Your cyber security questions, answered
Are there lots of cyber security jobs available?
Definitely. Covid-19 and the shift to remote working sent demand for cyber security skills skyrocketing, especially in cloud security and base level networking.
With remote, flexible and hybrid working here to stay, safeguarding the digital assets we need to do our jobs effectively will become more critical than ever.
Companies need the right professionals to ensure connections are secure, end-points are protected and application data encrypted, wherever people are working from.
What job type or area of cyber security should I specialise in?
You’ve no shortage of choice. Demand will always be high for people with deep technical understanding, but you’re not limited to those jobs.
There are loads of opportunities out there from people and process-based areas of relationship management, user education, risk analysis, strategy and road mapping.
Cyber security isn’t always a linear career, and proven experience in risk analysis and stakeholder engagement can hold just as much weight as technical expertise. Cyber – like so many disciplines – requires true diversity of talent and thought.
What salary should I expect in cyber security?
Salaries vary widely depending on the role, location and type of company. As an IT security analyst/admin at the more junior end, salaries can vary from £42,000 to around £55,000. At the more advanced end you might earn between £60,000 to £78,000 as an IT security manager, and £75,000 to £90,000 as an IT security architect, depending on the area.
As a cryptographer in the data encryption field, you can see salaries ranging from £50,000 all the way up to £80,000 in London. Regular monitoring and benchmarking are now a key focus for employers, so as a security auditor you could earn up to £60,000. Typical day rates for contractor cyber security professionals will also vary dependent upon the role, location, seize of the company and the experience of the contractor.
On average, an information security analyst contractor in London can expect to earn between £400-£600 per day, an information security manager contractor between £550-£650 per day and an information security architect contractor between £625-£825 per day.
What qualifications can increase my cyber security salary?
At entry level, MTA Security Fundamentals, ISACA CSX Cyber Security Fundamentals Certificate, CompTIA Security+, GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF) and (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) are great for core knowledge.
A solid understanding of the principles of networking will also always be useful – CCNA for example. There are also clear paths for key areas of Penetration Testing, for example CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and CREST accreditations.
If you’re starting to think about leadership roles, qualifications such as CISSP, CISM, CRISC and CISA will give you the edge.
Is AI becoming more important in cyber security?
In short, yes. Artificial intelligence is set to be a vital tool for helping cyber security experts stay ahead of threats. Through technologies like natural language processing and machine learning, AI is trained on where the risks of cybercrime lie.
Eliminating time-consuming research tasks and providing detailed analysis of threats will give you as a professional the time you need to make crucial decisions and launch a response to remediate them.
What industries are hiring cyber security professionals?
Any organisations that use computerised systems, which means everyone and anyone! Larger organisations in government, financial services, defence, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals are obvious targets.
If you’re more junior looking for training or have specialist experience, big corporates have loads of opportunities. SMEs are more likely to hire a security professional into a broader role, often showing flexibility on technology and experience.