With the recent ransomware attack, which to date, has over 200,000 victims in over 150 countries worldwide, cyber-security is the number one item on news stations globally and the number one priority for many business owners waking up this morning. The thought of one unfamiliar e-mail attachment being opened by one unsuspecting employee with the potential to shut down a whole network and hold a complete business to ransom, is a scary scenario for any organisation.
However, in a similar way in which the Y2K fear played out 17 years ago, I predict that a raft of opportunities in cyber-security will materialise as global ransomware attacks escalate even further.
Where will these opportunities arise?
I predict that opportunities will increase in the specific areas of security analyst, security engineer, security architect cryptographers, cryptanalysts, security software developers and security consultants. At entry level the demand for network and computer systems administrators will increase also. Across boardrooms globally, firms will now be putting strategies in place to prevent attacks which can result in the theft of financial and personal information along with proprietary information. This is not to mention the ransomware attack which have the potential to shut down whole computer networks, effectively crippling companies in their ability to carry out day to day operations.
So how do I become a cyber computer expert?
- Get a degree
Traditionally the first requirement is a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Although as I write this I read this morning that the 22-year-old expert who found the kill switch to temporarily halt the global ransomware attack spreading was self-taught in this field. So, a degree is not always a necessity, as there are always exceptions. However, if you decide to go down the degree route try and choose a IT-related degree which has a focus on cyber-security
- Apply for entry level positions
Once you graduate, apply for entry level jobs in the areas of network and computer systems administration. Then work hard and build your reputation as a guardian of the network with an impeccable track record. Fix and update vulnerable networks with appropriate patches and keep up to speed with the latest threats and how to protect your network from attack.
- Apply for senior positions
Once you established a track record in cyber security, the world is your oyster. Start applying for more senior positions. For example, the area of information security analyst would be a good starting point.
With experts predicting that ransomware attacks are set to continue and increase into the foreseeable future a career in the field of cyber-security look like a stable and exciting career option. Rewards are set to increase as the global threat increase and cyber security roles will become an even more important function in many organisations.