Cyber Security Consultant
What is a cyber security consultant?
A cyber security consultant will be experienced in a variety of roles in the field of information security and will act as an advisor to businesses or other departments of the business to devise, organise and monitor the cyber security architecture.
What does an IT security consultant do?
Cyber security consultants typically work for specialised cyber security firms, working closely with clients to share your cyber security expertise. You will need to identify the specific needs of each business to best protect it and then advise them on how to implement the proposed frameworks.
Some of the main required tasks will include:
- Vulnerability/penetration testing
You will need to analyse the business’ existing security protocols by conducting vulnerability tests to identify areas of weakness before researching appropriate resolutions.
- Track trends
As an all-round role, you will need to stay up to date with the industry to ensure you are able to pre-emptively tackle rising issues and identify new software or strategies which will help your clients.
- Design and implement security architecture
Once you have researched the best processes for your clients’ business, you will consult with them on how to implement each solution, testing the entire system before it goes live so that everything is operating as it should be and relevant staff members understand how to follow any new security procedures.
- Disaster management and post-threat analysis
Should your clients encounter any threats even with your security frameworks in place, you will also be tasked with analysing the threat, managing the damage to infrastructure or stored data and then creating a report. This will assess the steps which will need to be taken to tackle the vulnerability.
How much does a cyber security consultant make?
The average UK salary for an information security consultant, according to https://www.payscale.com is £43,000 and the lower 10% salary stands at £25,000.
In the US, the average salary is reportedly $84,000, with the lower 10% boundary of £55,000.
This role is often conflated with the role of ‘IT security specialist’, which has an average salary of £44,000 and ‘computer security specialist’, with an average salary of £40,000.
This shows the significance of a job title when choosing your career and is an important thing to consider when building your CV.
What qualifications will I need to be a cyber security consultant?
Because of its nature as an advisory position, security consultants are expected to have at least 3-5 years on the job experience before they will be considered.
Typically, security consultants will hold a degree in computer science or a related field while those with less technical degrees might want to consider working towards a master’s with particular focus on cyber security in order to make their applications more attractive.
Those without a degree qualification will most likely need to evidence a much higher amount of related work experience to showcase their mastery of the relevant cyber security concepts.
Some related professional qualifications include the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) and the Certified Protection Professional (CPP).
How do I become a cyber security consultant?
Cyber security consultants are primarily part of a cyber security firm which will have a diverse range of customers in different industries which will all have different security requirements. Due to this, potential consultants will need to have an in-depth knowledge of the full breadth of cyber security concepts. However, having a specialist understanding of a certain field, such as cloud security, or a specialism for a certain industry such as government or financial might be useful to bolster the business’ strength in that area.
In addition to a detailed knowledge of cyber security processes, the ideal IT security consultant will know how to convey technical concepts to clients in understandable terms and form close relationships with the clients in order to maintain business with them.
This role requires applicants to have a diverse range of hard and soft skills which can make it a challenging but rewarding position.