How to excel in a career in cyber security

Cyber crime is a massive issue for organisations, which is expected to cost the world more than £4.5 trillion by 2021, up from nearly £3 trillion in 2015.

This increase means companies have a greater need for cyber security professionals. It is predicted that there will be 3.5 million cyber security job openings by 2021, with 100% of large organisations appointing a chief information security officer (CISO).

With so much potential competition, how do you stand out from the crowd?


Experience is vital when it comes to getting ahead of the competition. Proven experience may give you that extra edge. Don’t just stick to your job role: learn from other departments and always be open to taking on a task that might not be stated in your job role.

It is also important to stay up to date on developments in cyber crime, as doing so can help you stay relevant and in demand. It shows companies that you have the knowledge and experience to handle situations in a way that will not have any negative implications.

Don’t just specialise in security

You will need certain qualifications to secure a role in cyber security, but what may make you stand out are qualifications not related to this field. Sean Tierney, head of the cyber intelligence team at Infoblox, said: “The thing that will make you good at security is that you are great at something else first.” It can be worthwhile exploring other avenues to give yourself a wider range of skills.


Sometimes it really is all about who you know. Networking is not just a useful tool when trying to get an entry-level job but it also has its benefits when trying to secure new roles throughout your career. When attending conferences, make the effort to get to know other security professionals and make sure they get to know you too.

Earn certifications

Having the right certifications is ultimately what will determine whether you will be considered when applying for a role.

If you are looking to secure the most senior roles, you will need to have the relevant tools and experience to manage a team as well as processes and security. In order to do this, you will need to be able to ensure the security of an organisation’s data.

ISO 27001 is the international standard that describes best practice for an information security management system (ISMS). Organisations that achieve accredited certification to ISO 27001 demonstrates that their company is following information security best practice, and delivers an independent, expert assessment of whether your data is adequately protected. A qualification in ISO 27001 shows that you have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out a senior management role. The ISO 27001 Lead Auditor training course equips you with the skills to conduct second-party and third-party audits.

Build your cyber security career as a lead auditor, lead a team of auditors and achieve compliance with ISO 27001.