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September 2013 Volume 15 / No. 7

Bridging the IT security skills gap

Dell SecureWorks' business relies on having top talent to run its security operation centers and threat analysis groups. As a managed security service provider in the business of filling the holes in its clients' defenses, the company needs a well-trained workforce. Yet, like most firms, SecureWorks is hounded by a dire scarcity of trained security professionals. The situation is so bad that for every 20 open security positions at the company, there is only one qualified candidate, said Jon Ramsey, the firm's chief technology officer. The company has pursued a number of strategies to improve its chances of gaining the right people, from aggressive recruiting tactics to in-house 'farm teams' for developing talent, to partnerships with universities. On top of that, the company awards higher salaries to the right people, a necessary tactic that not every company can afford. "The people who need security professionals cannot find them," said Ramsey. "And if the company is not a security business, it is hard to justify paying a ...

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