What Does A Job In Cyber Security Entail?

person creating code as part of his job in cyber security

Cited by Indeed, a job in cyber security is listed as one of the top “future proof” careers. This is where the role is projected to increase in demand, regardless of technological and job market changes.

Recent years have seen an increase in cyber attacks affecting companies such as the NHS, Meta, LinkedIn and EasyJet – just to name a few. As cyber attacks continue to plague and concern businesses, cyber security careers will only increase in demand as companies quickly try to adapt to protect their sites and personal data.

With cyber security being such a fast-growing sector, many IT professionals are considering whether excellent cyber security career development means that they should reskill and join the sector.

What Does a Job in Cyber Security Look Like?

Broadly, cyber security refers to the technologies and processes created to protect online data from threats. Thus, a job in cyber security will focus on the ways to avoid, limit or mitigate attacks.

Cyber security careers can be working in-house, for an agency, or as a sole trader. Exact job specifications can include preventing, detecting or managing cyber threats, to even educating businesses and the public on the risks of cyber attacks. Depending on a professional’s skill level and experience, cyber security career development can take several paths.

Day to Day Tasks of a Cyber Security Professional

Cyber security specialists typically undertake a variety of tasks and projects in order to prevent a security breach or an attack, such as:

  • Researching and implementing the latest security and technology advancements
  • Monitoring for any unusual activity that could be an attack
  • Planning for ways to recover if a breach were to happen
  • Identifying potential weaknesses in the network
  • Investigating security alerts
  • Generating audits on possible security risks
  • Liaising with stakeholders and all staff on cyber security awareness

Some cyber security professionals also engage in ‘ethical hacking’ to test the security level of a business. Whilst, this may seem an oxymoron, professionals employed to hack into a business’s network are a great tool for identifying weaknesses and strengthening them.

All these tasks help to build up stronger networks within companies to either prevent an attack or to minimise the risks if one were to take place.

Why are Cyber Security Jobs in Demand?

The main reason why cyber security jobs are in demand is due to the effects an attack can have on businesses and organisations.

Cyber attacks can render a business inoperable. Personal data could be held for ransom, leaked, or destroyed. This could have serious repercussions on the business such as a loss of earnings while the company bring in cyber security experts to expunge any malware and threats from the network. It can also cause a loss of reputation and trust from clients or consumers. Especially, if their personal data was stolen in the attack.

The demand can also be explained by the cultural and technological shift within companies in the past few years. As businesses move to remote working, the necessity for storing data on the cloud has increased. This is due to a growing remote workforce, who need to be able to access company information wherever, and whenever. Despite this, storing data online rather than in physical data centres increases the risk of online hackers and attacks.

This increase in demand is also causing a burgeoning skills shortage in the cyber security industry. Demand grows as more companies look for cyber security professionals to protect their businesses, however, there is simply not enough specialists to fill every job.

To tackle this gap, there have been increasing salaries to attract cyber security professionals to join companies. Additionally, businesses, colleges and universities are offering cyber security apprenticeships, access courses, and degrees in order to encourage people to start their careers within cyber security.

Is Cyber Security a Good Career?

Professionals consider cyber security a good career as it’s one that is ever-evolving. Each threat is unique. A big part of working in cyber security is the need to consistently think outside of the box and keep up to date with the latest new threats and technologies. For IT experts who love a challenge and are interested in the ins and outs of security networks – this job is perfect for them.

Furthermore, cyber security jobs in the UK have been formally supported by the creation of both the National Cyber Security Centre established in 2016 and the Cyber Security Council, a chartered institute, formed in 2019. This only reinforces the crucial work cyber professionals do and the growing need for cyber security specialists.

The National Cyber Security Centre has revealed there were 2.7m cyber-related fraud attacks in the UK in the year up to March 2022. This is truly shocking. They also identified an acute threat on a state level for cyber security from countries such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. This continual pressing threat means that it’s no wonder there has been increased level of investment and interest into cyber security in recent years.

A job in cyber security doesn’t just mean protecting a corporate business, they might be supporting the state too. Making cyber security the closest IT profession you can get to James Bond!

Is there Cyber Security Career Development?

Cyber security has a wide variety of specialisms. This means cyber security professionals can move “upwards” in their cyber security career development by taking on a managerial role, but also to move between related areas.

Some examples of cyber security jobs in the UK are:

  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • SOC Analyst
  • Software Security Officer
  • Security Administrator
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Penetration Tester
  • Cloud Security Consultant
  • Compliance Manager

Additional ways to achieve cyber security career development include opportunities to become a sole trader. Individuals can either set up a limited company to do contract work for clients or as an consultant and advisor to businesses. This is great for individuals who prefer to work on a variety of projects without employment ties to companies. They also tend to earn more money through contract work, although it can be more unstable than permanent employment.


Do you want to kick start your career in cyber security? Send us your CV so we can help you in your cyber security career development.

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