Survey Reveals Most Small-Business Owners Plan to Hire a Cybersecurity Professional Within the Next Year

New research indicates that concerns about impending cyberattacks are driving small-business owners to seek in-house cyber expertise

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – June 10, 2015 – High-profile cybersecurity breaches at major retailers and other businesses have ignited consumer fears about data theft and spurred companies to strengthen their data security and protection. New research shows that while small-business owners remain largely unprepared to withstand cyberattacks today, many are already planning to invest in new or enhanced security measures to protect their customers, according to a survey commissioned by DeVry University.

“The increased demand for cybersecurity experts has created new professional opportunities for recent grads in computer information and technology fields,” said Rajin Koonjbearry, Ph.D., professor in DeVry University’s College of Engineering & Information Sciences. “Pursuing a program specialization in cybersecurity is one of the ways to prepare to meet the growing call for experts who can help businesses protect customer information and business assets.”

According to the survey, nearly 50 percent of small-business owners have been victims of cyberattacks, and four in five owners see cybersecurity as a greater concern now than they did one year ago. And while less than one-third of small-business owners feel very prepared for a cyberattack today, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed plan to increase their spending on cybersecurity expertise and resources over the next five years.

The cybersecurity field is projected to grow 37 percent between 2012 and 2022 —much higher than the national average for all occupations — with demand already increasing within the federal government and health care industry.[1] Small businesses are following suit with increased cyber hiring projections and security budgets; of the small-business owners surveyed, 61 percent plan to hire a cybersecurity expert within the next year.

“Having a good cybersecurity program requires more than technology or software,” Dr. Koonjbearry said. “The right personnel can play an integral role in maintaining vigilant watch on the security of business data and creating new safeguards against possible attacks. That skillset is becoming more and more valuable to employers.”

DeVry University’s bachelor’s degree program in Computer Information Systems, which offers a specialization in Cyber Security Programming in select campus locations, prepares graduates to join the workforce successfully as technical and management professionals in a variety of industries. To learn more about DeVry University’s College of Engineering and Information Sciences and degree specializations, visit

About DeVry University

DeVry University’s mission is to foster student learning through high-quality, career-oriented education integrating technology, business, science and the arts. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs onsite and online covering 34 different career fields within its five distinguished colleges of study: Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Media Arts & Technology. The university is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, DeVry University provides an education that prepares its students for a lifetime of success with dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to their students’ academic success. Its highly credentialed faculty members work in the fields that they teach, providing real-world experiences that prepare students for in-demand careers.

With more than 75 locations in the U.S., DeVry University is one of the largest private-sector universities in North America. The university is a part of DeVry Education Group (NYSE: DV), a global provider of educational services. Find DeVry University on Twitter @DeVryUniv and Facebook at /DEVRYUNIVERSITY, or visit

About the Survey

The DeVry University survey, conducted by Wakefield Research (, surveyed 503 owners of U.S. companies with fewer than 100 employees. The survey was conducted between April 7 and April 20, 2015, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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Donna Shaults
DeVry University

Susie White


Hessy Fernandez

Director of Public Relations