Are you considering becoming a cyber security consultant? Or perhaps you’ve recently become aware of the importance of this type of security and you’re looking to hire a professional to support your business? Either way, cyber security roles are on the rise thanks to the technological world we now live in.
But if you’re not completely familiar with cybersecurity or the roles these individuals play in keeping us safe from cybercrime, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll look at the importance of cybersecurity and what these individuals actually do. So, whether you’re doing research for your next career move or you’re trying to decide whether it’s worth hiring a cybersecurity professional, check out the guide below for more information.
Why is cyber security so important?
It might surprise you to know that data is now the most valuable resource in the world, even overtaking the oil industry. But with so much of our lives now online our personal data has become very vulnerable. In fact, this is why the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been put in place to give EU citizens more rights over their own data.
As you can imagine, as technology grows the internet becomes more integral to our lives and as people increasingly find new ways to collect and share our data, there is also a higher risk of this data becoming misused. As technology has developed, so has the threat of cybercrime. What was once just a fictional villainous ‘hacker’ in a movie, has now become a very real-life problem and something we all need to be aware of.
These criminals are always finding new ways to hack information or scam money from innocent victims. This is why individuals and businesses alike need to have at least a basic understanding of cyber security. Many businesses will look to trained professionals to help ensure they meet all GDPR regulations and that they are protecting themselves and their customers from cybercrime. And that’s where cyber security consultants come in.
What is a cyber security consultant?
In a nutshell, a cyber security consultant is hired by a business or individual to help them prevent a security threat. They do this by assessing the company’s technologies and systems to see where their vulnerabilities lie. Essentially, they must play the role of a hacker by thinking ‘what could I do to access this information’ and then play the role of the victim and think about the impact this could have on their personal life. This helps them to spot any holes or potential threats. In fact, some cyber security consultants used to be hackers themselves and understand how vulnerable some companies can really be to cybercrime.
What does a cyber security consultant do?
Above we’ve briefly touched on what a consultant is and how they work with businesses, but now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the role. By trawling through each system, software and computer acting as both the hacker and victim, the consultant are able to make an exhaustive review of the company’s security (or lack thereof). This is why most businesses employer IT professionals of this nature, even if this is on a contract basis. The government even uses these consultants to help protect the huge amount of data they possess.
Once the consultant has highlighted all the potential threats they then move on to the next phase, they help the company to design and then implement a security strategy for the business. They will usually recommend the best software, hardware, firewalls and other security measures to ensure the daily running of the business goes smoothly and that their data and important information stays safe – particularly when sharing documents online.
So what do they do on a daily basis?
Hiring a cyber security consultant isn’t a one-time gig. Once they’ve got a strong system in place their daily responsibilities are all about monitoring the systems and updating security measures where possible. They may also have to get involved if there is a breach of security and help to teach other members of staff best practices for cyber security. Below are a few of the daily tasks a cyber security consultant can be expected to perform:
- Speak with staff about any security problems or issued they’ve noticed in the past
- Educate other employees about security best practice and how they can spot a potential threat before it happens
- Determine the best way to protect the company’s computers, software, data and information from potential cyber attacks
- Keep up to date with the latest technologies and software to ensure the business is using the most effective systems
- Test security solutions
- Create and deliver reports on these security tests to report back to the senior team
- Deal with any breaches or security related issues immediately and provide a detailed report of what happened
- Continue to update and upgrade security systems
- Create detailed reports and estimates about the cost of new security systems
- Interview potential new team members if planning to expand the cyber security or IT team
What does it mean to be a cyber security consultant?
As you can see, being a cyber security consultant is a very important job! With new technologies always emerging, the threat of cybercrime is always on the rise. Businesses (and even individuals) that want to protect themselves from potentials hackers or scammers need to be aware of any problems with their current security system, and that is why hiring a cyber security consultant is so important.
Not only are they able to analyze any potential risks, but they are also knowledgeable about the latest software and systems to ensure the business has the best security measures in place. They also continue to update these systems as new threats and technologies emerge. The digital world is moving fast, which means cyber criminals are always finding new ways to get into these systems. That’s why consultants need to be proactive and always developing their knowledge of the industry and the latest technologies.
About the Author
Stuart Cooke, Digital Marketing Manager at Evalian, experts and consultants in all things cyber security.