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30th Sep, 2023

Chris Adcock
Chris Adcock
Job Title
Managing Director, Technology

As cyber-attacks become more sophisticated in the business world, it takes an equally sophisticated team to stop the perpetrators in their tracks.

Researchers from the University of Gloucestershire recently found that companies worldwide are experiencing a rise in digital threats as a result of the pandemic and hybrid/remote working patterns.

It’s been suggested that 39% of UK businesses have suffered from a cyber-attack in recent times, costing an average of £4,200 for small businesses, and £19,400 for medium to large companies.

Cyber-crimes continue to grow from the following types of attacks:

Phishing – these attacks aim to trick, pressure or manipulate people into sending information or payment. Between 2022 and 2023, phishing impacted 89% of UK businesses that suffered from a cyber-attack.

Malware – an unauthorised software that gains computer access to disrupt or damage systems. These attacks were up 358% compared with 2019.

Ransomware – a malicious software that blocks computer systems or network access until a fee or ‘ransom’ is paid.

Unfortunately, the UK is the second most ransomware-targeted country worldwide, with 163 new major incidents over the last 12 months, which means it’s even more important to protect your business. These developments have led to a huge demand for cyber security expertise, particularly around online systems, where the majority of companies store their data.

So, which roles are in greatest demand in the cyber security sphere?

Cyber security trainee

Cyber security trainees cover essential technology and data security tasks that include organising digital resources, researching and reviewing the company’s IT policies, as well as researching new security strategies to improve current systems.

Providing this role will allow for cross-functional teams to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks that could occur within the business.

Cyber security engineer

Cyber security engineers have responsibility for designing and implementing secure network solutions that protect against any potential cyber and hack-related threats. They often take on technical-focused roles in larger organisations, dealing with sensitive data on a day-to-day basis.

When looking for professionals in this role, make sure that they can provide industry knowledge relating to cyber security for corporate systems, technical systems and data – as this will help with competing demands.

Cyber intelligence analyst

This role focuses on identifying common weaknesses in IT networks, using digital resources to gather information and evidence, and analysing dangers facing major security systems, alongside producing threat assessment reports and recommending actions for the company to take.

Relevant qualifications to look out for include CREST Registered Threat Intelligence Analyst and GIAC Cyber Threat Intelligence (GCTI).

Cyber risk associate

Cyber risk associates are the driving force behind researching and developing cybersecurity products and cyber risk management tools. In order to deliver vital information and measures to insurance companies, they need to make sure that policies are more accurate and effective for both the insurer and business needing the insurance.

Penetration tester

Penetration testers – also referred to as ethical hackers – use the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers – those behind software attacks – but they have permission from the owner of a system being tested. Their goal is to help organisations improve security by finding and fixing vulnerabilities, and ultimately reducing the risk of an attack.

When hiring a penetration tester, look for candidates with a relevant degree, or in-depth knowledge of computer operating systems and experience in a role related to information security.

Security analyst

A security analyst monitors company systems for attacks and unusual, unauthorised or illegal activity. They also test and evaluate security products, design new security systems or upgrade existing ones, and use advanced analytic tools to determine emerging threats and vulnerabilities that a company may face.

Many analysts have undergraduate degrees in finance and take on additional certifications post-graduation to increase their knowledge of the capital markets. This is something to consider when expanding your team.

Network engineer

Network engineers are responsible for designing, installing and maintaining an organisation’s digital communication network. They work to establish wireless networks, develop ways of digital communication, and improve cyber security protocols.

Remember that network engineers are necessary at any company that has or uses computers, data, or information stored digitally.

Cyber security consultant

Cyber security consultants evaluate security issues, assess the risks and implement solutions to defend companies' networks and computer systems against threats. They also assess the in-depth workings of a variety of security systems and create layers of protection that match fast-changing IT landscapes.

Make sure you’re offering competitive salaries to secure the talent you desire.

Security architect

A security architect creates and designs security for systems or services and maintains security documentation – all while developing intricate architecture patterns and security approaches to new technologies to help protect data.

As these roles grow, security architects are becoming more and more responsible for updating leadership teams on continuing projects, while reporting to managers and executives about progress and challenges.

Cyber security manager

Cyber security managers monitor the channels through which information flows in and out of an organisation's information network. They have responsibility for observing all the operations occurring across the network, and managing the infrastructure that facilitates those operations. They play an integral part in securing company data and software.

For more information on job roles within technology, check out our 2024 technology salary guide. It provides detailed insight into current salary trends across the country, so you can make an informed decision about your next career move, or alternatively you can use it as a benchmarking tool.

Reed salary guide 2024