As people rely more heavily on technology to help manage their daily lives, the threat of cybercrime continues to escalate. In recent years, many high-profile data breach cases have made headlines, companies including Boots, Uber and British Airways facing security threats that exposed possibly millions of private information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers.
As hackers and cybercriminals develop new ways to access sensitive systems and information, even the largest companies must stay vigilant about security vulnerabilities. Information and cyber security professionals are more in demand than ever.
‘In the UK, the average cost of a data breach has grown to nearly £2.7 million, and the reputational harm can be incalculable’
Growing need for cyber security professionals
Hackers are getting smarter
Hackers find new ways to access data every day. The role of an information security analyst is to identify security risks before hackers do. They then develop and implement new preventative security controls for defending against cyberattacks. As hackers’ skills become more sophisticated, a growing number of Cyber Security specialists are needed to develop and implement advanced security solutions.
Creating and rolling out an effective cyber security strategy – With cyber attacks continuing to evolve and occur more frequently, infiltrating companies big and small, establishing and rolling out a security strategy that encompasses office and remote working is paramount
Cybercrime is expensive
One reason the cyber security field is growing is that most businesses simply can’t afford a data breach. In the UK, the average cost of a data breach has grown to nearly £2.7 million, according to IBM research, and the reputational harm can be incalculable.
Everything is automated
As companies’ processes become automated, more of their infrastructure is rooted in technology. Every automated system is created by code that can be accessed when cybercriminals break in. Thus, the more processes that are done digitally, the more opportunities hackers get to steal private information. This is bad news for businesses, but good news for those within cyber security, who find an increasing demand for their skills.
Vulnerabilities are everywhere
Hackers aren’t just targeting computers, websites, and servers; any technology based in code offers an opportunity in. From airplane systems and car alarms to power grids and security systems, more products and systems than ever before are at risk for takeover by cybercriminals. Businesses need the best online security professionals to identify and mitigate security threats for every technological innovation.
Cyber risks of AI
As technology advances, so do the dangers that we face in the advanced world. Where artificial intelligence (AI) has long been a part of the cyber security industry. However, the newest versions of AI, such as ChatGPT, have rapidly broken new ground and are already having a profound impact on the future, including data theft, storing personal data, aiding in malware development and much more.
Why a data privacy officer should be your company’s next hire – In the same way that the financial crisis created a more financially astute public, data security breaches, privacy stories and scandals are making people more aware of their data privacy rights – and more concerned about how companies and the government use their data
Education & certifications
Graduate entry into cyber security
The career path into cyber security is not fully clear, however graduates typically have two primary routes into cyber security:
- Starting in a junior role to build hands-on experience will be an opportunity to build cyber expertise and understand where you fit into the business.
- Develop your technical skills through education by undertaking a master’s degree to gain greater awareness of the cyber security landscape
In addition, organisations are open to bringing new candidates from different sectors, as a varied job experience gives diverse skillset which can make you valuable to an employer — especially in industries where your co-workers have a narrow area of expertise. A broad work experience can benefit you and helps you evaluate a potential workplace with a keener eye.
Cyber security apprenticeships
Another option to break into the industry is to consider a cyber security apprenticeship – an ideal mix of on and off-the-job learning, resulting in a qualification and masses of industry experience.
Certifications are key, to progressing your career and remaining up to date with the latest technologies. Where qualifications also teach you the value of your expertise and build communication skills – crucial if you consider moving from a technical to a managerial role.
There are several well-regarded certifications that you should be aiming for as a cyber security professional:
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)– the SSCP is great for professionals just starting in cyber security, this qualification only requires one year’s experience and provides the perfect opportunity for individuals to prove their technical skills and security knowledge.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – the CEH is a popular entry-level cyber security certification that introduces you to the hacking tools and techniques used by real cyber criminals. By familiarising yourself with how hackers think, you’ll be better at fixing vulnerabilities and flaws you might otherwise miss.
- Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) – CISMP is widely regarded as the ‘qualification of choice’ for IT professionals, and is recognised across the UK as an essential first rung on the ladder to a successful career in information security.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – the CISSP is among the most sought-after certifications in security. Achieving the CISSP certification is a career highlight and is aimed at the top-tier cyber security professionals.
Cyber security career
As the cyber security market continues to grow, there remains a constant need for exceptional cyber professionals and as such, the market has continued to have a constant flow of new positions. If you’re considering a career in cyber security, then utilising a specialist cyber security recruiter, such as Via Resource, has significant benefits for clients and candidates, including:
- Access to job roles not promoted online
- Acting as your salary consultants
- Saving time in applications
- Provide industry insight
Sam Finn is a director at Via Resource specialising in information and cyber security recruitment. Over the past 10 years, Sam has placed over 100 candidates in the industry and has built relationships with teams globally. Sam’s main specialism is in security operations, incident response and security engineering
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