With rates of digital crime facing exponential growth, cyber crime experts are only bound to see greater demand in the years to come. According to recent statistics by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the 2020-21 financial year saw over 65,700 cyber crime reports; a 13% increase from the previous year. Such volume equates to approximately one cyber attack reported per 8 minutes.
With cyber crimes evolving in both number and sophistication (often as fast as every month), the field of cyber security has never been in greater demand. Single-layer, “perimeter security” measures are no longer enough (i.e. traditional protection methods such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and passwords), growing progressively outdated as cyber criminals find new ways of breaching once tried-and-true safeguards. Additionally, with our business, communication, and transactional means shifting further from localised premises and into the expanding digital space – in which defined network “borders” cease to exist and vulnerabilities abound – we’ll continuously need newer, more proactive ways of securing data from prying eyes.
Much of these rising crimes are due to the natural evolution of tech in recent years; both creating more sophisticated means of cyber crime and feeding our growing reliance on digital data, leaving plenty of information vulnerable in the vast, highly-accessible areas of cyberspace. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic have lent to greater opportunities for online exploitation. Malicious actors have reportedly targeted private information under the guise of offering medical or pandemic-related information, and the shift to work-from-home arrangements have left plenty of workers – with often insubstantial home network security – susceptible to online threats.
These growing rates of crime, paired with the rise of remote work, has made cyber security more sought after than ever. Professionals looking to enter the field will find themselves spoilt for opportunities; and with high demand outpacing an alarmingly growing skills gap, plenty are likely to offer generous salary packages. According to Payscale, the average pay for cyber security skills currently sits at $97,000 per year, with rates likely to increase as one’s experience grows.
Additionally, the field is highly flexible due to its online nature. Cyber security specialist are likely to find plenty of remote work or freelance opportunities, allowing them to take their work wherever they please.
Not only is cyber security flexible in its nature of work, however – the skills you build are also flexibly applicable to other IT sectors. You’ll find that plenty of skills areas overlap with other roles, such as those in software development, programming, and networking; granting you the ease of exploring other sectors and shifting your career when necessary.