High Flying Jobs In Cyber Security

The demand for highly qualified Cyber Security professionals and the well-documented skills shortage of individuals to fill these positions, continues to be one of the biggest issues faced today by business, organisations and government across the globe.

With the recent Lloyds Banking Group hacking, the focus is not only on the response plan after an attack, but also on proactively preventing such attacks happening in the future. Not only for financial reasons – cyber security incidents cost UK firms £34.1 billion in 2015 – but also for customer and client confidence.

IHS Markit forecasts that the IoT market will grow from 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025. As new technologies are developed, there are opportunities to solve complex logistics, manufacturing, services and improve the supply chain. Critically, the speed at which new technologies are being developed and the level of sensitive information being constantly shared, creates significant data security issues.

The number of people working within cyber security has grown by 160% since 2011 according to Tech Partnership. With excellent growth in the cyber security job market and companies keen to invest in the sector, it’s no wonder that a Procorre report recently stated that one sixth of cyber security professionals are paid at minimum of £100,000 a year.

The Cyber Security sector is a fast-paced industry which is continuing to expand and develop at a phenomenal pace, offering career seekers a range of options across multiple industries. By developing a solid foundation of knowledge and skills through practical experience, professional qualifications or an MSc Cyber Security, you can open the door to exciting career and progression opportunities.

We have put together a snapshot of some of the most in-demand and best paid jobs in the industry today.

Forensic Computer Analyst (FCA)
The UK’s National Crime Agency ‘Cyber Crime Assessment 2016’ report revealed that cyber-enabled fraud and computer misuse had surpassed all other crime in the country. Forensic Computer Analysts investigate cybercrime and cover anything from hacking, online scams and fraud through to political, industrial and commercial espionage.

As an FCA you could work on the protection of sensitive company and customer data, online banking vulnerabilities, the possession of illegal online pornography or investigating terrorist activity. Regardless of your chosen area of specialism, you will be working on projects which are essential to security for individuals, companies and societies on a global scale.

What qualifications and skills are needed?
A background in IT or a similar field is an excellent foundation to build upon. Some employers look for industry related awards and certifications. Personal skills suited to this role are:

  • Good problem solving skills.
  • Adaptive in situations, forward thinking and ability to work in a high-pressured environment
  • Strong database and analytical skills; MS Access or knowledge of SQL
  • Solid understanding of operating systems

Salary expectations
Salaries vary depending on your level of experience and seniority with entry level salaries starting from £20,000-£25,000 per annum, to upwards of £60,000+ for more advanced positions.

Potential employers include:

  • Banks, such as Barclays
  • Asset Management companies like Schroders
  • The European Commission
  • National Crime Agency
  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Air Force
  • MET Police
  • MI5
  • Financial Conduct Authority

Ethical hackers and Penetration Testers
These kinds of jobs are perfect for those who love a challenge, cracking codes and finding weak links in systems. An Ethical Hacker uses their cyber security knowledge to try and break into a company’s website, network or systems. This allows a company or organisation to discover areas of vulnerability in their protection of sensitive data and digital properties.

An Ethical Hacker’s core task is to safely replicate the force of a real, external hacker and use all the tricks ‘black hat hackers’ or malicious hackers may use to try and infiltrate a system. As hackers are consistently evolving their arsenal of attack methods, Ethical Hackers have to develop alongside them and report vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

What qualifications and skills are needed?

  • Ability to investigate vulnerabilities safely and ethically
  • Experience delivering penetration testing reports and recommendations
  • Degree in Cyber Security, Information Systems or similar
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • Knowledge of developments of hacker techniques
  • Understanding of confidentiality issues, and the law relating to them

Salary expectations
Depending on level, salaries for Ethical Hackers start at around £30,000-£40,000 with median salary hovering between £50,000 and £65,000. More experienced Ethical Hackers earn anything from £70,000 upwards. Penetration Testers start from £30,000-£40,000 with more senior/highly experienced Penetration Testers commanding salaries of £40,000-£70,000+.

Potential employers include:

  • Banks
  • IT Companies
  • Government organisations
  • Music labels
  • Universities
  • Media players (iTunes, NetFlix, AmazonPrime)
  • MoD

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
A CISO is one of the highest paid jobs within the Information Security sector, directing strategy, operations and budget to ensure information assets and technologies of their employer are protected.

CISOs are responsible for the overall vision and strategy for information security, reducing risks by identifying and implementing security processes and establishing compliance policies. This role also requires an immediate and effective response to any security incidents that may occur. The CISO is an executive level position, regularly reporting directly into the Chief Executive Officer reflecting how information security is now a regular feature of boardroom discussions.

What qualifications and skills are needed?

  • Degree in Cyber Security, Information Systems or similar
  • Practices and methods of IT strategies, security architectures and key compliance frameworks
  • Firewall intrusion and detection protcols
  • Ability to interact and influence multiple stakeholders
  • Understanding of legal/regulatory and financial constraints of developing and implementing programmes and projects

Salary expectations
Depending on your level of experience and the sector you choose to work in, your salary will vary considerably. The average Chief Information Security Officers base salary is £130,000+. Finance and Banking CISO’s can command £111,256, Retail averages at£104,400, Telecommunications at £85,889 and Government at £74,600.

Potential employers include:

  • Banks
  • IT Companies
  • Government organisations
  • Online retailers

If you’re looking to enhance your understanding of cyber security and support your career development within this sector, studying for a part-time MSc Cyber Security at Northumbria University London could be that step forward you’ve been looking for.

Our part-time MSc Cyber Security programme is designed for working professionals and allows you to continue studying while you work. All taught sessions are delivered in 15 weekend blocks spread over a two-year period. Contact our team today to find out more.

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