The Cyber Takeover
What a year it has been. Ten years ago only an IT student could describe Cyber Security and yet we now can’t turn on the news without cyber skills cropping up.
It was only last month when Cyber Security, the protection of computer systems, took centre stage at the presidential election. In a twist worthy of an episode of 24, Hilary Clinton’s use of a personal email server resulted in President elect Donald Trump inciting Russia to get their ‘hacker’ hats on and publish her missing emails. Cyber-attacks have become a common occurrence in our increasingly digital and connected lives. Closer to home, Tesco was hit by a huge cyber theft, with £2.5 million being siphoned out of the accounts of 9,000 UK consumers – and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s clear that there is a need for Cyber defence like never before, with stats showing that we connect 30 million new devices to the internet every single week. We are building and creating services and systems but failing to take steps to reduce their vulnerabilities, leaving them open to attack. This highlights the need to work together to improve our online safety and security by accepting our ‘shared responsibility’ (the key theme of this year’s Cyber Security awareness month back in October). It was not long after this that the UK Cyber Security strategy was unveiled, announcing the £1.9 billion budget towards the field.
Envisioning a World-Class Cyber Workforce
The aim is to develop a world-class Cyber workforce here in the UK. Ben Gummer, minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster general points out “no longer are they the stuff of spy thrillers and action movies – cyber-attacks a reality and they are happening now”- and don’t we know it. According to the strategy document, in the next five years the government expects to ensure that the UK has a sustainable supply of home-grown Cyber skilled professionals to meet the growing demands of an ever-changing digital economy, in both public and private sectors.
Due to the widespread shortage of Cyber security talent, certain cyber skills are in high demand, for instance, intrusion detection, secure software development and attack mitigation. The presence of Cyber Security is becoming a fundamental requirement in most organisations, and therefore there is no time like the present to jump on this career juggernaut.
The New Generation of Codebreakers is Upon Us
Heard of Bletchley Park? It’s the site of secret code-deciphering projects during World War Two and is set to become the centre for a new generation of code makers and breakers. A spokesperson for the GCHQ welcomed “initiatives that promote and develop skills in Cyber Security”[i] after hearing the news about teaching crucial cyber skills to 16-19 year olds at the Buckinghamshire site. Consequently, the demand is there for Cyber professionals, with the graduate starting salary being between £20,000 to £25,000 per annum and increasing to £35,000 to £40,000 per annum after 5 years.
Ready to join this brave new world? You can help to ensure that technology stays an asset to our lives, not an impending threat. Be part of this reality by clicking here to check out our vision.