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Last year more than 3,600 people embarked on a new career in cybersecurity. We examine what skills are required to be a good cybersecurity professional…

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Last year more than 3,600 people embarked on a new career in cybersecurity by applying to the government’s training programme Upskill in Cyber. We examine what skills are required to be a good cybersecurity professional.

UK Cyber Sector annual revenues now top £10.5 billion as of 2023. Cyber skills are in huge demand across the UK. Last year 51% of businesses had a basic cyber skills gap. It’s predicted that 21,600 new recruits are needed every year to meet demand in the cyber sector.

The government is addressing this balance with their Upskill in Cyber programme. It’s aimed at people from a non-cyber background. It is designed to complement Cyber Explorers and Cyber First already up and running, inspiring under-25s to consider a career in cyber. Upskill in Cyber focuses on people already in a career who may be looking for a change. It’s a 14-week training programme building the skills and knowledge to embark on new careers in the cyber sector.

So, what is Cybersecurity?

As the name implies, cybersecurity is a technology-focused field. It’s troubleshooting, maintaining, and updating information security systems. It includes implementing continuous network monitoring and providing real-time security solutions.

To be a successful cybersecurity professional you’ll need to build a certain set of skills and aptitudes. Here’s an insight into what you will need, so you can decide if this is a career you might be interested in. 

Problem-solving skills: As a cybersecurity professional, problem-solving will play a major role in your day-to-day work. You will need to find creative ways to address complex information security challenges across a variety of existing and emerging technologies and digital environments.

Technical aptitude: Being technologically savvy is essential in order to perform the daily activities of a cybersecurity professional. Remember you’re troubleshooting, maintaining, and updating information security systems.

Knowledge of Security across various platforms: Cybersecurity isn’t just limited to computers. You’ll need to be comfortable working on a variety of operating systems, computer systems, mobile devices, cloud networks, and wireless networks. You’ll also need to keep up to date on advances in technology across all of these platforms and devices.

Attention to detail: Being able to defend an organization against cyber attacks and breaches needs you to be highly vigilant and have attention to detail. This is important for detecting vulnerabilities and risks effectively.

Communication Skills: As a cybersecurity professional, you’ll work closely with people in other roles within your organisation. You’ll need to be able to explain your findings, concerns, and solutions to them. You’ll need to be able to explain cybersecurity strategy and policy and not use jargon.

Fundamental Computer Forensics Skills: Understanding computer forensics can help you excel in your cybersecurity career. These skills build an understanding of what to do if your solutions to cyber attacks don’t work and how to recover compromised data.

An Understanding of Hacking: You need to know how a system has been hacked, so you’ll learn how to “ethically hack.” That way you have the same, or better skills, as a hacker helping you to thwart their attacks.

If you are excited by the world of Cybersecurity there is lots of opportunity in this industry. Why not think about training as a cybersecurity professional?