Security Professionals Say Budget and Personnel Cuts Leveling Off

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San Francisco — April 21
More than 70 percent of 1,500 U.S.-based information security professionals responding to a survey said their budgets were reduced the past six months due to the economic downturn, while 55 percent said they did not expect any additional cuts for the remainder of the year.

The Web-based survey was sent to members of (ISC)2, an organization of information security professionals and the not-for-profit global leader in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers. (ISC)2 is keeping the survey open to its members through May 15, when final results will be disclosed.

Mirroring the security budget responses, more than 70 percent of survey respondents believe the economic downturn has had a somewhat or significant impact on their purchases of security equipment and technology; however, 53 percent said spending would not decrease for the remainder of 2009.

On the personnel side, roughly half of survey respondents said their information security departments had experienced at least one layoff in the past few months. Fifty-five percent said no additional personnel cuts would be forthcoming the remainder of the year.

Of the nearly third of respondents who identified themselves as having hiring responsibilities, 44 percent said they were looking to hire additional information security staff this year. The areas of expertise most sought after by those seeking candidates were information risk management, operations security, certification and accreditation, security management practices and security architecture and models.

To assist information security professionals seeking positions or looking to charter their careers in a challenging economy, (ISC)2, in collaboration with RSA Conference 2009, is sponsoring a Career Management Clinic for attendees of the conference in San Francisco on April 23, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Moscone Center.

Representatives of two national recruiting firms — Alta Associates and LJ Kushner & Associates — will conduct an interactive workshop that will help match information security professionals to job opportunities and provide tips on career planning, resumes, interviewing and other activities to enhance their career prospects.

“The current economic conditions have had an effect on all professions, including information security,” said Lee Kushner, president of LJ Kushner & Associates. “By participating in the (ISC)2 career clinic at the RSA Conference, we are hoping to provide guidance and clarity to those whose careers have been negatively affected.”

The Career Management Clinic is the first in a series of global workshops (ISC)2 is planning to assist information security professionals during the economic downturn. The next career workshop is scheduled for April 29 at Infosecurity Europe in London.

“(ISC)2 is dedicated to helping our members throughout their careers, and that includes during difficult economic times,” said W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, CISA, executive director of (ISC)2. “We hope our career clinics help our certified members, as well as others in the profession better navigate their careers in a challenging job market.”

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