The SSRPersonnel and Executive Profiles 2020 Annual Salary Survey partners with ASIS International. Data is collated from more than 12,000 security professionals from across 40 business sectors including finance AND insurance, manufacturing, extractives, e-commerce, FMCG and logistics.
Average wage inflation was 3.1% and management increases were 5.1% from the SSRsurvey. Over 65% of respondents reported that they were underpaid, which is up from under 50% the year before.
The employment rate had remained high and then... COVID-19 emerged...
Up to February 2020, a record 33 million people were in employment. This was mainly driven by an increase of women in employment and self-employed workers. By June, advertised jobs had dropped to 75% of the pre-COVID levels, with at least 8.4 million workers covered by the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, according to the Office for National Statistics.
We’re seeing a gradual return to work, but the tech giants that have prospered during this period have in general told office-based members of staff not to return to work until the New Year. Twitter has said that its own ‘business as usual’ model may become remote working.
Physical security growth
The total value of world production of physical security products at factory gate prices in 2019 was $34.3 billion. According to a report from Research and Markets, it forecasts that global market sales will reach $56.76 billion in 2024. These figures are robust and not deflected by the pause in economic growth, but most probably will be accelerated through insecurity.
In 2019, Artificial Intelligence-centric technology applied to video surveillance data was just being trialled. In 2020, it will become a key component in identifying COVID carriers’ behaviours when added to thermal imaging. Significant improvements in AI video analytics software is making this possible and, over the next ten years, it will become a standard requirement across surveillance solutions. There’s a critical need to make full use of the massive amounts of data being generated by video surveillance cameras and AI-based solutions are the only practical answer.
Cyber security still booming
The SSRMiddle East 2020 Annual Workforce Survey estimates cyber security vacancies globally are approximately 3.5 million, which is increasing in this COVID environment as remote working will become the norm. Most offices can only operate at 50% capacity within a one-metre distancing rule. You must then factor-in a capacity of 2-to-3 people per lift for accessing their desks.
Computer sciences and programming degrees have not been the first choice for many graduates. This is changing as more women are attracted to cyber security. That would significantly rebalance the estimated female under-representation in IT of just under 20%.
The global cyber security market is booming, having grown by 30 times in the last 13 years. The cyber security sector was valued at US$161.07 billion in 2019 by Mordor Intelligence and is expected to reach US$363.05 billion in value by 2025.
Increasing cyber security incidents and regulations requiring their reporting are driving the human and technology growth. The USA Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee reported that cyber crimes currently cost the world almost US$600 billion each year. That’s 0.8% of global GDP.
The cyber security sector requires diversity to thrive. The field is wide open for people across generations, races and gender identities. Creativity and collaboration are as important as technical acumen so there’s no ‘stereotypical’ cyber security professional. The 2020 Tessian Report stated that if women earned as much as their male counterparts, the sector cost would increase by £4.4 billion in the UK alone.
While slowing trade, the pandemic has not slowed the growth of cyber criminality. Ransomware-wielding criminals are also growing increasingly ruthless based on the size of their extortion demands and their increasing propensity to leak data in an attempt to force victims to pay up. That’s according to BakerHostetler’s investigations into hacking breaches.
Based on more than 1,000 incidents investigated in 2018, the average ransom paid was, in fact, $28,920 and the largest payment masde was actually $250,000. In 2019, the average ransom paid jumped to a total of $302,539, while the largest single payment was $5.6 million.
What of the world post-COVID and Brexit?
More than a billion workers around the world could suffer financial hardship as the Coronavirus destroys jobs, cuts working hours and slashes pay. One-third of the global workforce is expected to feel the effects directly, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), with those in the retail, manufacturing, accommodation, food and transport industries hardest hit.
The ILO said: “Workers who are engaged in activities deemed essential – for example food distribution – continue to work, but they face greater occupational health risks. Workers in non-essential businesses face widespread closures and sharp reductions in employment and hours.
” Essex University research predicts that 6.5 milion jobs in the UK could be lost post-October after the furlough scheme ends.
A common thread in the SSR study was that Brexit will affect respondents’ future options, with many commenting that upward travel in a security career is hard. Has the appetite for confrontation diminished on either the UK or EU negotiation sides with a recession three times worse that that of 2009 and the worst recession in 300 years predicted? The smart money would appear to be on a ‘No Deal’. We are all wounded by a virus, the Euro will be under pressure and Turkey has many millions of refugees to send to Europe and the UK. Life is not going to be normal. We will have economic uncertainty for years, but we must also bear in mind that the UK’s security business sector will have opportunities to thrive.