The Daily Telegraph

Pay and perks war leads to ‘churn’ in cybersecur­ity staff

- By Gareth Corfield

A FIERCE battle for talent in Britain’s cybersecur­ity industry has driven as many as one in five workers to switch jobs over the past year.

London-listed NCC Group has seen staff turnover hit 20pc, recent results show, rising from 14pc two years ago. Industry figures said this level of “churn” was not unusual.

“There’s a war for cyber talent that has been going on for at least 10 years,” NCC Group chief executive Mike Maddison told The Daily Telegraph.

Cyber workers are switching jobs as they are lured by the promise of higher pay or better perks elsewhere.

Average salaries in the penetratin­g testing sector – one part of the industry where the UK excels – are between £40,000 and £65,000, according to the Government’s Prospects graduate employment website.

Martin Walsham, director of AMR Cybersecur­ity, said that competitio­n for talent across the British informatio­n security industry was increasing following the end of Covid restrictio­ns.

“I think 20pc is probably reflective of the industry,” he said. “Churn rates in the cybersecur­ity industry for skilled technical specialist­s have always been relatively high.”

NCC Group recruited 1,000 people in total during the 12 months up to September, growing its technical head count by 270.

“We were quite concerned when we came out with 20pc,” Mr Maddison said. “We were thinking we were doing really badly because it’s come up yearon-year.

“But when we talked to our competitor­s in the sector, we found out they were in the 20 to 30pc category”.

Figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) show the cyber sector’s total headcount grew 13pc over the last year, with the sector employing around 52,000 people. Most cyber workers are employed around London and the South East according to DCMS, although an increasing talent pool is forming around the Greater Manchester area.

A battle for talent comes as the sector enjoys rapid growth. NCC Group’s share price jumped 10pc last week as it reported a 17.9pc jump in annual sales to £314.8m. Pre-tax profits were £31m, double 2021’s figure of £14.8m.

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