01 April 2019

Starting and building a career in cyber-security

Starting and building a career in cyber-security

Accorind to ​With so much personal data captured and stored by businesses and government agencies, cyber-security – the protection of systems and data from malicious individuals – is becoming more and more important. Breaches can have damaging reputational, legal and financial consequences for businesses and agencies, while individuals may lose money and have their digital identities stolen.

Despite these impacts, not a month seemingly goes by without news of a massive breach. For example, an attack on Facebook last year saw hackers steal the names, contact details and other information about 29 million users worldwide – including 111,813 Australian users. More broadly, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s October-December Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report revealed the Office received 262 notifications of breaches – 64% of which could be attributed to malicious or criminal attacks.

According to Cybersecurity Venturescybercrime is expected to cost the world USD$6 trillion annually by 2021.

In this environment, a career spent safeguarding data and systems is an exciting option. According to Deakin University, cyber-security roles include information security officer, cyber security consultant, penetration tester and others. Demand for cyber-security specialists is skyrocketing – a recent AustCyber report revealed that a shortfall in the cyber-security workforce was costing more than AUD$400 million in lost wages and that Australia would need an additional 17,600 cyber-security workers by 2026.

Moving into cyber-security is comparatively easy for workers in related fields, such as software engineers and programmers. However, people in unrelated fields or who are completing an education may look instead to University degrees, information security certifications or other courses to gain a foothold in the industry. A range of certifications are also available to help people already in the industry build and demonstrate their skills.

Top cyber-security certifications available include Certified Ethical Hacker; Certified Information Security Manager; CompTIA Security+; Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); and GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials.

Cloud security specialist FirstWave is always looking for smart, motivated people to join its engineering team. Based in North Sydney, FirstWave protects businesses and government organisations from risk by providing access to advanced, cloud-based cyber-security solutions.