The role of a Cyber Security Engineer

The role of a Cyber Security Engineer

What is a Cyber Security Engineer?

Cyber Security Engineers or Security Engineers are responsible for designing and implementing highly secure network solutions that protect against potential cyber-attacks and hacking threats. Security Engineers take on a technical role often found within a larger organisation that might be dealing with sensitive data.

Cyber Security Engineers need to be proactive in their work, as they need to anticipate potential threats and data breaches and how best to deal with them. From day to day this could involve updating software, creating firewalls, and running encryption programs.

To find the potential threats to the network, they need to be confident in actively testing enterprise systems, this requires knowledge of various testing tools as well as strong critical thinking skills.

What qualifications do you need to be a Cyber Security Engineer?

Some employers ask for you to have a degree in a computer-related subject, for example, Computer Science, Business Information Technology, Software Engineering, etc. With a university degree, you are more likely to get an entry-level cyber security job as you probably already possess some of the desired skills.

If you do not have a degree, employers may look for industry experience within a similar field. For example, if you started as an IT Support Technician, maybe there is an opportunity in your current role to develop the skills needed to get into security engineering. As well as gaining hands-on experience, you should look into certified courses. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) offers a useful training scheme for anyone seeking to improve or acquire cyber security skills

What skills do you need to be a Cyber Security Engineer?

Technical Skills of a Cyber Security Engineer:

  • Data Management
  • Programming Languages (Python, SQL, Java C# ETC.)
  • Big Data
  • Security Testing
  • Risk Management

Soft Skills of a Cyber Security Engineer:

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Business acumen
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Organisation skills
  • Analytical skills

What is the average salary of a Cyber Security Engineer?

The average starting salary of a Cyber Security Engineer is £43,000

The average mid-level salary of a Cyber Security Engineer is £68,750

The average high-level salary of a Cyber Security Engineer is £85,500

What are the responsibilities of a Cyber Security Engineer?

  • Deploy and use security tools to identify and resolve issues across a wide range of systems and applications.
  • Investigate intrusion attempts and perform an in-depth analysis of exploits.
  • Conduct proactive threat and compromise research and analysis.
  • Assist with the development of processes and procedures to improve incident response times.
  • Plan and implement system security administration and user system access based on industry-standard best practices and compliance requirements.

What industries do Cyber Security Engineers work in?

Cyber Security Engineers are usually employed by companies working in sectors that deal with large amounts of sensitive data; this includes:

  • Finance
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology

According to the cyber security skills in the UK labour market 2022: findings report, approximately 697,000 businesses (51%) have a basic skills gap. Meaning the people in charge of cyber security in those businesses lack the confidence to carry out the kinds of basic tasks laid out in the government-endorsed Cyber Essentials scheme. Within the report, they analysed the most common cyber security online job postings from January to December 2021, with Security Engineers making up 35%, followed by security analysts making up 18%.

If you already work within the tech and IT industry, expanding your skill set and focusing on the skills needed to get into cyber security will not only make you more attractive to top employers but, likely, you will never be short of job opportunities for the future.

Click here to read about the growing demand for cyber security professionals in 2022

Click here to view our current Cyber Security Engineer jobs