How important is cyber security in international relations?

Cyber security is a paramount concern for world leaders because it has the potential to threaten the economy, the government and an individual’s safety and wellbeing. In the Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 paper, Peter Dutton (Minister of Home Affairs) states that the government is committed to working closely with the industry to prevent and respond to cyber attacks. The relationship between cyber security and politics is becoming more interlinked with an increase in cyber attacks and threats on a global level. 

Cyber security is clearly an international priority that needs to be addressed in every government’s policy. Professionals working within the international relations and politics domain would benefit from cyber security knowledge because it will help them better overcome the rise of cybercrime and strengthen Australia’s defence strategy.  

1. The role of cyber security in international relations

Cyber security plays a crucial role in international relations and it will remain a significant element in government policy. As many companies and organisations take their business online to boost the economy, their network is at risk to cyber criminals looking to infiltrate the system for their own benefit. Cyber attacks are more advanced threatening individuals, businesses and governments. Due to the vast impact cybercrime has across all networks and systems, naturally, world leaders are obliged to combat this issue. 

Cyber security plays an integral role in every government’s defence policy with policy advisors in talks regarding the implication of technology on international security. Every business needs to have cyber security countermeasures in place with a well-structured cyber security policy and best practices guide for employers to adhere to. As the world continues to depend on online services to get through their everyday lives, businesses are held accountable for protecting their customers. This has a significant impact on international relations with businesses, governments and organisations compelled to work together to prevent cybercrime leading to the rise of international cooperation. 

2. The rise of global cyberterrorism and its cyber security countermeasures

World leaders are concerned about the growing cases of cybercrime and devising strategies to combat the rise of global cyberterrorism. Global cyberterrorism presents serious consequences for businesses such as the loss of intellectual property, business disruption and the potential to destabilise the economy. With the proliferation of dark web access, terrorism has become more decentralised, hence more problematic to police. 

In order to combat and prevent such a prevalent risk, the Australian government is encouraging education providers to include more cyber security courses in order to equip more people with cyber security countermeasures. Cyber security countermeasures include designing a secure system that prevents cyber attacks because the system is impenetrable and solid. Similar strategies used in international relations apply in cyber security countermeasures such as deterrence as a means of intimidation. 

3. How to upskill to cyber security with a non-technical background

The beauty of humanities and liberal arts degrees is the focus on having an analytical mindset and sharp critical thinking skills. Cyber security is all about problem-solving, thinking a step ahead of the attacker and an ethical desire to protect our society from cybercrime. Cyber security suits people who are passionate about deconstructing ideas in order to construct a policy report that adheres to compliance. Subject matter experts that have worked at think tanks would be a perfect match for a cyber security role. 

The best method to gain cyber security skills is to upskill to a practical skills training program with an industry-focused curriculum. This method will ensure that you are complimenting your existing skillset with in-demand capabilities and accelerating your career in a resourceful manner. The Institute of Data’s Cyber Security program is a timely option to gain cyber security skills that will supplement your non-technical background

4. The career paths for professionals with a mixed skillset of cyber security and politics  

A mixed skillset of cyber security and humanities is in demand because you have a combination of highly sought after technical skills as well as an international relations perspective. Below are two sectors you can find a variety of roles with the aforementioned mixed skillset:

Governance and Policy

For those of you that enjoy research and proposing policy to combat cybercrime with effective cyber security countermeasures, the governance and policy sector is a great sector for you. This field requires a lot of writing so a passion for words is essential. You will be spending a lot of time researching terms and conditions regarding cyber incidents internationally in order to determine the type of policy you will write. You will need to have a strategic mindset to ascertain that the policy covers the business’ needs. 

Intelligence

Those of you that enjoy analysing a lot of information in order to produce a persuasive story will find a rewarding career in intelligence. Cyber counterterrorism analyst roles fall under this category because the daily tasks merge with intelligence as you will find yourself investigating and researching terrorist activities. Getting a job in intelligence requires an ethical mindset because you are working with confidential and sensitive information in order to strengthen international security

5. What are the salary expectations and future career outlook for a cyber security professional with a humanities background?

The Australian public service is a rather competitive sector to get into because of its many benefits and higher salary outlook. Here is a list of different government organisations offering governance & policy and intelligence roles as well as the salary expectations:

Australian Federal Police

The AFP offers a variety of non-policing roles for cyber counterterrorism analysts and intelligence analysts. The average salary for an intelligence analyst is $99,292 as of 2019. 

Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) & Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

ASIS and ASIO both employ intelligence analysts but both departments have different functions. ASIS is focused on foreign intelligence that will enhance Australia’s national defence and international relations. ASIO gathers intelligence to alert the government about any threats to Australia’s security. The salary expectations for an entry-level intelligence officer role ranges from $80,775 to $111,390 depending on your skillset. 

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

DFAT looks for outstanding and patriotic professionals that have a mixed skillset, especially those with the ability to speak Asian and Indo-Pacific languages. Securing a role in DFAT requires an analytical mindset and a passion for problem-solving which coincides with the skills you need to excel in cybersecurity

Contribute to strengthening international security with a mixed skillset of cyber security and international relations. Getting a job in this field requires the determination to continue learning and upskill to remain a step ahead of cyber criminals. 

If you are interested in upskilling to cyber security, book a consultation with an Institute of Data consultant today.

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