Low salaries are being blamed for a rise in ‘grey hats’, cyber security professionals who also engage in hacking for financial rewards, claims report.
More than one in every 22 people working in a cybersecurity capacity are believed to be ‘grey hat’ criminals according to a report by Osterman Research in collaboration with Malwarebytes. The figure in the UK rises to one in 13 which is twice as many as some European countries.
According to the research the greater likelihood for UK professionals to engage in cyber crime is being attributed to low salaries, stating that some 32% had been approached to participate in black hat activities. The highest starting salary for an entry-level IT security professional in Australia came in the highest at nearly $95,000 per year, while the lowest salaries recorded in the report were in the UK and Germany, as low as $36,000 equivalent.
Osterman Research believe that a key reason for becoming a black hat is that participants can earn more than they can as a security professional. Corroborating this finding is another study that showed the most lucrative cybercriminals can earn in excess of $166,000 per month, mid-range earners can make $75,000 per month, and that even at the low end of the earnings scale, cybercriminals can earn more than $3,500 per month.