If you're looking to start a career in cyber security, you'll find there and many paths you can take within this field. However, deciding what's best for you means thinking about a range of factors. What sort of thing do you enjoy? What type of challenges inspire you? How important is salary, or the type of company you want to work for?
One part of the cyber security landscape that's especially important is threat management. Professionals in this area will be on the front lines of defending organisations against a growing range of risks, so it's a vital job for any business. As such, professionals who can demonstrate their competency and experience in this area will be in high demand.
What does threat management involve?
Essentially, threat management comes down to analysing and evaluating an organisation's security requirements and putting in place the right plan to address any weaknesses and prevent cyber attacks.
As well as hardening businesses against attacks in the first place, it also means that if a breach is detected, firms are able to respond quickly to minimise any damage before it's too late.
This can be a big job, but it's one that's vital to success. While no system can be 100 per cent foolproof, poor threat management makes life much easier for hackers and paints a target on a business. The results of this can be hugely damaging. According to the Ponemon Institute, being able to spot a data breach within 30 days can reduce the overall costs of mitigation and recovery by over a million dollars.
While there are a range of technology platforms that can provide professionals with the tools they need to monitor, analyse and identify potential threats, these alone cannot protect businesses unless they have the right personnel.
Indeed, one of the biggest challenges within threat management is a shortage of trained and experienced professionals. As such, those moving into this field can expect to enjoy a wide range of options and opportunities for advancement.
Key job titles within this field
While threat management jobs are in high demand among businesses, this field typically encompasses a range of specific roles and responsibilities, so the job titles and descriptions you may come across when looking for a position can vary widely. However, there are a few common job titles that often focus heavily on threat management activities. These include:
These professionals' main role is to look for problems within computer systems and recommend measures that can be taken to resolve them. They are also often responsible for monitoring the environment for wider trends and ensuring systems are up-to-date in order to meet emerging threats. A degree in a security-related field and relevant industry qualifications are usually a must for these roles.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a security consultant may have significant overlap with those of a security analyst. Their responsibilities are often broad, covering the planning, design, building, configuration, maintenance and monitoring of systems - and as such they tend to be very experienced, specialised professionals who can be compensated accordingly.
Many of the recommendations set forward by analysts will be implemented by security engineers. The roles of these professionals typically include designing and implementing company-wide security strategies that address any technical problems firms have identified. As well as ensuring any issues highlighted by security analysts are addressed, they're also expected to ensure that all systems maintain compliance with regulations.
The skills needed to be successful
There are a range of skills that cyber security professionals will need if they are to be successful in threat management roles. Often, as their job will be to identify trends and weaknesses and make recommendations rather than actually build systems, specific computer science skills such as strong coding abilities are less of a priority.
Instead, the main requirements to be successful are often considered 'softer' skills such as problem solving, people management and strong written and verbal communication.
However, this should not mean you can get by without harder skills. Despite the importance of non-technical capabilities, threat management still demands a high level of knowledge, from a comprehensive understanding of compliance and regulatory requirements to data management and an awareness of operational issues. The ability to intake data from a wide variety of sources and effectively analyse large data sets to spot issues is a must, and this demands strong technical expertise.
As such, key skills that you can expect to see listed as requirements for many threat management jobs include:
- Analytical skills
- Mathematical and financial skills
- Attention to detail
Take the next step in your cyber security career by browsing our range of threat management jobs today.