cybersecurity: Demand for cybersecurity experts defies slowdown in tech hiring

Despite a hiring slowdown in India’s technology sector, demand for cybersecurity professionals has reached an all-time high this year, as investing in cyber resilience has become a top priority for tech companies.

Rising risk of cyberattacks is driving tech companies in the services and products space as well as tech-enabled startups to ramp up their manpower, said executive search firms. There is also a significant increase in demand from the back offices of multinationals in India.

According to exclusive data from, there has been an up to 70% increase in various roles in security this year compared with last year. Top profiles in demand include network security engineer (up 66%), application security engineer (up 57%), DevSec engineer (up 27%) and cybersecurity (22%).

Executive search firms such as Ciel HR Services and Longhouse Consulting too have seen a nearly 60-80% increase in hiring mandates in cybersecurity roles.

cybersecurity: Demand for cybersecurity experts defies slowdown in tech hiring

“IT security is a rising concern for most organisations,” said Nitin Bhatt, partner & technology sector leader at EY. “With an increasing trend towards cloud-based deployments from on-prem environments, work from home, and an increase in the number of startups and firms utilising open-source tools, organisations are feeling greater need for strengthening security for their networks, apps and associated data,” he added.

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“With cyberattacks on the rise, investing in cyber resilience continues to be a top board priority,” he said.

Salaries too are up 15-25%, according to executive search experts and data.

Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, Ciel HR Services, said: “Demand has gone up by about 80% and salaries of professionals in this skillset have been growing at about 12-15% per annum.”

Ciel HR has been hiring these profiles for companies in IT services, products, global capacity centres of MNCs and startups. “This spike is due to the growth in usage of SaaS and cloud technologies. Companies have to protect their digital assets and network from cyberattacks, malware and theft. Hence, they have to put layers on their applications to protect their information and network,” he added.

According to research by executive search firm Longhouse Consulting, the role of chief information officer (CIO) is changing very fast into chief information security officer (CISO). “Earlier ‘security’ used to be 15-20% of the role component, which is now up to 30-35% of the CIO role component,” said CEO Anshuman Das, sharing the findings of the research.

As per a recent survey by PwC, organisations across the globe worry about more threats and cyber events in 2023 — 65% of surveyed business executives feel cybercriminals will significantly affect their organisation in 2023 compared with 2022. In India, cloud-based pathways (59%) and the Internet of things (58%) are top areas of concern, followed by mobile devices and software supply chains (54%), showed the Global Digital Trust Insights survey. Globally, mobile devices are considered the most unsecure (41%).

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