Of the 11 certifications that gained value during the past three months, six were security related. The GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) cert was up 11.1% for Q2 and 25% since the beginning of 2009. Other certs that gained significantly were the EC-Council/Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator, the GIAC Certified Incident Manager (GCIM), the GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA), the GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA), and the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
So how is it that, despite the economic turmoil, pay for these certs is still on the rise? "With state laws about public disclosure, [companies are] starting to look at security as more of a business risk. [They] realize if they don't get their acts together, their reputation suffers, their brand suffers." said David Foote, the firm's co-founder, CEO and chief researcher.
Foote said security certs lead all skills categories, both certified and noncertified, with an impressive 2% gain during the past 12 months.
"This is made even more impressive by the loss of 4.1% in value for certifications overall in the same period," he added. "And it's not just regulations, compliance and governance driving the gain. Security has become a key product and service differentiator among customers who are insisting on better protection for their data whether in servers or transported across networks."
Due to this increased demand for and focus on security, Foote said the key to a successful future for security professionals is "understanding the business and where it's heading. The major barrier is that communication between business and security could be a lot better. [In the future] security will not be like a guard with a flashlight and no gun, which is what security is at a lot of companies."