Channel urged to plug the security skills gap

Channel urged to plug the security skills gap

Study lists security as businesses’ top-rated skill, although staff lack proficiency

VARs have been urged to bolster their managed security services and training businesses to help UK organisations get up to speed with their security skills.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of UK professionals questioned in a survey by IT trade body the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) ranked security in the top three most important IT skills. However, just 61 per cent thought their IT employees were proficient in security.

Networking and operating systems skills were also highly prized, but fewer respondents were concerned their workforce lacked know-how in these areas.

Steven Ostrowski, director of corporate communications at CompTIA, said the study reflected the fast- paced nature of the security market.

“This is an opportunity for resellers with security skills to offer security as an outsourced solution, so firms do not have to rely on in-house staff to deliver services 24/7,” he said.

Bernie Dodwell, European security manager at distributor Westcon Group, agreed: “Few people have a broad enough range of skills to understand a full security implementation, so there is an opportunity for VARs to provide all the skills from a single source through a managed service.”

Dave Ellis, director of e-security at security distributor Computerlinks, said: “Because security is such a fast-paced market, there will always be a lag in having enough skills resources to cope with demand. There is now an opportunity for resellers to sell certified training.”

The global survey of 3,500 professionals yielded similar results elsewhere. Among countries with established IT industries, 73 per cent of respondents ranked security among the top three skills, but just 57 per cent said staff were proficient in these skills.