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IT security proficiency is below par
Source: Rebecca Thomson, Computer weekly, 15 March 2008
There is a wide gap between the IT security skills that organisations want and workers' skills, according to a global survey commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).
Security was rated as the most important IT skill to organisations with 74 per cent of the 3,500 respondents rating it 6 or 7 in importance on a 1-7 scale.
Among organisations surveyed in nine countries with established IT industries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, UK, and USA), 73 per cent identified security, firewalls and data privacy as the IT skills most important to their organisation. But just 57 percent said their IT employees are proficient in these security skills, a gap of 16 percentage points.
After security, respondents considered the most important skills to be general networking and operating systems, in joint second place, with 66 per cent apiece of ratings at 6 or 7.
The importance of the above skills, however, is expected to decline in the coming years. The skill expected to grow most in importance over the next five years is RF mobile, wireless technology. 39 per cent say it will be important one year from now versus 55 per cent say it will be important five years from now.
When asked what their organisations should be doing to enhance employees' IT skills, the top two answers are sending employees for professional training externally (42 per cent), and providing incentives and rewards (41 per cent). Sending employees for certification (36 per cent) was the third most important.