Everything you need to know about UK information security jobs
Cyber security jobs are one of the UK's fastest-growing and most exciting sectors to work in. Whether you're coming from a background elsewhere in IT and are looking for a change, or are just starting out on this career path, there are a wide range of opportunities to suit every level of experience and interest.
Among the most popular roles within cyber security jobs are those that deal directly with information security. But why are these roles of such interest and what do you need to know if you're thinking of moving into this area?
What is a job in information security?
If you're looking for cyber security jobs, information security is one area that's always in especially high demand. These professionals are on the front lines of firms' defences, protecting their most sensitive and valuable digital assets, so will be vital parts of any security team.
Why get an information security job?
Data breaches have become a leading threat for firms of all sizes. The financial impact of this can be significant, with IBM estimating the average breach costs upwards of $4.3 million (£3.79 million) as of 2022. Therefore, people with the right skills and experience to defend this data can expect good prospects both in the short and long term.
What's more, information security jobs offer the promise of a fast-moving, interesting career. It may be especially suitable for people with a passion for problem solving, an analytical mindset and a constant desire for new challenges, as you never know what the future will hold.
Is information security the same as cyber security?
You may often see cyber security and information security used interchangeably, but in fact, there are some significant differences to be aware of that make information security jobs their own discipline.
Cyber security refers broadly to any activities to protect networks, systems and devices from attack. Information security, on the other hand, focuses on the processes and practices that corporations use to protect their data. This covers everything from setting up policies and controls to preventing unauthorised individuals from accessing data, monitoring systems for suspicious activity and reacting quickly to any attempted breaches in progress.
Data is the lifeblood of almost every business today. As such, information security specialists are among the most important positions in any cyber security team.
What are the job roles in information security?
This sector covers a range of job titles and roles, from entry-level analysts to more senior positions such as consultants and management roles, even up to chief security officer.
Entry-level roles in this sector often involve monitoring and maintaining systems to spot any data breaches before they can do damage. Meanwhile, positions such as penetration tester and ethical hacker also have important roles to play in keeping data secure, as they can proactively identify any weaknesses in systems that could lead to the theft of information.
At the top end of the scale, management and consultancy jobs place professionals in charge of every aspect of designing and building secure systems to keep data safe from threats.
Some job title terms you should look out for when conducting a job search include:
- Information security analyst
- Information security officer
- Penetration tester
- Cyber security consultant
- Information security engineer
- Information security administrator
Information security jobs in the United Kingdom
If you're looking for information security jobs in the UK, there are many opportunities available. The country continues to suffer from a skills shortage in this area, which means people with the right skills have plenty of options available to them, with great potential for high salaries and prospects for advancement.
What is the average salary for information security?
Salaries for information security careers can vary widely, as this term covers roles all the way from entry level up to senior management and even board-level positions. However, like many cyber security roles, pay levels for these jobs compare favourably with the national average, with great potential for additional perks and bonuses as companies compete to secure the best staff.
For example, the average starting salary for an entry-level information security analyst in the UK is around £25,000 to £27,000. However, those with experience can expect to quickly see their pay increase. Overall, the typical pay for this role is around £43,000 per annum.
Information security managers, meanwhile, can expect to see salaries of around £60,000, rising to as much as £80,000 to £90,000 for the most senior roles.
What qualifications do you need to be an information security analyst?
Having at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, such as computer science, maths or network engineering can be highly advantageous, but if you don't have this, there are still paths open to you.
Previous experience in IT in entry-level roles such as software engineer can give you a grounding in all the skills you need, and once you've built up your experience, you'll be able to study toward a range of professional qualifications that are highly valued by recruiters when looking to fill these types of cyber security jobs.
Some of the most important to consider adding to your CV include:
- CompTIA Security+
- (ISC)2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner
- CompTIA PenTest+
- OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
What are security cleared jobs in information security?
There are many types of employers who will need information security professionals. However, those that deal with especially sensitive data - such as central government, financial services, critical infrastructure and defence - will be particularly on the lookout for the right people.
Working in sensitive environments offers a number of additional benefits, such as the potential for higher salaries. In order to work with this type of data, however, candidates will have to demonstrate their integrity and trustworthiness. To do this, they'll need to obtain the appropriate security clearance. These checks can be long and arduous, but may be well worth it in the long term.
How can you find information security jobs?
The best way to find vacant information security specialist roles is to turn to a specialist jobs board such as CyberSecurityJobsite.com. Recruiters come to these services because they know they can find the right candidates with the right qualifications and experience, which may not always be the case on more general job listing sites.
As well as setting up a job alert so you're instantly notified of the newest opportunities, CyberSecurityJobsite.com also allows you to upload your CV to the site so employers can find you.
Browse our range of information security jobs today to view details of the roles that you may be best suited for.