Europe faces a projected skills gap of 350,000 cyber security workers by 2022, according to a new report.

The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce study commissioned by the information security certification body ISC2 called for employers to do more to embrace newcomers and a changing workforce.

The survey was based on 19,000 cyber security professionals around the world, including nearly 3,700 respondents in Europe.

It found that nearly 40 per cent of firms want to grow their cyber security teams by at least 15 per cent in the next year.

It said 92 per cent of hiring managers admit they prioritise previous cyber security experience when choosing candidates, and that most recruitment comes from their own professional networks.

A total of 48 per cent of hiring managers also admitted they are relying on their social and professional networks, followed by their organisations HR department (47 per cent) as their primary source of recruitment.

The report shows that globally a shortage of talent and disincentives to invest in training are contributing to the skills shortage, with 70 per cent of employers around the world looking to increase the size of their cyber security staff this year.

Concern over data exposure is linked to Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).