Cyberattacks driving demand for information security pros in healthcare, BLS says

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that data breaches and hacking attacks will expand the information security professional workforce by nearly 20 percent.
By Jack McCarthy
09:40 AM
Cyberattacks hiring information security pros

All the data breaches, hackers, ransowmare and medical records theft during the last couple years in healthcare is creating great demand for information security professionals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in fact, projected that the number of jobs in the information security analysts occupation will increase by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, a BLS report indicates.

The growth is occurring “much faster than the average for all occupations,” the BLS said the growth is happening much faster than the average of all occupations; the broader category of computer

[Also: 60 percent of hospitals reported unplanned EHR disruption - before rise of ransomware, OIG says]

“Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks,” BLS stated.

This surge in hiring is due in part to high-profile breaches such as ransomware attacks against healthcare providers, including against Hollywood Presbyterian, the Los Angeles County Department of Health, Chino Valley Medical Centers and its sister organization Desert Valley as well as Methodist Hospital in Kentucky and MedStar Health in Washington, DC.

And while BLS findings about the growing number of information security professionals span multiple U.S. industries, the agency noted a particular security emphasis in the healthcare sector.

"As the healthcare industry expands its use of electronic medical records, ensuring patients' privacy and protecting personal data are becoming more important," BLS explained in its occupational outlook handbook. "More information security analysts are likely to be needed to create the safeguards that will satisfy patients' concerns."

BLS also explained that the median salary for information security analysts is $90,120 as of May 2015 and the highest 10 percent earn $143, 770. The agency added that security analysts typically have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or a related field and that many employers look for candidates with a Master’s in Business Administration focusing on information systems. 

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