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​What Is Cyber Security?

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What Is Cyber Security?

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Cyber security relates to the systems and processes that individuals and organisations have in place to protect their devices, data and networks from cyber-attacks. The core function of cyber security is to prevent any unauthorised access that could lead to theft or damage of such devices and data, but it also helps to detect and manage any attacks that are taking place.

​The tech industry is evolving rapidly, and it is clear to see that we are becoming heavily dependent on technology on a day-to-day basis. From online shopping to virtual meetings, technology has become a fundamental part of the modern era, allowing us to live a more convenient lifestyle. However, this convenience comes at a cost. As we begin to incorporate technology into every aspect of our lives, from our homes to every sector imaginable, there are increasing opportunities for cyber attackers and hackers to make their move. Unfortunately, these attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated with every entity, no matter how big or small, becoming a potential target. Thus, highlighting the importance of cyber security.


What skills are needed for cyber security?

​Many skills are needed in the cyber security space, such as:

  • ​IT

  • Attention to detail

  • Logic and reasoning

  • Analytical skills

  • Decision making

  • Creativity

  • Technical aptitude

  • Collaborative approach

  • Oral and written skills

  • Adaptability

  • Time management

  • Problem solving

  • Self-starter attitude

As the threat of cyber-attacks looms over individuals and big corporations, there is an increasing demand for cyber security specialists. When entering the world of cyber security, it is important that employees have developed and honed the necessary skills that can make them successful in their role and leave their clients protected from malicious attacks. Having an equal mix of technical and soft skills is vital if you are looking to pursue a career in this in-demand field.

There are several different routes that can be taken when entering a career in cyber security. All of which require the skills listed above. Some examples include; penetration tester, security architect, security consultant and security incidence response.

Qualifications For a Career in Cyber Security

In regards to education, it is not a requirement to have a university degree if you are looking to start your professional career in cyber security. If you do consider university, STEM degrees are advantageous as it will give you a strong foundation to start building your career in the cyber world. Apprenticeships are also a great way to get your foot into the cyber security world, with the opportunity to study and work simultaneously.

Training courses for those in their early careers are a good way to build knowledge and gain work experience. For example:

  • Certified Cyber Security Foundation

  • Certified Cyber Security Practitioner

  • NCSC Certified Training

Once you have a thorough foundation in cyber security and have worked in the industry for a good number of years, expert level training courses such as: CISM, CCNP and CISA can be attained.

Types of Cyber-attacks And Their Consequences

Cyber-attacks have become increasingly common, which make it essential to understand the different types of attacks, as well as their consequences.

To start, phishing is one of the most common tactics employed by attackers. It involves sending messages that appear to come from a trusted source in order to trick its recipient into clicking on a malicious link or providing sensitive information. Malware is another type of cyber-attack, which uses malicious software to access computers undetected and steal confidential data without the user's knowledge. Lastly, ransomware is a type of attack in which files are encrypted and hackers demand a ransom for unlocking them.

All these kinds of attacks can have serious ramifications for organisations and individuals alike; including financial loss, reputational damage and regulatory sanctions. Knowing about the different types of cyber-attacks and how they propagate is an important step for staying safe online.

Best Practices for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an ever-growing concern for organisations and individuals, as cyber criminals continually develop new methods to penetrate even the most secure systems. It is essential for both organisations and individuals to take the necessary precautions in order to protect their data from hackers.

Best practices for cybersecurity may include the use of strong passwords, regularly updating software, employing firewalls, conducting frequent scans and monitoring of networks, educating staff members on best practices, and securing access points to any data repositories. Attention should also be paid to physical security measures such as two-factor authentication techniques and regular audit of servers. By following these strategies, organisations and individuals can ensure their security remains uncompromised by cyber attackers.


The Role of Government in Cybersecurity

When it comes to cybersecurity, governments have an important role to play in both promoting security practices and regulation. Governments can provide incentives for businesses to invest in cybersecurity – such as tax breaks or government contracts – as well as offering support and advice concerning the implementation of necessary measures.

Globally, governments are also introducing laws and regulations to protect against cyber-attacks. For example, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out strict guidelines for data security and privacy which all businesses in the EU must comply with. In the US, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 established a framework of public-private partnerships to ensure that critical infrastructure is protected against cyber-attacks.

Career Paths in Cybersecurity and Salaries

Security Analysts are tasked with monitoring the systems and networks of an organization to identify any potential security risks or threats. They must be well-versed in identifying security vulnerabilities, analyzing system logs, and responding to any incidents that arise. Security analysts often work closely with other IT professionals within the organization and collaborate with outside vendors as needed. To excel in the field, security analysts should be knowledgeable of various industry standards and best practices.

Security Engineers are responsible for designing and developing secure systems to protect an organization’s data and infrastructure. They must have a good understanding of IT networks, cloud computing, cryptography, authentication protocols, and system maintenance. Security engineers often work closely with other IT professionals within the organization and are expected to implement security controls and processes.

Network Security Engineers are responsible for designing and implementing secure network systems that protect an organization’s data and networks from malicious attacks. They must have a strong understanding of different networking technologies, firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, authentication protocols, and other cybersecurity tools. They may also work closely with other IT professionals within the organization to develop and maintain secure network systems.

In terms of compensation, salary expectations for cybersecurity professionals vary depending on experience and qualifications. Generally in the UK, entry-level cyber security salaries range from around £25,000 to £40,000 per year depending on the job role and skills required. With experience, salaries can reach up to £70,000 or beyond for senior cybersecurity professionals.

The Future of Cybersecurity

The future of cybersecurity is a rapidly changing landscape, with emerging technologies and ever-evolving threats. In order to stay ahead of the curve, professionals in the field need to keep up-to-date on the latest trends and developments. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important as more organizations are digitizing their operations, making it essential that businesses have the right infrastructure and personnel in place to protect them from cyber threats.

To ensure organizations have the best chance of staying secure, it’s essential that they recruit skilled cybersecurity professionals. Qualified professionals can help identify vulnerabilities and create strategies for mitigating risks. With the right professionals in place, businesses can feel confident that their networks are protected and their data is secure.

At Rutherford, a cyber security recruitment firm, we specialise in finding the right professionals for your business’s information security needs. Our team of cyber security experts have a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to recruitment within the cyber space, and can help you find the right talent for your organisation. We understand the importance of staying informed about the latest developments in cybersecurity and are constantly monitoring the industry to ensure that we have the best candidates available.

Whether you’re looking for a specific role or require an entire team of security professionals, our dedicated recruiters can help you find the right match for your organisation.


Contact our Cyber Security Consultant Michael Aspinall for a confidential search, send us an email at or see our latest vacancies.