As if it weren't already hard enough finding skilled data security pros for existing job vacancies, a new study finds that the majority of cybersecurity workers (84 percent) are open to new opportunities or already planning a job search in 2018.

That is the message from a new report from (ISC)², a nonprofit membership association of certified cybersecurity professionals. The study is based on a survey of 250 security professionals in the United States and Canada, conducted by Market Cube LLC on behalf of (ISC)² in December 2017.

Only 15 percent of respondents said they have no plans to switch jobs this year, while 14 percent plan to look for a new job and 70 percent are open to new opportunities.

The data suggests that unmet expectations between organizations and their cybersecurity workforce—during the hiring process and time on the job—combined with high demand for security skills and frequent contact from recruiters might be encouraging many professionals to consider new opportunities.

See also: Hiring outlook brisk for developers, analysts and security pros

“The cybersecurity workforce gap is growing rapidly, and turnover within cybersecurity teams makes filling those roles even more challenging,” said (ISC)² COO Wesley Simpson. “It is more critical than ever for organizations to ensure their recruitment and employment retention strategies are aligned with what cybersecurity professionals want most from an employer.”

When asked what’s most important for cybersecurity professionals’ personal fulfillment, 68 percent said they want to work where their opinions are taken seriously, 62 percent want to work where they can protect people and their data, and 59 percent want to work for an employer that adheres to a strong code of ethics.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.