The Government has kicked off a new audit of UK’s cyber security job market in an effort to assess how firms are handling the employment and training of tech professionals and to see whether the skills gap has eased or widened.
Organisations across both public and private sectors have been chosen at random to contribute to the study, which, the Government will be hoping, shows some improvement over last year’s audit, which found that of the 1.3 million businesses in the UK, 710,000 (55%) had a "basic technical cyber security skills gap".
The basic skills include creating backups, setting admin rights, and managing secure settings.
Last year’s study revealed that the majority of businesses lacked the skills to conduct more high-level technical tasks. Penetration testing, in particular, was an area that businesses expressed the most concern about, with 42% of large organisations admitting they did not feel confident conducting their own tests.
When all business types were considered, as many as 59% said that they lacked the skills to perform any sort of forensic analysis of their data, and 51% said they were unable to reliably conduct cyber security risk assessments.
The charity sector was found to suffer from the biggest skills gap, with 55% of non-profit organisations lacking formal security infrastructure, compared to 18% of large businesses.
Charities were also found to be the most likely to outsource high-level technical skills, with 80% saying that tasks such as interpreting malicious code, penetration testing and analysis were regularly performed by third-party specialists. The results of this year’s study will be published in December.