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BT set to hire 900 security staff in bid to bolster hacker defences

BT is launching a major recruitment campaign in a bid to hire 900 security staff over the coming year

The recruitment drive is part of BT’s plan to strengthen its defences and those of its customers from hacking attacks and cybercrime. BT already employs 2,500 staff in its security division, BT Security.

The bulk of the new security positions will be in the UK, predominantly based in BT’s security operations locations in London, Cardiff and Sevenoaks; however, BT is also hiring a large number of security specialists around the world, with positions available across Europe, North and South America, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.

According to BT, 170 of the vacancies will be graduate opportunities and apprenticeships, with successful candidates being trained at BT’s specialist Security Academy. Training will focus on threat assessment, risk assessment, security operations, penetration testing, enterprise security and sales.

Mark Hughes, BT Security’s president, said in a statement that recent security breaches widely reported in the media had led to a significant increase in concern about digital security at both consumer and corporate level.

BT’s security recruitment plans follow the major security breach at rival firm TalkTalk just a few months ago. This breach involved the theft of personal details of approximately 60,000 TalkTalk customers and was a very costly experience. Around 250,000 customers left the company after the breach, according to research carried out by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

BT is not the only major employer looking to recruit high-calibre security specialists this year. Last November, Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement confirming that the UK government would fund the hiring of an additional 1,900 staff for the UK’s GCHQ intelligence and security centre.

The drive for security staff by BT and GCHQ represents a significant opportunity for recruiters, particularly those with specialist candidates on their books. From graduates with science and technology degrees to experienced security professionals, recruitment firms should be actively targeting these recruitment drives and others across the corporate spectrum.

As the threat from cybercrime, identity theft and hacking continues to rise, it is likely that more and more security vacancies will appear over the coming months. Savvy recruiters will already be looking at how to identify and attract top-quality security professionals and how to present these candidates most effectively to firms looking to increase their digital security staff numbers.

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