4 sectors that need cyber security specialists

Published on: 4 Aug 2021

A good IT security team is something that no firm can afford to be without in today's environment. However, if you are looking to get into cyber security, you're likely to find that certain companies are more in need of top talent than others.

In fact, there are a few sectors that, for one reason or another, will find themselves especially at risk of being targeted by cyber criminals. In turn, these can present great opportunities for cyber security specialists to find interesting positions with a lot of potential for career progression.

So what sectors are on the hunt for talent and why? Here are a few that you should be considering if you're looking for a cyber security career.

1. Healthcare

Healthcare providers have proven to be highly tempting targets for cyber criminals, especially when it comes to attacks such as ransomware. As well as the fact that they're highly dependent on digital tools for critical operations, private patient information can be valuable targets for hackers, while the plethora of connected medical devices offer an easy way in for criminals. 

Since the WannaCry attack on the NHS back in 2017, however, organisations across the sector - from hospitals to pharmacies, administration departments and even care homes - have looked to improve their protections, and the sector therefore offers great potential for IT professionals.

2. Financial services

Financial services firms, including banks, insurance providers and behind the scenes infrastructure providers, are also at high risk. In fact, research by Boston Consulting Group estimates firms in this sector are 300 times more at risk of cyberattack than other companies, and the costs firms can incur as a result of this can be huge. What's more, while the sector as a whole is increasingly digitalised, many firms still rely on older, obsolete technology that hackers can easily exploit. Professionals in areas such as digital forensics are also valuable in this sector to track fraud and identify where vulnerabilities lie.

3. Government

Government organisations, whether at a central government or regional level, present another tempting target for hackers, for a variety of reasons. For starters, they may possess valuable personally identifiable information that can be used for fraud or sold on the dark web. On a wider level, state-sponsored actors are constantly looking for ways into high-level departments such as intelligence agencies for highly-sensitive materials, while at the other end of the scale, local councils with limited resources are soft targets for ransomware creators. As a result, there are many career opportunities for government security jobs, especially for candidates who can pass the strictest security clearance checks.

4. Energy and utilities

The energy sector is another critical part of the economy that criminals and hostile governments alike are keen to exploit. Being able to shut down this critical infrastructure can cause huge disruption, as was seen earlier this year when a hacking attack on an energy pipeline led to panic buying and fuel shortages across the US east coast. 

However, this was a relatively simple attack that denied the company access to its systems by encrypting files. More complex attacks that enable hackers to take full control of power grids or other critical utilities present much greater threats, and it will be up to cyber security specialists to stop them. 

Interested in working in any of these sectors? Check out our latest cyber security jobs today to see if there's a role waiting for you.