There’s currently a huge demand for cyber security professionals, and a worrying shortage of talent. In fact, recent research revealed that Europe is set to face a significant shortfall of cyber security professionals by 2022. So how do we solve this problem – and fast? Perhaps you have the answer …
A recent report from the IBM Institute for Business Value suggested that the above-mentioned ‘talent gap’ can be closed by filling cyber security roles through a ‘new collar’ approach. This means tapping in to professionals who might not have a traditional college degree but who do have in-demand technical skills and aptitudes. Perhaps you fit that description?
According to Cyber Security Challenge UK (see box), a career in cyber security can be incredibly fulfilling and is ideally suited to those who have a flair for problem solving, are good communicators and passionate about new technologies. It’s an exciting industry, with an increasing number of companies looking for help to defend themselves or others from cyber attacks. Some typical roles and career areas are:
- education, training and awareness
- engineering, architecture and design
- internet crime and data protection
- operations and security management
- policy makers and strategists
- risk analytics and management
- threat management and forensics.
Read about these in detail on the Cyber Security Challenge UK website.
Cyber security skills are also, it is predicted, likely to be called for in the very near future across an increasingly wide array of industries and job roles, such as fighting extortion attacks and AI-based malware, in cryptocurrency regulation and battling ransom ware. For in-depth information on the expected future of cyber careers, click here.
CYBER SECURITY CHALLENGE UK
Cyber Security Challenge UK is a series of national competitions, learning programmes and networking initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable more people to become cyber security professionals. Established to bolster the national pool of cyber skills, it offers a unique programme of activities to introduce sufficient numbers of appropriately skilled individuals to learning and career opportunities in the profession.
Skill up while serving
The IBM report mentioned at the start of this feature highlights that the core attributes and skills that employers are looking for in cyber security professionals are:
- problem solver
- guardian, and
These attributes and skills can of course be found in a multitude of other sectors beyond cyber security. One such sector is the military. One of the core attributes seen time and again with military veterans is the ‘guardian’ attribute. This means they are highly ethical, reliable and motivated to protect their customers. In terms of specific cyber security roles, IBM has found that veterans are particularly suited to ‘operator’ and ‘communicator’ positions. Looking specifically at operators, this might include threat-monitoring analysts, penetration testers, security operations centre analyst and cyber operations manager roles. Anybody who has worked in the operations centre in a warship, in a military unit or in an RAF station will have the experience and transferable skills needed for dealing with cyber security incidents.
An excellent recent entry on the IT Governance blog, entitled ‘What are the best cyber security training courses?’, provides plenty of advice and information. To read it, click here.
It’s an incredibly diverse area, but one thing’s for sure: any career in information security requires a sound knowledge of IT systems, so also ensure you take a good look at our computing and IT feature to find out more.
Thanks to partnerships with IBM and Abertay University, and funding from Skills Development Scotland, SaluteMyJob was, until recently, offering free cyber training to transitioning and former Service people, and reservists, through its Cyber SkillsBuild programme (also open to spouses, dependants and Cadets). Face-to-face courses were suspended in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, but some ran online. Get in touch with SaluteMyJob direct to find out the latest information.
The purpose of Cyber SkillsBuild is to inspire, encourage and enable job-seekers from the Armed Forces community to realign and build on their military skills to gain sustainable employment in cyber security roles. Under normal circumstances, training is delivered through both online and classroom-based courses. While the latter have been on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions, as mentioned above, a series of employer-led webinars have been made available on SaluteMyJob’s YouTube Channel instead. In the videos companies such as Quorum Cyber, IBM’s X-Force Red, Claranet, Cysiam and Lloyds Banking Group discuss their approach to cyber and the best pathways for ex-military people seeking employment in the field, also offering some practical guidance and exercises.
The content of the Introduction to Cyber Security and QRadar Analyst Notebook SIEM courses – along with a host of other skills modules – is now available online on IBM’s Skillsbuild platform. Where relevant, you can also complete IBM’s Open Badge certifications on QRadar and other modules. If you would like access to the platform, please contact SaluteMyJob for details.
For IBM, it makes perfect business sense to upskill and train veterans with a proven skill-set that is difficult to interview for. With the right training and investment, the company hopes to start closing the cyber security skills gap.
Test your cyber knowhow
A useful online quiz on the IBM website allows you to check your aptitude for a career in cyber security.
Click here to download a copy of Inside Cyber magazine.
Use your ELC
Under the ELC scheme, a wide range of learning can be taken, provided it is offered by an approved provider listed on the ELC website and is at level 3 or above. For full details of how to make the most of your ELC, refer to the in-depth features elsewhere on this website.
SECURE YOUR CYBER SKILL-SET
The necessary rise in home working and our increasing reliance on technology has seen a significant spike in coronavirus-related cyber-crime across Europe, with adaptable cyber-fraudsters seeking to utilise the pandemic for commercial gain. Their method of exploiting home working solutions through a variety of publicly known vulnerabilities in VPNs and other remote working tools and software has fuelled a growing need for cyber-security professionals. Thankfully, due to the tech-based nature of this sector, a wide array of cyber security courses and qualifications are available to study online, so the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t stand in the way of your studies. However, it’s still wise to confirm with training providers that the course(s) you are interested in can be completed virtually or, if necessary, with safe in-person interaction.
As well as the information provided above, regarding the kind of training that will help set you up for a role in cyber security, not-for-profit initiative TechVets, in partnership with RFEA, is dedicated to building a bridge for veterans into cyber security and the technology sector. It recently received a huge funding boost that will enable it to extend its offer of free training to upskill more veterans than ever before and support them into sustainable careers in these sectors. Click here to visit the TechVets website and find out more about this very valuable initiative.
What could you earn?
The Acumin Salary Survey is the definitive salary index for cyber security professionals. The resource is free to download and provides a range of salary bandings for job titles in end user, security intelligence and consultancies, public-sector and vendor organisations, alongside career path information and details of requirements for entry-level roles.
Not only does the survey contain the latest salary information and data, taken from the UK’s largest cyber-specific candidate database, the Acumin Salary Survey also contains a summary of the key challenges and topics that have affected the industry over the past 12 months, providing Acumin’s unique take on how the market has changed – from recruitment trends to the latest certifications and cyber security threats.
So whether you are an existing cyber security professional or simply someone looking to get into the sector, the Acumin Salary Survey 2020–21 is a must-read. Click here to read or download a copy.
WE DID IT!
Jasmine Eyers and Rebecca Thomas are just two of those who have already benefited from SaluteMyJob’s free cyber courses. In their interviews they talk about their experiences on the course, their background and why they want to work in cyber.
FIND OUT MORE
Interested in our SaluteMyJob’s free Cyber Skillsbuild programme? Click here to find out about opportunities in this sector and many others.