A recent report completed by Nemertes Research has confirmed what security professionals have known for a while - it's a good time to work in the IT security field. The report, titled "Spring 2009 Research Benchmark on Computing and Communications," includes interviews from both IT security executives and professionals. It is not freely available to non-clients, but this Network World piece, which appears to be written by a Nemertes staffer, though it doesn't explicitly say so, has a rundown of the report's security findings.
I don't think that there were any real surprises; 2009 paychecks for security professionals were higher than other IT employees, by 8 percent, in fact. Companies are still having a hard time finding qualified security professionals. More companies are turning to managed security services. There was a 6 percent increase in companies using managed services, up from 2007.
The main driver in security today is compliance. Sixty percent of organizations surveyed indicated that compliance was the main driver. I couldn't agree more. To add to it, I believe that security will play an even more important role when Congress passes additional regulations to shore up the financial industry in wake of the recent financial meltdown.
The security field is not recession proof, although the report leads you to believe it is. In fact, a recent Proofpoint survey of IT security pros found that the numbers reporting that they'd dealt with a serious security breach of some kind in the last year were quite high, and that the blame was laid on the recession and job cuts, both inside and outside of the IT group.