a board level consideration in the compliance age has enabled consultants to demand fatter pay packets.

Swain said a number of high-profile security breaches at high street names had forced companies to consider the issue of their own data integrity.


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