A Profession In Cybersecurity

The Information and Cyber Security sector of the computer industry has expanded quickly over the last decade, leading in a worldwide shortage of competent personnel and a rise in demand from organisations.

Before addressing what it’s like to work in the sector, it would be prudent to clarify why and how quickly this has transpired.

Unfortunately, in order for security to have grown to the extent that it has, undesirable events had to occur. In recent years, big breaches (hacks) against organisations have attracted media attention and cost the parties involved millions of dollars. These breaches have happened because, over the last three decades, corporations have increased their use and reliance on technology to stay competitive and efficient, but have not necessarily reviewed the security of their actions. For instance, a firm requires a website to establish an online presence, but once it’s up and running, the only upkeep it may need is blog updates. Then, after five years with no upgrades, their website becomes vulnerable to a significant number of vulnerabilities and is vandalised. Obviously, this hurts the organisation in terms of its reputation.

The biggest breaches have led in the disclosure of millions of individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII), which has much more severe effects than defacing a website. As a result of these breaches, corporations and governments throughout the world have pushed for reforms. These advancements have increased the need for cyber security and information security specialists and caused a severe skills gap in the sector.

What does this signify for those interested in pursuing a career in this industry?

It implies that in the United Kingdom, if you’re seeking for IT job, you’ll get paid in the upper range of available incomes, and if you’re competent enough, you may be frequently headhunted for the work you perform.

Cyber security and Information security are vastly different employment positions, which must be addressed while analysing this market. Cyber security requires getting your hands dirty with technology on a daily basis, which may entail doing penetration testing, hardening systems, defining group rules, or responding to occurrences. Typically, the information security job focuses on governance, awareness, and policy. Depending on your abilities, one position may be more suitable for you than the other.

Now that we know there is a great demand, the pay may be decent, and the tasks can be engaging, what are the most difficult aspects? It cannot be all positive, can it? The difficult aspects of the profession are, firstly, because security is in constant motion. People are always attempting to break into systems and get access to information, resulting in a fast-paced cycle of exploit, patch, exploit, patch. Keeping up with this needs a continual understanding of the industry and your network/systems.

Second, since organisations need both cyber security and information security but cannot always afford both, job positions are often a combination of the two. This implies that certification in a single area may not be sufficient and that continuous learning is required.

Depending on the career you are seeking, you may be needed to travel extensively. This is a good thing for some and a challenging thing for others, depending on their individual circumstances.

However, there is a great deal of enjoyment to be found in this sector, speaking from personal experience. I have exploited programmes so that I can watch YouTube, accessed systems I shouldn’t have been able to, and overloaded servers to the point of failure. All of this has been done with the owners’ consent, and it feels amazing when you make a breakthrough while investigating technology in these ways. In addition to completing the actual job, there are many, never-boring security conferences that may be attended. The seminars and presentations are entertaining and informative, and the community is filled with kind and welcoming individuals.

Making a choice

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