Cyber security professionals top the list of IT professionals in hot demand this quarter as companies invest in developing stronger defences against cyber-attacks, according to recruiting experts Hays.
The latest Hays Quarterly Report reveals many companies are creating new headcount during the January to March quarter to bring on cyber security talent to bolster their defences against attacks on data integrity, big data systems and more.
“Trying to stay one step ahead of hackers and cyber crime is a crucial issues for organisations and governments the world over, with major financial hubs like Hong Kong being particular targets,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director for Hays in Hong Kong.
With an average of 7 million hacking attempts daily worldwide, Hong Kong is clearly the target according to a cyber crime research centre that has flagged the need to step up resources and efforts.
The government-funded Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) warned that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and People’s Bank of China were among a long list of central banks hacking group Anonymous identified as top targets in May, South China Morning Post reports.
The research institute and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority would soon join forces to set standards to qualify cyber experts in Hong Kong in a bid to increase talents supply.
Duncan Wong, ASTRI’s director, security and data sciences, cited statistics from Norse, a cyber threat intelligence network service provider, that on average there are 7 million hacking attempts worldwide a day varying from web page hacking, individual machine infection through malware, to critical infrastructure attacking.
Financial losses arising from cyber crime in Hong Kong jumped about 51 per cent to HK$1.82 billion last year while the number of cases was up 1.2 percent to 6,778 cases, police statistics indicated.
“A company’s cyber defence capability is fast becoming a significant factor in a range of business areas, from how a company is viewed by investors, clients, insurers and potential business partners to reputation and issues management,” Dean added. “Having the best of cyber security talent on board and retaining this talent is crucial in this quarter and beyond.”
Other IT talent in demand from January to March 2017 will include developers with java and oracle expertise to work with large MNCs, thus increasing product and business lines this year. Temporary business analysts and project managers are also keenly sought after to work on expanding pension and Multi Fund Services (MPF) projects this quarter, but also further into the year.
Meanwhile, employers will need to streamline recruitment processes and find ways to promote their employer brand to entice quality candidates to move jobs, instead of hanging back to wait for bonuses to be paid in March.
Pay rises are another factor influencing the candidate market. Our research shows many candidates are in two minds about switching jobs are weighing up their options, and how best to increase their salary – a pay rise with an existing employer or an increase in salary with a new employer?
This quarter will typically see candidates ask for a salary increase of 8-12 percent and those deemed most valuable are likely to get what they want.
We are also seeing many candidates embark on professional development in their own time with most choosing to pursue a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) qualification.
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