9 out of 10 IT Security Pros Surveyed Favor Experience over Qualifications, FireMon Study shows

Research conducted during RSA Conference 2017 assesses the skills gap in information security


OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS & DALLAS, TEXAS – March 14, 2017 – FireMon, the leader in Intelligent Security Management, today announced results from a survey conducted at the recent RSA Conference that gauged the attitudes of 350 IT security professionals towards the skills shortage in cybersecurity. It found that a remarkably high 93% of respondents place more importance on experience rather than qualifications when it comes to hiring. A further 73% claimed that it didn’t matter whether IT staff were college graduates when it came to getting the job done.

Main survey findings:

  • 93% of IT professionals think experience is more important than qualifications
  • 73% said it didn’t matter if IT staff were college graduates or not
  • 50/50 split on whether it was better to have good communications skills or the best technical skills
  • 90% said IT people needed to become more business savvy in order to keep up
  • 1/3 of respondents would like to see more intelligent product

“Combatting the skills gap does not lie solely with more people getting degrees and certifications,” said Jeremy Martin, Vice President of Engineering, FireMon. “Experience has been shown to be much more important, which could is good news for security-minded folks who learn by experimenting with code and tearing apart systems. That is not to diminish those with qualifications, but instead to encourage those with real-world experience to apply for the IT security jobs they think they might not otherwise get.”

It was also good news for those IT professionals who have good communication skills, but perhaps not the best technical skills, as respondents were split down the middle as to what was more important. Another 90% of IT security professionals surveyed agreed that in order to keep up with the rapidly changing threat landscape, IT security professionals would have to become more business savvy.

“Good communication skills can’t be overlooked,” continued Martin. “We need people with those skills to become facilitators to the business. The key to the skills gap will be identifying these opportunities and matching them with individuals who can relay the IT security messages to the rest of the company or senior management in ways that makes sense in business terms.”

A final key finding was that a third of respondents said they could use more intelligent IT security products. With more intuitive technology, staffing resources could be freed up from mundane tasks to focus their knowledge where it really counts.

“With all of the complexity surrounding IT security infrastructure, from the various security technologies, routers, switches, firewalls and so forth, finding ways to make management tools and workflows more intelligent can shoulder some of the burden and fill in interim staffing gaps,” concluded Martin.

About FireMon

FireMon is the No.1 provider of Intelligent Security Management solutions worldwide, combining advanced benchmarking, simulation, and analysis to deliver next generation security intelligence. Since creating the first-ever network security management solution 15 years ago, FireMon solutions have continued to deliver visibility into and control over complex network security infrastructure, policies, and risk to over 1,500 customers around the world.

Using the FireMon Intelligent Security Management platform, today’s leading enterprise organizations, government agencies, and managed security providers have dramatically improved effectiveness of network defenses, accelerating business agility optimizing return on investment. For more information or a free 30-day trial, visit firemon.com.