Demand for Chief Security Officers and other security professionals has increased over 100 per cent in 2021 after cybersecurity emerged as one of the key concerns of CEOs after the pandemic hit the world a year ago, says global executive search firm, Kingsley Gate Partners.

In the last year, technology permeated every function of an enterprise like never before. Remote working, new ways of managing workflows and efforts to ensure business continuity have only made these companies increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats, as per the firm.

Umesh Ramakrishnan, Senior Partner and Co-CEO at Kingsley Gate Partners said, “This has exponentially increased the risk of security failures. To combat this, global enterprises are beefing up their security to avoid any possible catastrophes. As a result, we are seeing a 100 per cent spike in demand for CSO jobs and other cybersecurity positions in India and abroad.”

Confirming the trend, Supaul Chanda, Vice President, Experis, part of ManpowerGroup India said, “In the current context, cybersecurity has taken a major leap across the globe in spend and R&D. CSO is a new position in the market.”'

According to Kingsley Gate Partners, due to heavy dependence on technology, enterprises are under pressure to become future-proofing organisations with a focus on data, communications, business, product understanding, security, and technical know-how. With this, CEOs are increasingly realising the need for a dedicated person who can monitor, evaluate, predict and protect their companies from security threats.

“We know CEOs traditionally interacted with CMOs, CFOs and CTOs. Many companies are now in the process of creating a new position of Chief Security Officer as cybersecurity worries have already started haunting CEOs around the globe,'' said B.S. Murthy, Bengaluru-based CXO hirer and CEO, Leadership Capital.

In some enterprises, CEOs and CSOs are already working in tandem to deal with different aspects of security regarding data storage, data security, vulnerability and data accessibility.

On job outlook, Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, a specialist staffing firm said, the demand for cybersecurity professionals was expected to rise 200% in the next four years.

“In 2021 alone, the country will require some 70,000 people with crucial skills such as application development security, cloud security, risk management, threat intelligence, incident response, data privacy, security strategy and health information security. However, we still not have enough people in cybersecurity.”