Senior Cyber Security Analyst at Transport for London
Is a career in cyber security right for me?
Do you eat, sleep and breathe computers? Is IT your second language? If you want a career that has a huge effect on everyday lives and how the world runs, you can combine that passion and natural curiosity with your technical knowhow to make great strides in a cyber security career.
Perks and challenges of being a Senior Cyber Security Analyst
- If you’ve ever been fascinated by ‘ethical hacking’, a career in cyber security is a way to explore your natural curiosity and get paid for it
- Looking for strong career prospects? You can’t get more ‘secure’ than cyber security. Demand for skilled cyber security professionals will continue to be high in our technology-driven world
- This can be a hugely rewarding role, with a glowing sense of job satisfaction when you spot improvements to reduce cyber security risks and make your corner of the world a safer place
- The beauty of a cyber security career is that the more successful you are, the less people will know about it – other than the people you work with, of course. Everyone you work with knows how important your job is and all the great things you do to keep IT systems safe and secure.
- Cyber security risks are increasing, along with our use of computers and shared spaces like “The Cloud”, so your job carries a lot of responsibility. You’ll accept this responsibility and be really passionate about what you do, because you know security is at stake.
The following skills are very useful:
- Problem solving – Cyber security is often about solving problems before they occur. You’ll act fast if there’s a known risk or incident that needs a safe and speedy solution. You’ll also use information security controls best practice to keep a very close eye on systems to see where improvements can be made.
- Communication skills - you’ll be able to explain your ideas and plans in a way that everyone understands and can act on. You’ll be communicating with all sorts of people across the company, including senior managers, system owners, project managers, technical experts like the chief information security officer (CISO) and wider TfL business and system users. Whatever their level of technical understanding and area of business focus, you’ll be able to clearly share the information they need to know to help reduce the likelihood and impact of security incidents.
- Technical skills – You’ll be a technical guru with a finely-tuned sense of business needs, too. You’ll have a wide understanding of network and computer system architecture, operations and protocols (best practice ways of doing things). To shine in this role at Transport for London you’ll have built up your skills not only through experience but also through supporting qualifications where possible – for example, you might be a certified ethical hacker (CEH).
People who work in this role say that the following skills and qualities are useful:
- The ability to create solutions out of complex problems
- Experience of information and computer security
- An understanding of security policy
- Knowing not just what to do, but how best to do it and why. When you’re monitoring the effectiveness of security controls, you need to do so with meaningful measures that are most likely to help you spot risks and improvements.
What qualifications do you need to be a Senior Cyber Security Analyst?
The most vital qualifications you need for a career in cyber security are technical ones. You can achieve these qualifications through a variety of routes including studying for a relevant degree at university, or perhaps through HNDs and their equivalents, which might be achieved through learning/earning programmes like apprenticeships.
Useful technical qualifications to study for include:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- SANS 20.
Studying ICT and maths-related subjects at school will help you build a solid foundation for learning cyber security skills later on. Studying for ICT-related GCSEs and A-levels or their equivalents may help you successfully apply for a degree if you take the university route, and can also help you apply for an apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship. What is the workplace of a Senior Cyber Security Analyst like?
Computers don’t work well outdoors, so your work will be mainly office-based. You’ll get the chance to travel to meetings with all kinds of people who need to know the challenges, solutions and discoveries you have to share.