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What is Cyber Security?

Over the past several years, there has been a chronic demand for cyber security workers in Australia. Although our cyber security workforce grew by more than 23% in 2021, the demand is still outpacing supply. According to the Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2021, Australia still needs 25,000 more cyber security workers to close the gap. Until that happens, organisations will continue to experience operational challenges, including misconfigured systems, slow patching of critical systems, oversights, and inability to remain aware of all active threats.

So what is cyber security in a nutshell?

Very simply, it is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. There are three types of cyber security threats we can face.

  • Cybercrime – individuals or groups targeting systems to cause disruption or for financial gain.
  • Cyber-attack – involves information gathering, often politically motivated.
  • Cyberterrorism – the undermining of electronic systems to cause panic or fear.

The way individuals or groups gain control of your system or device are varied and include things such as malware, viruses, spyware and ransomware. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cyber security, so what could you expect a job in the industry to look like? There are three primary roles.

Security Engineer

The primary role of a Security Engineer is to craft the IT security solutions required to keep an organisation safe from harm online, while maintaining those solutions to ensure they remain functional in the long and short term. Security threats are constantly evolving, so Cyber Security Engineers need to ensure they stay ahead of the curve. Implementation and maintenance are merely stepping blocks to ensuring engineers can be proactive in finding and providing solutions that are several steps ahead of cyber criminals.

Security Analyst

Cyber Security Analysts are the people responsible for providing businesses with solutions on improving their security. The difference between an engineer and an analyst, is that rather than implementing solutions, analysts are focussed on researching the latest security trends, analysing data, monitoring logs and network traffic and developing strategies for improving data protection.

Offensive Security

Offensive Security in cyber security is all about using ethical hacking. By mimicking techniques that cyber criminals use, Offensive Security workers can find the vulnerabilities in your systems. This then allows for organisations to find areas of weakness before they actually become a problem. That’s where an analyst would come in, to find a solution to these weaknesses and then the engineer would implement them.

What are the pros of joining the cyber security industry?

While the industry continues to have more demand than supply, finding a job once you have the skills will be more viable than other industries that have the opposite problem. Along with the push to encourage more workers into this space, more women are stepping up into tech roles, including positions of leadership. With a more diverse workforce, organisations are noting positive changes to the overall outcomes within their teams. And let’s not forget the incentive of salary. The salary for these positions range from $80,000 to $200,000 per annum, excluding any other incentives from organisations themselves.

So if you’re looking to change careers, find a better one or even re-enter the workforce, finding an appropriate cyber security course is the best first step you can take.

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