Security Experts:

British Telecom to Recruit 900 for Cybersecurity Business

British Telecom (BT) said on Wednesday that it plans to hire 900 people across the globe to work in its cyber security business over the next 12 months.

According to the company, 170 of the new positions will be allocated to graduates and apprentices who will be trained at BT’s Security Academy, an internal initiative that trains employees across areas including physical security, penetration testing, threat intelligence, risk management, security operations and sales.

While the telecommunications services company already employs more than 2,500 security professionals around the world, it cites “rapidly growing demand for skills in this space” as the primary drive for the bump in head count.  

Contrary to what many believe, the primary skills gap for cybersecurity candidates was not lack of technical skills, a recent survey of cyber security managers and practitioners conducted by ISAC found.

“Knowing that there is a skills gap, one might expect 'security technical skills' to be the most popular response. It was not,” SecurityWeek’s Kevin Townsend explained on the survey results. “The primary skills gap lies in the ability of candidates to understand the business (75%). A lack of technical skills scored only 61%; equal, in fact, to another non-technical issue – poor communication.”

A majority of the new BT roles will be in the United Kingdom, the company said, with many located at BT’s security operations centers in London, Sevenoaks and Cardiff. Additionally, BT said it was looking to hire security specialists across Continental Europe, the Americas, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific.

In June 2014, BT hired former Les Anderson as vice president of cyber at BT Security, who previously worked for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British intelligence agency. 

Related: The Harsh Truth of the Cybersecurity Talent Gap 

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.