Cyber security is the information technology, processes and practices that protect computers, networks, data and programmes from cyber-attacks and unauthorised access via extended sources. Cyber Security is one of the fastest growing sectors in IT and the number of Cyber Security jobs has doubled over the last year (source: Technojobs). However, due to this rapid increase, there is now a huge lack of qualified professionals in this sector.
Why is it important?
Cyber Security is crucial to any company or organisation that process and stores confidential information on computer systems and transfer across multiple networks. The number of cyber-attacks is constantly increasing which makes Cyber Security an essential practice within companies to protect their data and staff. No matter the size or revenue of the company, a small start-up in Scotland is as likely to be attacked as a worldwide brand such as Apple.
Types of risks
Security risks are constantly evolving so it is important to ensure you are up to date with the current risks. The main Cyber Security risks are as follows:
Cyber theft- the stealing of financial information, card/ bank account details, company information and any secure data
Malware- some cyber attackers operate remotely using different kinds of software as means of attack. These include viruses, worms, spyware/ adware and Trojans.
Other Cyber Security risks include:
- User error
- Service provider failure
- Insider sabotage (Security breaches caused by a member of the cooperation)
Job roles in Cyber Security
There are a number of different job roles within Cyber Security and they vary as greatly as the skill sets required to perform them. The Cyber Security field is made up of a mixture of permanent employees and contractors. Below is just a small selection of job roles within the Cyber Security field:
- IT Security Analysts / Risk Analyst
- Information Security Officer
- Information Security Architect
- Data Protection Officer
- Ethical Hacker
The average starting salary for a Cyber Security professional is usually around £30,000 however this can vary depending on the job role, level of experience and location. Salaries can go up to £70,000+ for roles such as Cyber Security Architects and Head of Cyber Security can earn up to £100,000+. Contractors in the Cyber Security sector can earn between £300- £500 a day, again, depending on job role and location.
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