Some businesses might have a security issue on their hands if the results from a recent survey are any indication.

According to research published by CompTIA, 80% of businesses acknowledge that their operations are adversely impacted because of a lack of certain skill sets in their information technology departments.

CompTIA, the non-profit IT industry association, says in its recent State of the IT Skills Gap study that a combination of factors such as the changing face of technology and insufficient training resources are behind the skills gap problem. These findings come at a time when IT teams are struggling to keep networks secure from hacker attacks that could potentially put confidential customer information or classified corporate data into the wrong hands.

In particular, the CompTIA study shows that companies acknowledge that their IT professionals are lacking in areas that include, but are not limited to, replacing equipment nearing the end-of-life stage; data storage, and enhancing network infrastructure, business continuity and disaster recovery.

According to the study, participating companies note that the lack of required IT skills hampers security 31%; customer service and relations 32%; staff productivity 41%; and profitability – 23% of small businesses and 15% of medium- to large-sized businesses.

Terry Erdle, executive vice president of skills certification at CompTIA, says the following in a press release focusing on the study results:

“Millions of businesses are clearly not where they want to be when it comes to optimizing their utilization of technology and in the skill levels of their IT staffs. Even modest improvements in these two areas would yield tremendous benefits in operational efficiencies, business productivity and economic growth.”

According to Erdle, an encouraging development is that 57% of businesses plan to deal with the lack of certain capabilities in their IT departments through training and refresher courses.