The UK has witnessed a number of high-profile data breaches recently, which has prompted businesses to turn to cyber-security experts to protect themselves from attack, new data suggests.
Cyber security jobs make up 14% of new IT vacancies in the UK, according to consultancy firm Procorre, as businesses get more hands-on with network security.
Of the 10,210 current IT vacancies in the UK, 1,420 are in cyber security, suggesting firms are not prepared to leave the job of fending off cyber criminals to security software alone.
However, cyber-security professionals appear to be at a premium, with 15% of roles in the field now paying over £100,000 per annum, according to the research which was conducted on Procorre's behalf by the Ponemon Institute.
"There is a global shortage of experienced and talented cyber-security experts, especially after a recent spate of high-profile attacks that have demonstrated the need for businesses to improve their cyber defences," explained Wiktor Podgorski, contracts & HR manager at Procorre.
He added that the rise in demand for cyber-security experts comes as little surprise, with companies more attuned to the risks associated with a data breach.
"Customers lose faith in companies that are unable to keep information secure, so data losses can have a significant long-term impact on sales and revenue," he stressed.
Podgorski also highlighted a "spate" of large-scale data breaches – with attacks on the Carphone Warehouse and Ashley Madison perhaps the most notable – which have only served to shake businesses into hiring cyber-security experts sooner rather than later.
There is also the risk of fines from the UK data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), with the body able to fine victims up to £500,000 in the event of a data breach – a figure that could rise significantly when the EU introduces the more stringent General Data Protection Regulation.