Tag Archive | "cyber security"

Demand for IT Contractors Strong in May

If you thought IT contracting was hitting a rough patch due to Brexit or IBM firing contractors, then think again, as demand was strong during May.

In fact, the 4 weeks leading up to June 2017 was the busiest time this year for IT contractors, as companies all around the UK needed certain skills that couldn’t be found elsewhere.

This is all according to a national staffing index, that shows demand for temporary IT skills was at 61.9 during the month of May, compared to 59.2 in April and 60.1 in March.

It seems to suggest that not only was May the busiest time for IT contractors so far this year, but it was also busier than any month last year. I for one, will be interested to see the stats for June, July and August of this year…could demand for IT skills get even stronger? Only time will tell.

You have to go back to April 2015 when the demand was stronger, when the score according to the national staffing index was 62.2.

So why are IT contractors so in demand right now, shouldn’t it all be doom and gloom with Brexit on the horizon and the slump in the economy? Actually, no.

Firstly, reports are suggesting that many IT contractors from the EU are leaving the UK and going back to their home countries. This has led to companies turning towards British IT contractors when they need work doing.

Secondly, IT security is becoming an issue for many companies and businesses around the country. It was only a few weeks ago that British Airways was hacked, and many others are now starting to experience similar issues.

This means that IT contractors who specialise in security are now finding their skills very much in demand, with some companies willing to pay top money if they can keep them safe from hackers.

Lastly, there appears to be a shortage of IT skills in many areas of the country, with things such as Data Analytics, Software, Cyber Security, and Java, being right at there at the top of that list.

If you are an IT contractor with those kind of skills then you should have no problem getting work, with a nice pay packet to go with it.

Will this last though, or will IT contractors find themselves out of work in the near future? Obviously no-one can say for sure, but if you ask me, I would say that the IT contracting scene is looking very good in the UK right now, and it is only going to get better.

So if you have the skills and are willing to do the work, you should be able to get paid some decent cash for IT contracting in 2017.

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Frightened firms call for more cyber security contractors

Firms terrified of being subject to hacking attempts have been tripping over themselves to increase the number of cyber security contractors they have on staff.

If we can learn anything from the massive cyber attack that Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered recently, it’s this: the need for cyber security has never been greater. That firm was brought to its knees by a hacking collective all too easily, which highlights just how important it is to have cyber security staff working for your company that actually know what in the world they’re actually doing.

Of course, there’s been some hefty demand for cyber security freelancers and contract workers for years – but throughout the course of 2014 it’s shot up precipitously. One research study found that in the UK alone job vacancies for cyber security interim personnel has gone up at a rate that has exceeded 100 per cent in growth. That’s, well frankly it’s unbelievable. It’s also fantastic, brilliant news for contractors with the skills that firms are looking for, as it means these workers can more or less write their own ticket when it comes to deciding which contract to accept.

Not only that but pay packets are getting fatter. Research says that day rates for contractors in the cyber security sector have gone up an astounding 16 per cent in the last 12 months. Not only that, but permanent employees are getting some love as well; their own salary has gone up by around 10 per cent as well. In other words, it’s shaping up to be quite a lucrative little sector for sole traders and traditional employees alike.

Of course this spells fantastic news for contractors, but not so much for firms throughout the UK and beyond. Having the right kinds of cyber security in place has become such an incredibly important issue at the moment, something that the Sony hack underscores quite simply. No system is completely safe from intrusion when it comes to hackers or cyber attackers sniffing about the back door, so if you don’t have ways of keeping these bastards out – and the staff on hand to deal with intrusions as they happen – you’re more or less asking for trouble. Nobody wants to end up like Sony Pictures, who lost their entire computer networks for more than a week and had terabytes of information stolen from its internal databases.

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Cyber security is no laughing matter – even for contractors

You may think that only large firms and multinationals need to worry about things such as cyber security, but even contractors need to be aware of the dangers!

Whether you’re a limited company contractor or an umbrella company worker, cyber security has begun to grow into something that you used to just think about in passing to something that you actually have to worry about – that is if the Federation of Small Businesses can be believed. In fact, the FSB recently announced that the impact of cyber crime is actually quite massive, with the organisation estimating that as much as £800 billion is lost every year by small and medium-sized businesses through cyber attacks.

More than 4 out of every FSB members indicated in a recent poll that they had been victimised by cyber crime in 2012 alone. The financial losses averaged around £4,000 each, says the trade industry body, with the most common form of cyber attack being a computer virus of some kind; one out of every five firms reported having to deal with a virus of some sort or another.

The government has been hard at work to curb cyber attacks on UK businesses and has since launched several new schemes in order to provide aid to firms dealing with the growing tide of hacking attempts. One such initiative is the Innovation Voucher scheme from the Technology Strategy Board, a programme that the TSB just extended in an attempt to aid SMEs in shoring up their defences in order to ward off these cyber attacks.

On top of that, the government has also been attempting to glean additional information o what kind of threats not just UK firms have been facing but the types of cyber attacks their own government departments are having to cope with as well. The raw intelligence gathered by these efforts is set to be disseminated through a new cyber security partnership in order to provide as much help as possible in thwarting the efforts of anyone with a computer and a rotten conscience.

If you ask me, it’s a brilliant move and hopefully it will result in facilitating both the government and the UK private sector’s hardening of their cyber defences. No one likes having their bank accounts hacked or online retail websites shut down, after all!

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