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The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector continues to grow in Australia, with a reinforced focus on digital industries infiltrating the economy. This rapid growth of all things digital requires a strong cyber security sector. This need has been recognised by both businesses, and the Australian Federal Government with the nation’s largest cyber security investment of $1.35 billion over the next decade, through the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) initiative.

The demand for trained cyber security workers who protect against cyber-attacks, data protection breaches and information harvesting has become central to all Australian and global businesses. This is further exacerbated by organisational shifts towards remote working, with more Australian businesses working and sharing information online. 

While this shift in business needs has happened quickly, most IT professionals are yet to catch up and lack the formal training and knowledge needed to manage the cyber security requirements now becoming an essential part of their IT role. Traditionally, the IT field has been largely dominated by professionals from a range of non-traditional backgrounds including computer science and information science, who have interest in the tools and technology but do not hold a relevant degree or formal training in cyber security. As Australian businesses are increasingly required to adapt to changes in online ways of working, IT professionals are also required to adapt through continuous learning, and upskilling. 
 

Upskilling into cyber security creates a forward career trajectory 

Ensuring you have the right skills and qualifications for this career path will enable continued career development and growth. Gaining a formal education in cyber security demonstrates to employers that you have the necessary skills to succeed in the field. Many government roles also recommend a degree to attain higher-level positions. As many of the key cyber security positions are within official government roles, it is important to equip yourself with the right educational background to lead the industry forward. 

Understanding what is required in a cyber security or IT hybrid role will enable you to focus on upskilling with these core skills and job requirements. 
 

What skills will you need in cyber security?

Infosec identified the following cyber security hard skills which are highly sought-after. 

  1. Security analysis & penetration testing 

Those working in cyber security should hold a deep understanding of how attackers exploit systems and develop learnings from the hacker’s perspective to circumvent these attacks and detect any future intrusions. Cyber security specialists should always carry out best practice methods to secure and test systems and neutralise threats. This required skill demands practical software knowledge and training in the behaviour of cyber attackers. 
 

  1. Data science and analytics 

Cyber security professionals require a strong understanding of behaviour-based analytics, big data analysis, and machine learning tools to ensure their business stays at the forefront of monitoring and detection tools.
 

An understanding of how to protect existing data and facilitate the transmission of sensitive data safely is required amongst all cyber security professionals. A background in data science or analytics helps IT cyber security teams understand how to store, catalogue, and share sensitive data within an organisation. 
 

  1. Cloud security

While cloud computing has allowed for more flexible working arrangements, cyber security specialists need to be able to evaluate the safety of different cloud platforms and help make informed business decisions on how to keep company and personal information secure. 
 

  1. Incident response

The ability to think ahead and design an incident-response plan for any possible future data hacks or breaches is a core responsibility of those in cyber security. 
 

  1. Secure applications development

Cyber security specialists are typically involved in the development phase of product design to ensure all security challenges are identified early on, so need the skills to foresee security issues and devise solutions to prevent them before they occur. 
 

  1. Understanding policy and legal frameworks

As the online landscape continues to develop and crosses over multiple jurisdictions, cyber security laws are constantly being instated and refined. Working in information technology cyber security, you must keep up to date with relevant industry news so that you can both interpret and even play a role in informing the creation of these laws and regulations. Lawmakers need input from well-revered professionals who are working on the front-line to protect Australia and Australian businesses from cyber-attacks. 

 

Cyber security pathways

For any IT professionals looking to hone their cyber security skills and boost their employability and job security in the process, upskilling is the way to go. If not essential, employers tend to look on those with formal cyber security training more favourably when recruiting, as it ensures individuals have the required knowledge and skillset needed to steer their company through digital shifts. A formal qualification such as a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security will help you stand out while demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning.  

If you are an IT professional with strong cyber security skills, you can also expect a higher earning potential and a broader range of job opportunities as your unique skill set is in high demand. 

The University of Adelaide’s online Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security is taught with a business lens, preparing graduates to work in real businesses settings. The University of Adelaide offers an eight-month online program covering practical cyber security applications and challenges. It teaches graduates how to evaluate risks, interpret policy and work with data. 

To find out more about the entry requirements, speak to one of our enrolment advisors on 1300 241 539 or book in a call today.