What’s it really like to work in cyber crime?

Cyber crime fighter walks down a matrix-like green hallway

Cybersecurity is a fast-growing, high-paid, fast-paced job area with surprisingly creative capacity.

From finding missing people to anti-fraud efforts, protecting people against the sex trade, solving crimes and real human problems – there are a myriad of ways in which cybersecurity protects us.

And with cybersecurity careers in the top five emerging jobs, according to a LinkedIn report of 525 million job-seekers, it’s an amazing career field to be a part of.

Get a glimpse of cyber security careers

Daniel Sherratt, cybersecurity analyst at CBA

At uni, Daniel Sherratt says he became intrigued with cybersecurity thanks to the fascinating ‘war stories’ from his lecturer about cyber heists and various hacking exploits through history.

Tales such as the ‘Captain Crunch’ cereal box whistles, which could be used to imitate a code that bypassed international call restrictions – from a phone box – caught his attention.

So, Daniel did a double degree in electrical, electronics and communications engineering with a Bachelor of Computer Science at UNSW Sydney, while also completing a summer internship in the cybersecurity area of Commonwealth Bank.

“That’s when my interest in the field really blossomed,” he says.

“I was offered a graduate role at the Commonwealth Bank after my degree, and worked on some really interesting projects.” He now works as a cyber intel researcher, exploring cyber threats to understand the ways the bank could be potentially targeted by cyber attacks.

“It involves investigating malicious activity like phishing scams, where people are enticed to click on links and give their credentials,” he says.

“We investigate those emails, find out more about that malicious actor, and then get those websites shut down so customer impact is minimised.”

“To work in cybersecurity, you need a curious mindset and be willing to keep digging to find solutions,” he says.

Cybersecurity specialists help enable companies, while making sure that data and systems are secure, Daniel says.

“If we could stop everyone from using the Internet we’d be 100% secure. But our aim is to protect our customers and users. It’s a balancing act to build a more robust and resilient digital economy against emerging cyber threats.”

– Fran Molloy

Daniel’s path to Cybersecurity Analyst:

>> Network Asset Systems officer, Essential Energy

>> Bachelor of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering/Bachelor of Computer Science, UNSW

>> Cube Satellite Developer (volunteer), ACSER

>> Graduate trainee, CBA

>> CyberSecurity Intel Analyst, CBA


This profile is brought to you in partnership with CBA.

Answering all your cybersecurity career questions

We asked cybersecurity experts from employers like the CSIRO and Google to answer our burning cybersecurity career questions to give you an insight into what it’s really like to work in cybersecurity.


What do cybersecurity specialists do?

Jobs in cybersecurity include anything from cyber communications to emergency response, online security or sales and marketing


What’s a typical day?

“My day-to-day job depends what I’m working on. I have built cybersecurity curricula, assessed vulnerabilities in critical scenarios, contributed to national cybersecurity strategies and policies, designed a virtual health assistant and analysed a dataset of 1.3 billion passwords.”

Dr Marthie Grobler – Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO’s Data61


“Most of my days involve keeping abreast of evolving threats, research and applications in emerging and disruptive tech (cyber, Internet of Things, Fintech etc). I advocate for cybersecurity in these areas, help the innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurs in Australia, and build strategic partnerships, alliances and revenue (growth) opportunities.”

Daniella Traino – General Manager Cyber Security, aizoOn Australia, Non-Executive Director & Strategic Advisor, IoT Security Australia


What problem are you trying to solve ATM?

“One problem I’m trying to solve is: which data can be trusted? This leads to the question of bringing together data from different contexts and reasoning about their trustworthiness.”

Professor Vijay Varadharajan – Director, Advanced Cyber Security Engineering Research Centre


“At Google, we identify and mitigate threats to employees; find and respond to malicious actions targeting our users and our company; prevent the loss of user trust and protect intellectual property.”

Googler cybersecurity specialists


“We focus on three types of problems: preventing and fixing technology issues, designing new processes and fixing processes that do not work, and working with people to build their online resilience.”

Dr Marthie Grobler – Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO’s Data61

“To work in cybersecurity, you need a curious mindset and be willing to keep digging to find solutions”

– Daniel Sherratt
artificial intelligence



Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Cyber Security and Forensics, Murdoch
Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour, Western Sydney University
Bachelor of Information Technology (Networking and Cybersecurity), UniSA

CS+cybersecurity JOBS

Cybersecurity analyst:

AU$59K–$104K / NZ$36K–$90K

Information security manager:

AU$97K–$165K / NZ$61K–$144K

Security engineer:

AU$54K–$154K / NZ$58K–$160K

Senior security consultant:

AU$98K–$132K / NZ$106K–$140K
*Source: salaries according to payscale.com

Get cyber savvy with this Threatsaurus

Lost in some cybersecurity concepts? Have a look at this “Threatsaurus”, published by Online Security Company Sophos

Backdoor Trojan

A backdoor Trojan allows someone to take control of a user’s computer without their permission.


An exploit takes advantage of a vulnerability in order to access or infect a computer.


Keylogging is the process of secretly recording keystrokes by an unauthorised third party.

Phishing emails

Phishing refers to the process of deceiving recipients into sharing sensitive information with an unknown third party (cyber criminal).


Software that denies you access to your files or computer until you pay a ransom.

Spoofing (Email)

Email spoofing is when the sender address of an email is forged for the purposes of social engineering.


Author: Karl GRUBER

Karl is an evolutionary biologist with a PhD from the University of Western Australia and a passion for writing engaging science, technology and health stories for a wide variety of audiences.


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