HR · 12 July 2016

UK tech talent shortage makes businesses more vulnerable to fraud

tech talent shortage
Cloud computing poses a particular challenge for small business owners

More than three-quarters of IT professionals think British firms will face increased security threats in the future due to a dearth of tech talent, according to new research from recruiter Robert Half Technology.

As more and more businesses turn to external hosting to store sensitive data, workers with cloud security skills are the most sought-after – and difficult to recruit – IT staff. Almost one-third of those surveyed cited such staff as hard to find.

The report identified the rise of cloud computing and connected devices as a particular challenge for small businesses.

“The boom in the internet of things means a huge number of new devices will be connecting to the network. Where these devices have poorly secured access points it can give hackers a foothold into the network,” said Tim Goodwin, EMEA channel director at security company CyberArk.

“Attacks on SMEs continue to be a significant proportion of total attacks, simply because they are not implementing basic security controls,” added David Allott, a director at Intel Security.

Small firms are also struggling to train existing staff in data security good practice, with Barclays research published in March revealing that more than a third of owners find this difficult.

Some 40 per cent admitted to relying on digital the skills of graduates – despite evidence that millennials’ casual approach to sharing passwords regularly puts the small businesses they work for at risk.

Both surveys follow warnings by another tech recruiter, Randstad Technologies, in January 2016, that senior staff who give up work before state pension age could worsen the skills gap across the entire tech industry.

“There’s already fierce fighting for talent as it is, and early retirements will make it even harder to find the right people for the right jobs,” said managing director Ruth Jacobs.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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