Piper Jaffray Report: Which Security Companies Are Investing The Most In Hiring?

Now Hiring

The security industry is facing a drastic shortage in available talent, but that isn't stopping security vendors from ramping up their hiring efforts in recent months. According to a recent Piper Jaffray report, security vendors overall were growing their hiring, with nine out of 13 vendors increasing the number of open positions posted in August. The data was compiled by pulling hiring posts from each company's website, then categorized to determine what areas it is investing in the most. The double-digit increases by a large portion of the security vendors contrasts with an overall economy hiring increase of 8.4 percent month over month and a 7.5 percent increase month over month in IT.

Take a look at the breakdown and see which security vendor is investing the most in hiring right now.

8. Barracuda Networks

Barracuda Networks had the biggest drop in hiring posts in the past month, dropping 2.9 percent from the month before to 66 positions. According to the Piper Jaffrey's report, the company had the most postings in sales and marketing as well as research and development, with 14 and 29 positions, respectively, at the end of the month. Positions in general and administrative were down significantly, dropping 6.7 percent to 28 positions. The company has also been investing heavily in its channel program, executives told CRN, adding a new dedicated position for global channel chief in May and revamping its partner program in April.

7. Check Point Software Technologies

The other security company to drop its hiring rates in August was Check Point Software Technologies, which dropped 1.7 percent to 236 open positions at the end of the month. Over the past year, the network security company has been dropping its hiring rates, with six of the last nine months seeing drops in the number of positions posted. While it did increase general and administrative positions by more than 40 percent, sales and marketing and research and development were down month over month 10.9 and 5.7 percent, respectively.

6. FireEye

With 428 open positions at the end of the month, FireEye landed at the No. 6 spot for percentage increase in hiring. In particular, the company was investing in growing its research and development head count, with an 11.9 percent increase in the number of positions at the end of August to 132. The company's Mandiant research department recently made front-page news, with a finding that some Cisco routers had been infected by malware known as SYNful Knock, giving hackers back-door access to networks. While FireEye seemed to be ramping up its investment in R&D, there still were more open positions overall in general and administrative, with 236.

5. Symantec

As Symantec readies for its impending split, the company is investing big in hiring, with percentage increases in the number of positions for every month this year. In August, Symantec increased its hiring by 5 percent to have 1,720 open positions listed (the most positions of any security vendor measured). That was the lowest increase for Symantec this year, which averaged an increase of more than 17 percent in positions month over month. The company had by far the most positions open in general and administrative, with 1,623 listings.

4. Proofpoint

Landing at the No. 4 spot was Proofpoint with a 9.2 percent increase in hiring to 178 open positions, a jump that was particularly influenced by a rise in general and administrative hiring (up by 50 percent over the month before). In its report, Piper Jaffray noted that Proofpoint management had said it would take a "controlled approach" to sales and marketing hiring as it waited for newer sales reps to be mentored and learn the business. Sales and marketing hiring was down by 3.6 percent at the end of August. However, one key hire that the company did make in the area of sales and marketing in recent months was the addition of former Fortinet marketing head Luanne Tierney as senior vice president of marketing.

3. Fortinet

In its second-largest hiring increase since June 2014, Fortinet raised its hiring posts in August by 12.7 percent (behind only the 13.1 percent it rose in February). As it looks to capture more market share, Fortinet said on its most recent earnings call that it would be investing big in adding sales employees, the Piper Jaffray report noted. As a result, sales and marketing hiring for the month was up 13.5 percent, with 241 open positions. As part of that, Fortinet also revamped its partner program in recent months, announcing in May a new program level and a new network security certification.

2. Palo Alto Networks

Just squeaking into the second-place spot above Fortinet in the list was Palo Alto Networks with a 12.8 percent increase in hiring posts in August (compared with Fortinet's 12.7 percent increase). The biggest area of hiring for the next-generation network security company was general and administrative, which jumped 46.2 percent month over month. While sales and marketing hiring was below percentage increases in previous months, Piper Jaffray said, company management noted on the company's most recent earnings call that it would be focusing on "fully ramped sales people compared to ramping sales people" in 2015. To that end, Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin was highly optimistic about sales at the company's recent Sales Kick Off event, saying that the vendor would lead in market share by 2017.

1. Imperva

The biggest jump in hiring for the security industry came from Imperva, which increased its listings for open positions by 22.8 percent, to 97. That is the highest number of job openings the company has had since Piper Jaffray started tracking the data last summer, the report said. In particular, Imperva was investing in sales and marketing, which was up 68 percent month over month, to 42 open positions. Citing the company's most recent earnings call, Piper Jaffray said the increases are in line with management's goal to increase sales staff to meet global demand.