Cyber crimes are on the rise. It feels like we hear of a high-profile hack on an almost weekly basis. It should come as no surprise then that 2017 forecasts as the year for cyber security professionals. Jobs in this sector are in high demand and it doesn’t look as if this trend is going to change in the foreseeable future.

As cyber attacks continue to skyrocket and criminals use increasingly complex methods, so those trying to prevent these attacks need to equip themselves with the tools to do so. This means staying on the cutting edge of information technology and IT skills development. Fortunately for them, businesses seem to be waking up to the necessity of cyber security and cyber security analysts and engineers take home some of the IT industry’s highest salaries. So what are some of the skills that cyber security professionals need to add to their resume to keep up to date?

Intrusion detection

A recent survey by Intel Security has found that the cyber security talent deficit is the worst in the IT industry. And intrusion detection is one of the skills in critically short supply. This skill involves discovering potentially harmful activity that could compromise a system or organization. There are a few common types of intrusion detection. Detecting threats from outside of a system or organization and detecting threats from within a system or organization; network-based detection attempts to detect unauthorized behavior based on network traffic; while host-based detection looks for illicit activity on a specific device.

Secure software development

This is key to any organization’s security strategy. Most data breaches are only successful because of frailties in software code. In-house software development is a first line of defense and if it’s sloppy, the hackers will find the holes.

As a business owner, you may consider a good quality software developer a bit of a hefty investment. But secure software can help save your business money. Secure code development might cost a little more with the salaries and the testing involved, it’s still likely to be far less than an actual breach. Think about the damage to your brand, your stock value, the long-term consumer distrust and even the costs involved in repairing damaged systems.  Good secure code developers are worth their weight in gold.

Cyber security and risk mitigation

This involves identifying and tracking risks, working out future potential risks and planning ahead to avoid risks. Developing a risk mitigation plan involves drawing up how a business or project will react in the face of risk and what actions need to be taken to reduce the threat of these risks.

Businesses need to recognize that their data needs protection. They need to identify their most valuable assets and the risks to these assets. Knowing how the information is stored, who has access and how the data is protected is extremely valuable knowledge in the face of cyber risk. And a risk mitigation specialist will be able to identify all of this and work out ways to respond to threats and breaches. Again, in the event of a breach, this’ll save a business huge amounts of money. Your business won’t just be a sitting duck in the event of a breach. Your employees will know exactly how to counter the breach and minimize its damaging effects.

Cloud security

As cloud infrastructure develops so it becomes a more lucrative target for cyber criminals. Demand for skills in this field is high as large businesses seek to protect their data. There are several threats to cloud infrastructure. Some of the biggest threats include data breaches, exploiting system vulnerabilities, hijacked accounts, and malicious insiders. This is certainly a skill that’ll give the IT graduate enormous employability. Even established IT professionals would do well to explore opportunities to grow their cloud security knowledge.

As technologies such as cognitive computing, big data analytics, and the IoT continue to develop and impact our increasingly connected world, so the skills of those protecting this world need to develop. And it’s quite a lucrative skill set to have. If you’d like to learn more about the dangers that cyber crime poses to your business, then read our latest article that highlights these.

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