Cyber Security is the protection of computer systems from hacking or damage to their hardware, software or information, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they offer. This includes controlling physical access to the hardware, as well as protecting against the harm that may come via network access, data and code injection. Due to malpractice by operators, whether intentional, accidental, IT security is susceptible to being tricked into deviating from secure ways through various methods.
The rise in cyber attacks has made cyber security becoming one of the fastest developing careers in the information technology industries globally. The main target of the cyber criminals is the business sectors which is now creating huge demand from companies for people who can defend their networks and critical data from the onslaught of cyber attacks.
There are various rewarding jobs in the world that will offer a career like no other. Digital skills gap has meant that the cyber security industry is struggling to recruit the number of professionals it needs, meaning that the roles available are often overlooked by graduates.
Cyber Security Great Career for Security Engineers
Forensic Scientist: A forensic scientist provides impartial scientific evidence for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defence in criminal and civil investigations. They are primarily concerned with searching for and examining contact trace material associated with crimes.
The role of a forensic scientist is combined with the analytical skills and attention to detail of a forensics expert with the technical acumen of a cyber security professional. To work as a forensic scientist you will need either a degree in a scientific subject, such as biological sciences or chemistry or a degree in forensic science. Degree subjects such as statistics and geology can be useful for entry into specialist areas of forensic science.
Security Architect: This is a person who is responsible for maintaining the security of a company’s computer system. They must think like a hacker would because they must expect all the moves and tactics that hackers will use to try to gain unauthorised access to the computer system.
The Security Architects sometimes have to work odd hours, and they must constantly stay current on the latest developments both on the security end and the attacking end. Many information technology experts feel that the best security architects are former hackers, making them very adept at understanding how the hackers will work.
They are also responsible for identifying which software is needed and for implementing it across an organisation. They must stay up to date on the latest developments in both security solutions and cyber threats. First, any security architect must do when beginning a new job is to understand every part of a company’s IT infrastructure. They can then add to the system’s security with both software and hardware upgrades, building countermeasures against internal and external threats.
Malware Analyst: This is a cyber security engineer who studied the process of determining the functionality, origin and potential impact of a given malware sample such as a virus, worm, trojan horse, rootkit, or backdoor. The malware or malicious software is any computer software intended to harm the host operating system or to steal sensitive data from users, organisations or companies. Malware may include software that gathers user information without permission.
The malware analyst takes the malware captured from cyber criminals, analyse it and reverse engineer it to understand exactly how it works, the damage it can do to computer networks and how it can be defended against. The professional under this category are skilled in multiple areas including reverse-engineering, programming and detective work. To finally crack the right code, find the key function or piece of data you were looking for makes this one of the most rewarding jobs in cyber-security.
Chief Information Security Officer: This is the senior-level executive within an organisation responsible for establishing and maintaining the enterprise vision, strategy, and program to make sure information assets and technologies are adequately protected. The Chief Information Security Officer directs staff in identifying, developing, implementing, and maintaining processes across the enterprise to reduce information and information technology (IT) risks.
The presence of a Chief Information Security Officer in an organisation has become a standard in business, government, and non-profit sectors. The Chief Information Security Officer is responsible for reducing an organisation’s operational risks by implementing the necessary security processes. Their duties range from creating security policies to conducting digital forensic investigations. They make decisions on implementing the organisation’s cyber security and work with both the IT department and external law enforcement agencies.
Penetration Tester: A penetration tester is often called an ‘ethical hacker’, they are hired by companies that want areas of their IT infrastructure tested in a controlled environment. The major function of a penetration tester it to identify the target systems and a particular goal and reviews available information and undertakes various means to meet the goal. A penetration test can help decide whether a system is vulnerable to attack if the defences were enough, and which defences (if any) the test defeated.
The best penetration testers will be aware of these threats, how they work and the kind of damage they can do so that they can carry out a fully comprehensive test on an organisation’s systems. This is an exciting role requiring creativity and guile to try and beat the system’s defences. More complex is so-called “red teaming” which includes trying to get access to and discover vulnerabilities in the physical networks through social engineering a way into the client’s premises too and getting hands-on. Skills required for this aspect are not necessarily technical – psychology, behavioural science, good communications are all key components of a red-team.
Read more from Dr Robert L Nowill, Chair of The Board at the Cyber Security Challenge UK