By Stephen Withers
20 July 2005
There is a security skills shortage, and "it's going to get a lot
worse," delegates at the Gartner Security Summit were told yesterday
by Nick Tate, chairman of AusCERT and CIO at the University of
During the CIO/CSO (chief security officer) panel session, Tate
pointed to the drop in entry to tertiary IT courses, which will flow
through to a reduction in the number of graduates in another year or
"I don't feel particularly confident [about the supply of skilled
staff]," he added, although in the longer term any shortages are
likely to attract people to careers in IT security. He also noted the
growth in interest in double degrees such as Law/IT as an entry point
to an IT career.
His fellow panellists agreed that shortages exist.
"The industry is suffering a shortage," said Gary Blair, head of
security practice at National Australia Bank, but security people seek
employers that are serious about the area, such as banks. Blair is
looking to develop existing staff and to hire selected individuals to
round out the organisation's skill sets.
"I'm slightly nervous," said Jonathan Palmer, CIO at the Australian
Bureau of Statistics, about the security skills issue. However, he is
"a bit worried about accreditation schemes because they can turn into
portability passports," but suggests one way to keep staff is to
engage them as fully as possible in the organisation so they identify
as an 'ABS person' as much as an 'IT security person'".
The writer is a NAB shareholder.
Attend the Black Hat Briefings and
Training, Las Vegas July 23-28 -
2,000+ international security experts,
10 tracks, no vendor pitches.