Security personnel in many organizations waste time every week helping co-workers with general IT problems, rather than doing their own work, which in the long run, costs companies tens of thousands of dollars per year.

This is the conclusion of a survey of over 350 security professionals carried out by Firemon, a company that provides network security policy management services.

According to poll numbers, 83% of respondents said they help colleagues with non-security related IT problems on a weekly basis.

More precisely, 80% of the 83% said they spend at least one hour or more on helping co-workers with their general IT misfortunes, while 8% said they spend five hours or more.

Security pros are being mistaken for sysadmins

This mostly happens because security professionals are often mistaken for system administrators. In reality, security professionals go through a much lengthier and more complex training process, mainly because they have to deal with very specialized and sensitive problems.

As such, their salaries are much higher than your regular IT geek that fixes your display driver or changes your faulty networking cable.

According to another survey carried out by Indeed, the average salary of a security professional is $114,388 per year or around $55 per hour.

If a security pro is wasting one hour per week doing non-security work, that means the company is wasting his talents, and effectively losing money.

Companies are wasting money

Taking into account a CEB study that reveals that the average headcount of security personnel is 31 per business, a company's whose security professionals are wasting an hour per week doing non-security IT work is losing $88,660 per year.

Based on these numbers, organizations are paying security professionals over $114,000 per year, but are losing 2.5% of that sum on non-security related work, that could and should be done by someone else.