High-profile data breaches have led to a surge in demand for cyber security experts, research shows. Some experts are being paid thousands of pounds a day, a survey of more than 2,100 employers found.

Employment group Manpower said its study showed the new year will start with firms more optimistic than at any time in 2015 about hiring staff. Optimism is being fuelled by the booming business and financial services sector, especially high tech areas.

Manpower said it had received a record number of requests for specialists with IT security expertise this year, reporting four times the demand of 2014.

Mark Cahill, ManpowerGroup UK managing director, said: “There are millions of cyber attacks every day. Companies are having to invest heavily to protect themselves and they now believe that cyber breaches are inevitable, with their focus moving to responding to attacks rather than just prevention.

“We expect the biggest growth area next year to be in cyber security crisis management, with large organisations bolstering their own in-house security teams as well as calling on specialist contractors.

“The shortage of people with the required skills means salaries for this new breed of specialists are vast – Christmas really has come early for this in-demand group. Some individuals can command daily rates in excess of £3,000, and some top cyber security specialists can even earn five-figure sums daily.

“With the potential risk to companies so significant and no signs of demand falling, those sky-high salaries look set to continue.”

Manpower added that employers faced a number of uncertainties over the next year, including the launch of the national living wage and the outcome of the UK’s EU referendum.

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