A CYBER security recruitment specialist has opened a Brighton office amid warnings of a severe skills gap in the industry.

International executive recruitment Stott and May has an initial five staff at the new office – which it expects to rise to 30 by 2017 as the need for cyber security personnel “skyrockets”.

With the threat of online cyber attacks growing, a National Audit Office (NAO) report has warned it could take up to 20 years to address this skills gap.

The government has been urged to raise awareness about cybersecurity especially among women and integrate it into the core curriculum long-term.

Oliver Kuehne, head of cyber security practice at Stott and May and Brighton office director, said: “There is no silver bullet when it comes to security. Every business has a different threat profile and therefore different security requirements.

“In recent years, the need for cyber security talent has skyrocketed. Because there is such high demand for this specialised talent and the threat landscape is growing faster than our ability to secure it, we are faced with a mass cyber skills shortage.

“At Stott and May we advise companies on the key security hires they need to make and then we use our large network of skilled security professionals to find them. But given they are such in short supply, we also understand the complimentary skill sets companies need to look for in order to address the skills gap now.”

Stephen Stott, founder and chief executive of Stott and May, added: “In the years since Stott and May launched, we’ve seen phenomenal growth – in no small part because of the incredible performance of departments like our cyber security practice.

“Opening premises in Brighton is a logical step forward for the department, and I have every confidence that the team will build on the great work they’ve already done in London.”

As well as London and Brighton, the firm has offices in Thames Valley and New York, and is aiming for a £50 million growth target.

In-house recruitment is already underway to add to the Brighton team.

The team will devote its initial efforts to cyber security recruitment, but will eventually encompass every division the company already serves.