FireMon (www.firemon.com), the market leader in Intelligent Security Management, polled just over 350 IT security professionals and found that 83% said colleagues in other departments turn to them to fix their personal computer problems. A further 80% of those confessed to it taking up more than 1 hour of their working week, which in a year equates to $88,660 potentially spent on doing non-security related tasks according to average industry salary rates.*
This figure would rise to around $443,300 for the average organizational spend per year for the 8% of professionals surveyed that help colleagues out five hours a week or more.
“Not only are modern IT security professionals faced with a growing complexity and skills gap and keeping up with technology investments and advancements, but they are also expected by colleagues to help them sort out their personal computing woes,” said Michael Callahan, CMO of FireMon.
The study highlights how it becomes costly having staff help out with everyday computer issues, especially when you scratch below the surface. Organizations are potentially paying qualified security professionals salaries upwards of $100,000 per year and seeing in some cases 12.5 percent of that investment being spent on non-work related activities.
“IT personnel are usually the helpful, go-to people for sorting out issues, but it’s only when you start to cost it out that you realize how much money it equates to. This is on top of a very demanding job where they often juggle many different workstreams and projects, oftentimes relying on strictly manual processes and workflows. Fortunately, for this aspect of their role, there are intelligent automation solutions available that help them keep their day-to-day work, like managing the network infrastructure and risk, on track,” Callahan concluded.
*The average salary for IT security professionals in the US is $114,388 per year according to Indeed (https://www.indeed.com/salaries/IT-Security-Specialist-Salaries), so it equates to a $55 hourly rate; multiply that by the average IT security headcount (https://www.cebglobal.com/blogs/information-security-budgets-more-money-and-more-staff-but-growth-finally-slowing/) of 31 and again multiply by 52 weeks a year to get the $88,660 per year figure.