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IT security specialist

IT Security Specialist

IT security is fast becoming one of the most important roles in the tech sector as cybercriminals and hackers become ever more sophisticated.

Alternative job titles for this role

  • Cybersecurity specialist
  • Network security specialist
  • Information security specialist
  • Cybersecurity software engineers

Introduction

Any computer connected to the Internet is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cyber security is the technique used to protect computers and networks from these types of intrusions and from criminal attack. Specialists in cybersecurity are among the most sought-after professionals in the tech sector as business and governments seek to fight off an increasingly daring and ruthless cohort of global cybercriminals and hackers. With some of the world’s biggest firms and banks as well as governments under a constant barrage of threats, skilled, clever and dedicated security specialists work in a field that demands a mix of artistry and technical expertise. They need to be constantly one step ahead of the hackers and organised criminals behind a new crime wave.

What the job involves

  • Seek to build in security during the development stages of software systems, networks and data centres
  • Look for vulnerabilities and risks in hardware and software
  • Find the best way to secure the IT infrastructure of an organisation
  • Build firewalls into network infrastructures
  • Constantly monitor for attacks and intrusion
  • When the cybersecurity specialist finds a potential threat or attempted breach, close off the security vulnerability
  • Identify the perpetrator and liaise with the police if necessary

How your career can develop

There is strong demand for skilled, qualified IT security specialists both in Ireland and around the world as the threat from cybercriminals and hackers grows. There is increased potential for career progression, especially in larger organisations and financial service providers. There is also scope for experienced security professionals to go in to business for themselves as consultants.

Why IT security matters

Prominent technology experts have warned that US and UK government demands for greater powers to crack encrypted private data could weaken internet security and hamper online freedoms.

Skills

  • Strong IT skills and knowledge including hardware, software and networks
  • A meticulous approach to work
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of IT systems
  • A forensic approach to challenges
  • A deep understanding on how hackers work and ability to keep up with the fast pace of change in the criminal cyber-underworld
  • Ability to seek out vulnerabilities in IT infrastructures

Typical employers

  • Network providers
  • Government
  • Banks
  • Schools and universities
  • Airlines
  • Any large organisation with a database
  • Security consultancy firms

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting €42,000
  • Senior/Potential €75,000+

Typical qualifications

Degree in IT security, computer programming, computer science, information science, computer engineering, software engineering.

Further information

Irish Software Association: www.software.ie

Irish Computer Society: www.ics.ie

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT champions the global IT profession: http://www.bcs.org

Infosecurity Ireland: www.infosecurityireland.org

Irish Internet Association: www.iia.ie