Cybersecurity careers need you!

The world of cybersecurity keeps growing.

By 2021, it’s estimated there will be 3.5 million roles to be filled in cybersecurity. Every day, we are faced with new cyber threats, challenges and opportunities, which is why we are constantly seeking talented, passionate and creative people to join the cybersecurity sector.

Employees in cybersecurity come from all walks of life.

One thing I love about working in cybersecurity is the opportunity to engage with people from diverse backgrounds – culturally and professionally.

My peers have degrees in computer science, law, economics, business, political science and more. We’re always on the lookout for people who love to solve problems, who love taking things apart just to see how they work, and who can communicate well.

I bet you’re wondering why so many different people gravitate towards cybersecurity. It’s because the challenges we face in cybersecurity are multifaceted and involve both technical and human behavioural solutions.

Many threats and attacks involve an element of social engineering. For example, when people are manipulated into clicking on links or downloading fake attachments.

This means we need to understand what motivates an attacker and the behaviours of the person being targeted so we can defend against attack.

This involves building technical solutions and helping people to recognise threats (such as phishing emails) and take steps (such as creating strong passphrases) to keep their information safe and secure.

What does this mean for you? It means there is a world of opportunity for young people to become our cyber superstars of tomorrow.

A future in cyber involves tackling new and exciting challenges, and contributing to making Australia – and the world – a safer place.

– Kate Ingwersen

General Manager, Office of the CISTO (Chief Information Security & Trust Officer) Commonwealth Bank


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What kind of jobs are available in cybersecurity?

Vanessa Dwyer’s cybersecurity career involves lots of detective work.

Vanessa Dwyer works as a Digital Forensic Analyst at the Commonwealth Bank, where her job involves plenty of detective work and sometimes, thinking like a cyber criminal might.

“I am like Sherlock Holmes – except with computers,” says Vanessa.

“My job involves putting all the steps that a potential adversary has taken together to form a story of what they did.”

Growing up in a small country town near Orange, in central west NSW, Vanessa became fascinated by computers after her sister showed her around a keyboard and she learned how to build her own computer at just 13.

Vanessa became interested in cybersecurity after her university faculty adviser pointed out that food, water and security are basic human needs – and linked that to a shortage in security professionals, which intrigued her.

“While doing my graduate program at Commonwealth Bank I reached out to their cybersecurity section and asked for a rotation there. During my time, I found out that I really loved it – so here I am!”

Her role encompasses a range of tasks, from identifying threats to finding internal red flags – like identifying inadvertent data breaches, data loss protection and even instances of social engineering.

“You need to be able to learn quickly and enjoy being in a constantly changing environment, because there’s always new types of security incidents happening,” she says.

“It’s never boring!”

– Fran Molloy


Vanessa’s career path:

>> Bachelor of Information Technology, University of Wollongong

>> Developer Placements at 4Solutions and GBST

>> Graduate trainee, CBA

>> Digital forensic analyst, CBA

“One thing I love about working in cybersecurity is the opportunity to engage with people from diverse backgrounds – culturally and professionally.”

– Kate Ingwersen
artificial intelligence

“I am like Sherlock Holmes – except with computers”

– Vanessa Dwyer

What kind of skills do cybersecurity careers need?

These are the top skills for cybersecurity careers (according to industry experts)

– Patience

– Good communication skills

– The ability to identify the sweet spot between security and usability and knowing when to compromise

– Problem solving and being able to investigate thoroughly

– Ability to communicate and assess risk in both a technical and business context: cybersecurity risks and requirements will have trade-offs that need to be balanced alongside the risk appetite of the organisation/stakeholder

– Resilience: Cybersecurity is a long game – a continuous and often complex process – so resilience is key

– The ability to understand all things abstract is crucial, since by definition cyber space is immaterial and intangible

– Precise attention to detail, whether you are doing research, communicating the latest cyber threat or vulnerability,  or if you’re just programming

– Working efficiently: you need to work with relative urgency, since the cybersecurity space is a fast-evolving domain


What is cybersecurity and cyber crime?


This article is brought to you in partnership with CBA.

Fran Molloy

Author: Fran Molloy

FRAN MOLLOY is a freelance journalist and university lecturer whose career has spanned newspapers, radio and online publications. She writes about business, careers, research, science and environment.


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