Cybersecurity career

Cyber systems

Love puzzles? You could pit your brain against cyber hack attacks in this fast-growing career area.

When you’re doing a maths problem one small data point error can screw up your whole solution. So what if someone was opening your workbook at random, and changing the numbers – without you knowing a thing about it? A cybersecurity career can help you solve this puzzle – and more!

This creeping attack style is just one of the ways in which cyber criminals are hacking systems. And if these data points relate to someone’s health records, or a country’s defence system, then you get an idea of how devastating cyber attacks can be – and a cybersecurity career can prevent this problem.

Earlier this year, a massive global heist attacked 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries. Drives were encrypted and made inaccessible, leaving people with a ransom note.

The heist, caused by the ransomware called WannaCry, left victims unable to access their own data without a decryption key. The criminals behind the program then demanded people pay a ransom in the crypto-currency Bitcoin before they could get access to the code that would unlock their data.

Attempts to hack companies in Australia have risen from 23.7% to 60% from 2015 to 2016, according to annual surveys by communications company Telstra.

Scientia Professor of the computer science and engineering school at UNSW Sydney, Gernot Heiser, told the ABC recently that his cybersecurity graduates were in high demand from tech companies such as Google.

Cybersecurity career in high demand

Mark Staples heads CSIRO’s Data61 software systems teams in Sydney, Brisbane and Hobart, and says they often recruit software engineering graduates accredited with Engineers Australia.

He adds that graduates at Data61 also get plenty of experience on team-based projects. “Communication skills and team skills are really important: you must be able to work with other people,” he says.

Globally, a cybersecurity career is in huge demand and entry-level security analysts can expect to earn around $75,000.

Engineering studies at university are a key pathway into this in-demand area and other careers that combine engineering with tech skills. With the Australian government noting in its National Innovation and Science Agenda that one in four IT graduates and fewer than one in 10 engineering graduates are women, there’s a strong demand for female candidates.

Aadeeba Mou taught herself coding and took part in the federal government’s Cybersecurity Challenge Australia, a hackathon to develop cybersecurity skills. She now works as in cybersecurity career as a consultant at PwC.

“It’s great for people who are really passionate about cybersecurity or looking to learn more about it. I had fantastic fun with my team and it opened a lot of doors for me. I would highly recommend taking part.

“If anyone out there wants to learn about cybersecurity, tech or computer science, I’d recommend starting as early as you can. There are heaps of helpful resources, websites and competitions out there, so never be afraid to ask for help.”

Heather Catchpole

Read about cybersecurity study pathways at:

UNSW

ANU

LaTrobe

GET INTO ENG + CYBERSECURITY!

Check out some work and study options…

FOLLOW…

YouTube: Cryptocurrency TED talk – David Morris

Twitter: @altcointoday

Facebook: InfoSec 101

LEARN…

Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons), ANU

Bachelor of Engineering (Computer and Software Systems), QUT

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Software), The University of Adelaide

Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Mathematics, Queensland University of Technology

Security Engineering – Applied Cyber Security, UNSW Sydney Open Learning Course

HOT JOBS…

Technology / IT risk analyst *$80,665

Network engineer *$77,761

Security architect *$135,786

INTERN…

KPMG | BDO | IBM | ACS Foundation

Heather Catchpole

Author: Heather Catchpole

Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs