How to Become a Cyber Security Specialist

What is a cyber security specialist?

Cyber security specialists play a key role in securing information systems. They are responsible for providing security during the development stages of software systems, networks and data centers.

How to become a cyber security specialist?

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in forensic computing and security, computer science, cyber security, digital forensics, or financial technology

Courses with industry placements will help you develop your skills.

For apprenticeship, you can do a cyber intrusion analyst or cyber security technologist higher apprenticeship. You can also take a cyber security technical professional degree apprenticeship.

You could start work as an IT support technician, network engineer or developer after doing A levels. You would then work your way up by taking further training on the job.

Cyber security specialist duties

Cyber security specialist duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Recognize problems by identifying abnormalities; reporting violations.
  • Implement security improvements by assessing the current situation; evaluating trends; anticipating requirements
  • Determine security violations and inefficiencies by conducting periodic audits
  • Maintain technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing publications
  • Contribute to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed
  • Build firewalls into network infrastructures
  • Constantly monitor for attacks and intrusions

Cyber security specialist skills

To be an effective cyber security specialist you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Strong IT skills and knowledge including hardware, software and networks
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of IT systems
  • A forensic approach to challenges
  • A deep understanding of how hackers work
  • Ability to keep up with the fast pace of change in the criminal cyber-underworld

How to find a cyber security specialist job:

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the cyber security specialist jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for cyber security specialist jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Cyber Security Specialist Titles

When you search for cyber security specialist jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for cyber security specialist jobs include;

  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Forensic computer analyst

What does a cyber security specialist do?

The job of a cyber security specialist varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of cyber security specialist job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 
The day-to-day tasks of a cyber security specialist include;

  • investigate hacking, fraud and theft
  • research political, industrial and commercial espionage
  • track terrorist communications and other illegal activities
  • secure IT systems and hardware to protect them from security threats
  • recover and secure data
  • analyse mobile phone records to track location
  • follow electronic data trails
  • document each stage of the investigation
  • present technical findings and evidence