More and more institutions, both public and private, store the personal data of their customers. Clearly, this data can be sensitive, private or, if unprotected, used to commit criminal activity such as fraud. Cybersecurity is an industry rapidly growing in importance. Civvy Street Magazine examines how your Forces experience could be put to use by training up for a career in one of the UK’s most cutting edge sectors.
By Gary Buswell
Ongoing developments in digital technology have introduced us to concepts such as broadband, wireless networks, cloud platforms and so-called “smart” technology. This rapid growth has transformed the security industry. Recent figures suggest that the global cyber security market value will more than double, to over $300 billion by 2024.
The speed at which the industry is growing has led to a rapid increase in cybersecurity careers and a global skills gap as the sector struggles to meet demand. According to American IT governance firm ISACA, there is currently a global shortage of around two million cybersecurity professionals.
Many countries are beginning to realise the potential for Military Service leavers to help fill some of these gaps. According to the Ministry of Defence, only around 4% of Service-leavers are currently employed in the cyber and technology sectors, compared with 24% of the general population. Around 15,000 people leave the Armed Forces each year, many looking for new challenges which could be met by the cybersecurity industry.
Why a career in cybersecurity could be a good move
If you’re looking for an exciting career change after leaving Military life behind, there are several reasons why a cybersecurity job could be worth considering:
- It’s one of the most cutting-edge industries, offering the chance to work with the latest developments in digital technology.
- It’s a sensible career move for ex-Forces personnel who already have a security mindset and are used to working on gathering and protection are paramount.
- There is a premium on communications and leadership skills, two attributes possessed by many Service-leavers.
- Cybersecurity jobs naturally require a high level of trust. Service leavers have already demonstrated this and many already have the security clearance required for some of the key roles.
Skills and experience required for training
There are a range of training opportunities in the cybersecurity field that are suitable for Service-leavers. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to have in-depth technical or IT knowledge, although these attributes will obviously stand you in good stead.
Exact requirements vary between courses, but many transferable skills as well as other experience gained during your time in the Forces are valued when it comes to cyber security. These can include:
- Strong verbal communication skills.
- Project management and leadership abilities.
- Experience of working in a high pressure environment.
- Ability to read situations and solve problems.
- Understanding of compliance and governance.
- Strong work ethic and good motivation.
- Planning and organisational skills.
- Ability to work well in a team.
- Understanding of protocols and structures.
- CompTIA Network+ and Security+ qualifications needed for some courses.
Where training could take you…
Here are a selection of roles in the cybersecurity field:
Duties: developing and building IT solutions; testing products to ensure they are ready for production and carrying out routine application maintenance tasks.
Entry requirements: technical qualification or equivalent commercial experience; technical knowledge such as cloud computing or infrastructure technologies.
Salary: £25,000 – £35,000
Security Operations Centre Analyst
Duties: providing protective monitoring using industry-leading technologies; providing advice and guidance to client targets of cyber-attacks and writing up incident reports.
Entry requirements: Excellent communication skills, awareness of cybersecurity issues and ability to work in a high-pressure environment.
Salary: £20,000 – £30,000
Incident Response Manager
Duties: managing a caseload of cyber security investigations and developing cyber investigations strategy in line with company objectives; conduct and lead efforts relating to malware analysis, forensics and evidence collection.
Entry requirements: degree or relative investigative experience; detailed knowledge of modern IT security controls, detailed knowledge of UNIX and LINUX based operating systems.
Salary: £65,000 – £85,000
Business Development Director
Duties: developing company business plans in line with strategic objectives; identifying and building relationships with prospective clients and overseeing the achievement of sales targets.
Entry requirements: track record of business achievement; strong managerial experience, good knowledge of cyber technologies.
Salary: £50,000 – £70,000
Brighton-based Crucial Academy offers free accredited training for Military Service-leavers. The school has been set up and is run by former Military personnel. Courses are available in areas of cyber threat intelligence, information assurance, defensive intelligence and offensive intelligence, with most lasting 2-3 weeks. Applicants with no prior experience are welcome, although CompTIA Network+ and Security+ qualifications are needed for offensive and defensive security courses.
Tel: 01273 060080
Tech Vets works in partnership with the Ministry of Defence to help ex-Forces personnel into cyber and technology careers. They run a Veterans Digital Cyber Academy with tier 1 vocational training free to all Service-leavers. No technical background is needed as participants will be trained up in all necessary disciplines. Recruitment begins for the next round of placements in July 2019. Online job support is offered following completion of training.
Forces Cyber Pathways
London-based agency that offers training, internships and careers support for Service-leavers interested in a career in cybersecurity. The training is a four-day CREST-accredited Practitioner Security Analyst course that teaches key technical and IT security skills to equip learners for entering the cybersecurity job market. CompTIA qualifications are required for entry.
Tel: 0207 9711175
Computing giant IBM is offering free cybersecurity training for ex-Forces personnel through Military recruitment support agency, Salute My Job. The three-day training covers essentials such as hacking exercises and Security Operations Centre (SOC) exercises. Courses take place in May, October and December 2019 in Corsham, Wiltshire. No IT security experience is needed, but applicants must be IT literate and able to use Microsoft Excel.
Tel: 01249 691415