Did you know cybercrimes cost the Australian economy roughly $1 billion dollars a year? Since companies have started using digital platforms to deliver their products and services, cyber criminals have found new avenues to exploit companies and customers by hacking into systems to retrieve information that is confidential.
Cyber security can be defined as: the practice of protecting computers, hardware, software and data from cyberattacks.
Let’s look at how cybercrime has caught attention of the government and businesses as a potential threat to technology-focused industries:
- Email phishing has become a growing threat to individuals and businesses as hackers opt these channels to send malwares to computers.
- One of the common problems companies face specifically B2B’s, is the strengthening of passwords. The issue arises when same password is used across a number of accounts.
- “Ransomware” is a new terminology emerged as a result of an increase in cybercrime as the name suggests, this involves installing a malware into a device or a system and held hostage until a ransom is paid.
- As businesses have started incorporating cloud-based platforms, there has been an increase in risk of attacks on these platforms.
- Media attention and reported instances of cyber security breaches, sometimes naming specific companies or individuals who have been affected, have brought a lot of concern to the topic.
As a result, cyber security has become a top priority for government organisations and businesses in Australia who depend on technology for their day-to-day operations.
1. Is Cyber Security a growing field in Australia?
The rising threat of cybercrime has led to an exponential growth in the Cyber Security Industry. “The global cyber security market was worth US$74.5 billion in 2015, and it’s estimated it will be worth close to US$170 billion by 2020” says Senator Tehan. The federal government of Australia has plans of investing over $230 million dollars into the cyber security sector in the next four years.
Cyber security as a field has become a new opportunity for Australian businesses. Industries, researchers and government will come together to create enterprises to develop new products and services that will allow small and large scale companies to work securely in a connected world.
2. What the cyber security skills shortage means for the Australian workforce?
After the growing concerns in the number of data breaches, the Australian government has passed a number of data protection regulations that have caused a steep rise in the demand for cyber security professionals across the country.
Due to the increase in demand, Australia is facing a severe skills shortage in the cyber security sector. This shortage is responsible for more than $400 million in revenue and wages lost. Australia is currently short of 2300 workers in cyber security, with an expected demand of at least 17,600 additional professionals in the sector by 2026.
Businesses are looking for professionals with a combination of technical skills with expertise in data security along with the understanding of business risk. Because of the unique skills cyber security professionals possess, companies are willing to pay higher salaries to these professionals.
3. The career outlook of a Cyber Security professional in Australia in the next 5 years
According to Forbes, “Cyber security is very obviously a job sector of the future”. Due to the shortfall in the demand and supply of cyber security professionals, companies are going above and beyond to acquire the best talent in the cyber security sector and reward them accordingly. This space is going to see an exorbitant growth in the next 5 years, and demand for professionals in this sector will continue to rise. Here are some reasons why your decision to choose a career in cyber security will be secure and profitable:
- Job Security: According to recent stats, the global shortage of cyber security professionals is going to reach 3.5 million by the end of 2021. There is no doubt that the career outlook for cyber security students is going to be very bright with many opportunities available.
- Salary Raise: Due to the unique high demand skillset the cyber security professionals offer to the industry, salaries are never a constraint. A cyber security professional in Australia will earn an average salary of $75k – $120k per annum and is expected to increase.
- Choice of Industry: Today, almost all industries are demanding cyber security professionals. Those who have expertise in this area can choose from a wide range of industries to work in.
4. Am I the right fit for the Australian Cyber Security Industry?
The main reason companies find it difficult to hire trained cyber security professionals is that they need the perfect blend of soft skills and technical skills but professionals with this balance are hard to find. If you are someone looking to take the leap into cyber security, here are a list of traits you need to showcase in order to become a cyber security professional:
- An enthusiastic, analytical and adaptable individual with a strong understanding of web vulnerabilities
- Basic business acumen, an understanding around business risk along with strengths in investigating and problem-solving
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills with an ability to articulate complex information to technical and non-technical teams
- Good understanding of the architecture, administration and management of operation systems, networks and visualisation systems
- Understanding of basic programming languages – PHP, Python, Java, C++, etc.
- Willingness to adapt and work within a team to build your industry experience in cyber security
Both businesses and the government are encouraging professionals from varied backgrounds to upskill and move into the cyber security space to fill the gap between the demand and the shortage of supply. If you think you have the above mentioned traits, there are thousands of job openings in the market waiting for you. To become one of the most in-demand professionals in the industry, you need to become certified by industry experts, build your cyber experience and be able to demonstrate your capabilities to employers.
5. 3 tips to break into the Australian Cyber Security Industry
To enter the Australian Cyber Security Industry and land your first role, a highly technical background is not required although it may make your transition into cyber security smoother / open you up to more technical roles. If you showcase your skills and knowledge through practical experience and project work, you will stand out from those who have technical knowledge but lack real world experience / the ability to apply their knowledge in a practical setting. Below are a few tips to accelerate your career in the Australian Cyber Security Industry:
1. Understanding the expectations of different job roles – Cyber security is a very broad term that has many roles under it which require different skill sets. In order to find the ideal position for your personality and skill set, research is required to understand the various job roles, where you fit in and what further certification may be required. Here are just some of the most in-demand cyber security jobs in Australia:
- Cyber Security Analyst
- Cyber Security Consultant
- Systems Engineer
- Systems Administrator
- Vulnerability Analyst
- Computer Forensics Analyst
- Ethical Hackers
- Penetration Testers
2. Get trained – Once you have researched the job role you are interested in, it’s time you get started becoming certified in cyber security. If you are coming from a non-IT background, you might have to designate additional time and commitment to get trained and develop your technical skills and knowledge. Certifications will help validate your competence in the field to potential employers but project work and showcasing your passion to work in the cyber industry will help you to excel at the interview stage.
3. Participate and engage in industry events – Having the technical skills alone is not enough, practicing those skills in real world scenarios will help you excel in your cyber security career path. There are a number of networking and industry events happening across Australia. It is important to show initiative and have conversations with industry leaders in order to understand the Australian Cyber Security Industry and build your network with professionals from the field.
The job prospects in the field of cyber security are increasing. With the demand for companies to protect their cyber presence, an upward growth in cyber security roles is predicted in the next 5 years in the Australian job market. It is a strategic time to embrace the many available job opportunities in this growing industry by gaining job-ready cyber skills and leveraging your domain knowledge to secure a position.
If you are considering a career change to cyber security, book a consultation with an Institute of Data Career Consultant today and learn more about the benefits of accelerated cyber security training: part time and full time programs available now.