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Survey: Cybersecurity Experts Distracted By Basic PC Support Requests


Many companies are paying IT security staff to fix colleagues' personal computer problems, according to a survey completed by firewall management and security company FireMon.

The survey of more than 350 IT security professionals revealed 83 percent of respondents said colleagues in other departments ask them to fix their personal computer problems, FireMon said. In addition, 80 percent of survey respondents stated they use over 1 hour of their work week – or more than 52 hours annually – to address these issues, FireMon noted.

IT security professionals in the United States earn an average annual salary of $114,388, job search website Indeed reported. This equates to an average hourly salary of $55.

Multiply the average hourly salary of IT security professionals by the average information security team headcount and multiply it again by 52 weeks a year, and this means organizations on average are wasting approximately $88,660 annually on unsanctioned IT support, FireMon stated.

Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Plagues Many Orgs

The cybersecurity skills shortage further increases the need for organizations to help IT security staff maximize the time and resources at their disposal.

The median information security team consists of 31 full-time employees, best practice and technology company CEB pointed out. Also, the "2017 IT Spending Intentions Survey" of 641 IT and cybersecurity professionals conducted by IT market research firm ESG revealed 69 percent of organizations intend to increase their cybersecurity budgets this year.

Conversely, 45 percent of survey respondents said their organization is dealing with a shortage of cybersecurity skills.

Amid those market dynamics, many MSPs are exploring opportunities to become full-blown managed security services providers (MSSPs) – something that may help organizations address an ongoing cybersecurity skills shortage and reduce the need for on-site IT staff to handle colleagues' personal computer problems.

MSSP Market Growth Forecast

The global managed security services market is growing, and the International Data Corp (IDC) "Worldwide Semiannual Security Spending Guide" showed managed security services, endpoint security and network security could represent the top worldwide security technology spending categories this year.

Also, the guide indicated services could prove to be the largest area of security technology spending in 2017, and companies may spend nearly $31.2 billion on managed security services, integration services and consulting services.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.