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With cyber security expertise in short supply, firms feel able to charge large sums in return for security services

Britain’s top cybersecurity experts are charging leading companies more than £10,000 a day to protect vulnerable IT systems from sophisticated and shadowy hackers, who are becoming increasingly brazen in their activities.

According to recruiter Manpower, who have carried research on the subject, less experienced experts can still charge more than £3,000 a day to tackle the escalating threat to the sensitive digital information that company’s store.

Large sums

IT companies feel able to charge large sums, as the failure to take action to protect sensitive information is evident, often monthly, in the press. High-profile attacks have recenly been made on Sony, TalkTalk and JD Wetherspoon, cases in which personal and financial information was stolen.

Manpower’s survey found that the hourly rates charged by IT security experts were likely to continue to rise next year as boardrooms scramble to find expert advice from a limited pool of advisers. The amount of people taking, for example, ICT based apprenticeships, has, until recently been falling, meaning until any rise in those being trained bears fruit in the workplace, cybersecurity companies will be able to charge more as their services will be at a premium.

People shortage 

Manpower said its own client database showed requests from employers looking for IT security expertise had quadrupled in 2015 compared with the previous year.

“The shortage of people with the required skills means salaries for this new breed of specialists are vast – Christmas really has come early for this in-demand group,” said Mark Cahill, managing director of ManpowerGroup.

Sky high salaries 

“Some individuals can command daily rates in excess of £3,000, and some top cyber security specialists can even earn five-figure sums daily. With the potential risk to companies so significant and no signs of demand falling, those sky high salaries look set to continue.”

According to Cahill, cyberattacks cost the global economy up to $575bn a year, which is why companies are prepared to make heavy investments to fight hackers.

“Companies are having to invest heavily to protect themselves and they now believe that cyber breaches are inevitable, with their focus moving to responding to attacks rather than just prevention. We expect the biggest growth area next year to be in ‘cyber security crisis management’, with large organisations bolstering their own in-house security teams as well as calling on specialist contractors,” Cahill concluded.