Cyber security skills in high demand within the financial services sector

27/04/2017

Data protection challenges continue to grow as businesses hold more and more sensitive information for customers, making cyber security one of the hottest topics in and out of the tech industry at the moment. Charles-Henri Rouvroy, Senior Manager, explains why cyber security specialists are in high demand within the banking and financial services sector.

The main areas of growth we are observing in financial services technology nowadays are digital transformation, where organisations are looking to modernise the way they engage with their customer base and improving technology to support the way organisations are able to cope with regulatory and business pressures.

Additionally, cyber security continues to be a prevalent issue for financial services organisations in Belgium and we expect there to be an increase in demand for cyber security specialists going forward. Companies are fearful of the risks that a lack of cyber security poses to the wider organisation and in an attempt to mitigate against this are investing in this skillset as a priority.

Skills in demand

Many banking and financial services organisations are focusing on developing their cyber security teams in Belgium. Project management and business analyst specialists are in high demand, particularly those with regulatory, compliance, AML, KYC or private wealth management experience. This is also expected to continue for the remainder of 2017 as the regulatory landscape evolves and further framework is imposed.

In addition, the majority of financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies and financial technology vendors, are focusing on upgrading and developing more advanced online and mobile services by updating, redeveloping and innovating their mobile applications. As a result, there has been a growing demand for developers with specialist knowledge to drive the upgrade process and enable companies to stay competitive with their digital offerings and improve the user experience for consumers purchasing finance and investment products.

Candidate market

The technology market is predominantly driven by client needs and the candidate pool is relatively large. However, there is markedly higher demand for certain niche and specialist skillsets. Those in high demand include project and change management professionals, business analysts with specialist financial services knowledge, developers and digital specialists with experience in developing e-commerce services. These professionals are expected to remain in high demand for the remainder of the year, with specialists being able to secure roles more easily than generalist technology candidates.

Salary trends

IT financial services professionals moving jobs have generally expected to gain between 8-12% increases in salary but those with specialist experience and niche skillsets have been able to command a higher uplift.

Recognising that the demand for cyber security professionals will only continue to grow as the cyber security risk landscape evolves and the change in regulation draws nearer, and making sure they are offering competitive packages will help ensure employers secure the highest calibre professionals.

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