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Cyber Security Driving Job Opportunities

Monday, November 07, 2016

A number of the Finite team recently attended an Australian British Chamber of Commerce luncheon on cyber security. We were reminded that the global IT industry would have 1 million outstanding security jobs by 2019. It's a statistic that has been heavily emphasised this year by many leading sources as diverse as Forbes, Symantec, CSO Online and PWC. The range and sophistication of threats is growing. An unforeseen consequence of the great Internet of Things (IOT) is that everything is now vulnerable to attack. Think vital devices like life sustaining medical equipment, think mundane devices such as thermostats. Industry and commentators are agreed that it's the next great IT challenge. To illustrate the global shortage I can share that Finite were recently requested by UK based clients to pillage the Aussie market for expertise. (We didn't do it of course).

Many consulting firms are approaching this dilemma by purchasing storage and networking specialist companies and upskilling the staff in the latest cyber security technologies, others by partnering with universities to drive new courseware suited for purpose. Many Australian Universities and TAFEs are now offering cyber security advanced degrees and PGs (and we do need these grads). The problem is that the security technology is evolving (rapidly) to answer more sophisticated threats, and there is no way that formal education can stay the pace.

The answer I think, lies in the same place it always has when CIOs cry fire in the theatre; in the technical curiosity and adaptability of the tech community, recent grads and old hands. There has not been a tech skills shortage yet that was not answered from within. IT contractors are highly skilled, have prospered in continuous change environments and are always looking for challenges they haven't yet solved. Cyber security would seem a nirvana to many techies; a battleground of changing boundaries, evolving technologies, disruptive ideas, and importantly, a task of purpose.

Professionals looking to move towards security in their organisations should raise their hands. Speak to the CSO (if there is one), the relevant manager if not. Opt in to network security upgrades, get involved in security working groups. Perhaps research what formal upskilling is available and look to your employer to fund it. Security is keeping CIOs and CEOs up at night, and almost every organisation is skill short. Becoming relevant in this challenge could bring future career security!
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