This month cyber security has once more hit the headlines following a ransomware attack known as “Petya.” This is the second such attack in recent months affecting organisations in both Europe and the US. Victims of these attacks include the NHS, phone provider Telefónica and transport giant Maersk.
Ransomware is a form of Malware that encrypts files and data making them inaccessible to users. In order to recover their files, companies require a key code which is usually only released on payment of a ransom. Ransomware is particularly dangerous as it can spread very quickly through an organisation once the first computer is infected.
Increased concern regarding IT security has led to a significant increase in the demand for specialists in the field with security-related jobs now accounting for one in six IT job vacancies in the UK. A shortage of experienced candidates also means that salaries for high ranking positions can be very high with the top 15% of cyber security professionals earning in excess of £100,000 a year.
In the past, many industry professionals have begun their careers in traditional IT support roles before making the transition into security but growth in the sector means that students now have the option to study the subject in a more formal setting. More than 40 UK universities currently offer undergraduate or post graduate degree courses in subjects including: Cyber Security, Information Security, Cyber Defence and Digital Forensics.
At present the maximum punishment for online security failings is £500,000 but in 2018 new EU data protection rules come into place which will allow fines of up to £17m. This means that companies will no longer just risk having their reputations tarnished by cyber scandal but their finances could be seriously affected too.
If you are an IT security professional looking for your next role you can search our latest vacancies here. You can also keep track of our latest permanent and contract job opportunities by following us on LinkedIn.
If you are looking for an IT security professional to join your business then we would be delighted to help you with your search. To speak to one of our consultants call 01273 781 800.