Digital transformation that leverages cloud technologies and enable remote working is on the rise in Australia.

And so is the demand for cybersecurity solutions associated with it, according to a new report by Nasdaq-listed global tech advisory company, ISG.

The report sees the cybersecurity industry in Australia growing significantly in the coming years, driven by the increasing concerns about data privacy and cyber attacks.

“Senior leaders are increasingly focused on the decision-making around cybersecurity products and services, and want to understand their organisations’ cyber risks,” the report said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also put a greater emphasis on cybersecurity systems, as many employees continue to work from home. In addition, the report singled out artificial intelligence (AI) as the fastest growing tool used within the industry.

The report concludes by saying that two segments in particular, access management and cloud-based detection solutions, will see significant growth in coming years.

But are we already seeing this play out in the current market?

Stockhead spoke to Richard Talbot, a co-founder and director at a tech recruitment company, Technology People, to get further insights into this space.

Talbot, a 25-year recruitment industry veteran, confirms that cybersecurity jobs in Australia are indeed red hot at the moment.

“There is a significant demand from organisations of all sizes in Australia for people with cybersecurity skills,” Talbot told Stockhead.

“The more that you see in the news about these big hacks, intrusions and ransomware, the more that companies are willing to invest in cybersecurity and pay significant premium to people with relevant experience.”

Job market as a bellwether

The increase in demand for cyber specialists has also pushed salaries for these professionals to astronomical levels.

Figures obtained by the Australian Financial Review showed that consultant Earnst & Young has a strong team of cybersecurity experts spread across Australia and New Zealand, with salaries of up to $360,000-a-year.

“I think in Australia, we have a simple supply and demand issue,” Talbot explained.

“Demand is significantly increasing, but the skilled immigrants that used to be the pressure relief valve for the Australian IT sector, they’re not coming at the moment.”

Nevertheless, Talbot says that he’s seeing many consulting firms as well as top organisations from the ASX 100 ramping up their cybersecurity teams.

“And then there are also the next layer down organisations that may have not really thought about cybersecurity in the past, but are now starting to hire the same of sort of skills.”

It’s not just cybersecurity demand that’s rising – Talbot also sees increase in demand for IT jobs across the board in Australia, especially since the pandemic began.

“Out of the 35 CIOs that we surveyed, 90% said they expected to have increased budgets for IT spend post-COVID,” Talbot said.

Talbot explains that the recruitment industry is a good bellwether of the economy and by extension, the stock market.

“If things are slowing down, we’ll tell you eight weeks in advance before any ABS data comes out, because we can see the job vacancies start to drop off.”


ASX cybersecurity stocks

There is a bunch of cybersecurity stocks trading on the ASX, some of which are listed below:

Tesserent (ASX:TNT) is a pure-play cyber-security stock, providing “Internet Security-as-a-Service” for a customer’s computer infrastructure. It’s currently the largest provider of cybersecurity services to the Australian Federal government.

Senetas (ASX:SEN) owns the software tools that protect against malware and ransomware attacks. It has developed the technology with the ability to proactively eliminate all known and unknown threats hidden in files.

archTIS’s (ASX:AR9) technology can prevent malicious and accidental loss of information for its clients.

Its products include Kojensi, a multi-government certified platform for the secure access, sharing and collaboration of sensitive and classified information.

Its other product is the NC Protect, which is used to enhance information and file access sharing across multiple platforms including Microsoft 365 apps, Dropbox, Nutanix, and Windows file shares.

Whitehawk (ASX:WHK) is a first global online cybersecurity exchange marketplace.The company offers an online tool that enables small and midsize businesses to take immediate action against cybercrime, fraud, and disruption.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While archTIS is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.