Cyber security career guide for IT professionals

With the cyber security sector growing rapidly, career opportunities for IT professionals are increasing. 

Employers are competing for skilled cyber security professionals, which is driving up salaries for people with requisite skills and qualifications. According to Morgan McKinley’s 2018 Ireland Salary Guide, individuals with in-demand skills, including cyber security IT experts, chief security officers and product counsel, are able to demand wage hikes between 10% and 15%. 

IT professionals in particular are in a good position to develop their career in information and cyber security as they already have an understanding of technical subject matters, but do not necessarily have the comprehensive knowledge and skills to deal with the vast range of security. 

If you are exploring opportunities to join this growing sector, here are a few things to consider: 

What is cyber security? 

Put simply, cyber security refers to the technologies, processes and mechanisms designed to protect systems, networks and data form attacks, damage and unauthorised access. 

Rarely a week goes by without news of a major company or website being hacked. Cyber risks are increasing and cyber criminals use ever more sophisticated methods to attack businesses and state entities. This requires that organisations consider measures that stretch beyond technology, and that are informed by robust cyber security strategies and management systems. 

Why join the sector? 

The cyber security sector is relatively young and is still evolving, so it can be an exciting place to be. Salaries in the sector are high (if you have the right qualifications and experience) and jobs usually come with a lit of responsibility and opportunities to develop new skills, both technical and managerial. Despite being quite demanding, a job in the sector can also be very rewarding as you are helping organisations stay safe. Best of all, demand for skilled professionals isn’t likely to go away any time soon, so you can grow with the industry. 

Job market – what jobs are available? 

The jobs can range widely from ethical hacking and risk analysis roles that focus more on technical abilities, to information security management roles that require a broad range of skills from process management to understanding business needs and customer relations. 

A brief look at a few prominent job sites suggests that penetration testers, technical security consultants and information security managers are among the most advanced positions. 

Qualifications – what should I go for? 

If you are looking to land a job as an information security manager, a relevant qualification is ISO 27001 is a must. If you will be helping an organisation comply with the Payment Card Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), you will also need to develop PCI DSS implementation skills. 

As you develop your career and accumulate experience, you can consider more senior qualifications such as CISA and CISM. The CISSP qualification will suit mid- and senior-level managers who are working towards, or have already attained position as, CISOs, CSOs or senior security engineers. 

To find out more about the above qualifications, please visit the follow the following information pages: 

ISO 27001   

CISA Certification 

CISM Certification 

CISSP Certification 

You can see the IT Governance Europe training course schedule here. 

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