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Cyber Security Expert

Cyber security experts are employed by organisations to protect their data from hackers. This can be preventive, ensuring systems are safe from attack, or reactive, dealing with the effects of attacks that have already occurred. With organisations now fully conscious of the risks of cyber attacks, qualified and skilled cyber security experts are in high demand.

What does a Cyber Security Expert do?

Your responsibilities will vary depending on your employer and the specific area of security you’re attached to. IT proficiency, along with knowledge of hardware, software and networks is essential. It’s a role that requires attention to detail, patience and an awareness of how hackers operate and the threats they pose.

Roles and responsibilities of cyber security experts include:

  • Collaborating with other security professionals to ensure security measures are put in place at the development stage of software, systems, data centres and networks
  • Assessing security risks in an organisation’s hardware and software
  • Securing an organisation’s IT infrastructure from attack
  • Adding firewalls to network infrastructure
  • Testing and monitoring hardware and software vulnerability as possible new threats arise
  • Repairing the vulnerability of networks, hardware or software following an attack
  • Identifying the attacker and alerting the authorities

On the Job

Cyber security expert is a collaborative role. You will work alongside other security and IT experts to identify and protect against threats, along with dealing with law enforcement to find the perpetrators responsible. Some of the other roles you would expect to work frequently alongside include:

  • Cloud computing engineer
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) developer/engineer
  • UX designer
  • Mobile app developer
  • Games developer
  • SQL developer
  • Java developer
  • Full Stack web developer
  • Data engineer
  • Software engineer
  • IT analyst
  • Network engineer
  • Customer support specialist
  • Systems administrator
  • Security specialist
  • Computer programmer
  • SAP developer
  • Python developer

What professional qualifications you will need

While it’s possible to become a cyber security expert without formal qualifications, such as moving from another IT area or possessing hacking skills, most employers will look for graduates with bachelors degrees in such subjects as IT, Computer Science, Mathematics, Network Engineering and Networks and Security. Some organisations offer schemes that provide on the job training to graduates who don’t already possess the necessary qualifications. Postgraduate qualifications in Cyber Security are available to those who wish to change career.

How your career can develop

Along with IT companies, organisations across numerous sectors require cyber security experts, so you could find yourself working for financial institutions, intelligence agencies, universities or government departments, to name a few options. As hackers become increasingly sophisticated, you will be required to constantly retrain and develop your skills in order to counter threats. There is a high demand for cyber security experts, especially in Ireland and the UK, so if you possess the right skills and qualifications you’ll find plenty of employment opportunities in this field.