The role of a cyber security consultant is very important in the times when Australia is one of the top countries hit by cyberattacks. While cybercriminals are elevating their hacking game, cyber security professionals are enhancing system security architectures to prevent data breaches like ransomware in the country.
Cyber Security Consultant
A Cyber Security Consultant is a trained professional expert in overcoming shortcomings in a company’s computer systems to prevent breaches of data. The individual is well versed in computers, system architecture, and possible cyber security threats that can harm them.
Why do businesses in Australia need a Cyber Security Consultant?
Due to the increasing cyber security attacks in Australia, businesses need to hire a Cyber Security Consultant, who will help them overcome security loopholes and protect against possible data threats. In current times, cyberattacks are making global headlines, and Australia is not foreign to them. From malware to Trojans, ransomware attacks have topped charts in major cities like Melbourne, Brisbane, Victoria, etc. Companies have therefore hired cyber security consultants to promote system privacy so that their businesses do not suffer a loss of money or reputation in the market.
Role of Cyber Security Consultant
The role of a cyber security consultant is demanding and requires a spontaneous individual who can work under pressure on projects. The consultant is responsible for providing solutions to secure the management systems of businesses against cyberattacks. They must find robust strategies to protect the system, computer networks, internet, application software, sensitive data, and information systems against potential cyber threats. They are leading organisations, IT teams, and employees in the fight against cyber security.
Below mentioned are the roles and responsibilities of a Cyber Security Consultant:
1. Study security systems of clients
The first step toward providing solutions is to research the security systems of the clients to find risks and loopholes in the architecture and codes and to research internet threats.
2. Penetration testing
A cyber security consultant must have certified skills in penetration testing or ethical hacking to perform pen tests on clients’ security systems. Businesses are in search of professionals, who are certified pen testers too. A consultant must find the computer system’s resilience to cyber-attacks in a controlled environment. He or she must also perform threat analyses and security checks.
3. Documentation and technical reports
Cyber security consultants must provide risk management to enterprises and document risks found and the results of pen testing performed. For any security research done, documentation records must be kept by them.
4. Design security architecture plan
Based on the findings of the pen testing, a cyber security consultant must design a robust security architecture plan to protect the computer systems of any organisation against a cyber-attack.
5. Explain Security to clients
Before implementing a security enhancement plan, the professional must discuss it with clients and explain to them how their systems will be safeguarded post-implementation of the strategy. Gaining the trust of clients is crucial to their job.
6. Work with IT department
Once the plan is ready and discussed with clients, consultants must explain it to the information technology team. They should work with the IT department to overcome security barriers and fill gaps that might lead to a cyber-attack. The cyber security consultant must supervise the implementation of the plan and guide wherever essential. They should aid in technological innovation wherever essential. They should document steps implemented in each process and security challenges overcome.
7. Guide employees on Security
Employees of a company are usually targeted by cybercriminals to take over their security systems. They use phishing, e-mail scam, and socially engineered messages to trick people working at an organisation into sharing their credentials or clicking on links. Once they get access to their systems, it won’t be difficult for hackers to hack the entire security network of the company, encrypt data, and lock access.
The role of a cyber security consultant also involves conducting training programs for the office staff and guiding them on cyber security. They should inform them about the various cyber threats, like ransomware, Trojans, malware, etc. They should give tips on individual system security, as a mistake by one will compromise the entire network. They should be their leader and mentor.
8. Industry research
As an individual responsible to enhance cyber security, consultants must know the latest updates on technology, cybercriminals, malicious actors, organisations supporting illegal hacking, etc. The security experts must be ahead of hackers. Hence, keeping updated with everything happening in the world of cyber security is essential for them.
9. Think like hackers
As a cyber security professional, one must know to think like hackers to try decoding their plans. Since they are taught ethical hacking, individuals know the key areas hackers can target and have an idea of how they might think. They must lead the game and should be ahead of hackers in learning new technologies and cyber-attack prevention techniques.
10. Programming languages
They must know programming languages like PHP, Java, Python, C, and C which will add to their career. Consultants must know to write codes to secure systems.
11. Cyber Security tools
Cyber security consultants must know all the tools, old and new, essential to promote cyber security. From basic anti-viruses like Norton to the Windows firewall and application software for system security, they must be well versed with all. This will help them to choose which security tool and software is suitable for a business.
12. Regulatory compliance
A cyber security expert must ensure that systems comply with the latest standards and policies. They must check if the regulatory compliance has been met by businesses in Melbourne, Victoria, and other Australian cities.
Cyber security consultants must know cyber threats like ransomware, malware, viruses, etc, and study them to find solutions against them. Ransomware is malware that has given nightmares to Australian businesses.
Ransomware is the biggest threat to businesses in current times. It encrypts your data and prevents access until enterprises pay a ransom to cybercriminals. The chances of retrieving data after payment are less. Many global companies have been a victim of the malicious malware that saw a massive rise during the Covid-19 lockdown.
15. Cloud Computing
With major businesses opting for cloud networks, it has also opened another platform for hackers to target. Hence, mastering the skill of understanding and securing cloud computing networks is an advantage for cyber security consultants.
Other general skills
The other general skills required to become a cyber security consultant include quick decision-making, problem-solving capability, solution provider, team leader, vulnerability computing, and providing insights on the latest cyberattack news.
Why is Cyber Security consultant’s job not for all?
A Cyber Security consultant’s job is quite stressful and requires an individual to be very active and motivated to take everything good or bad that comes by. Taking responsibility to secure the computer networks of a company and prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks requires a detail-oriented methodology. It is their responsibility to ensure systems get enhanced, and all risks are overcome or minimised. This is a high-security job and their enemies are hackers and cybercriminals. So, being aware of them to stay one step ahead is essential for these professionals.
Who can be a Cyber Security consultant?
A professional who is a graduate in cyber security, computer, or IT technology can opt for the job of a Cyber Security consultant. The individual can also do specialisation courses like CISSP certification, which is the basic certification for aspiring cyber security professionals. Experienced professionals get better business opportunities, but freshers do have a scope to grow.
Cost of Cyber Security services
Companies must include cyber security services in their budget to prevent damages caused by cyber-attacks. Data breaches can cost a business a loss of about $3.92 million, which can be more than the overall budget of an enterprise. An investment in cyber security would rather be a wise decision. For a 40-employee company, cyber security services would cost approximately $168 to $600 which is less than the damage caused by security breaches. Hence, businesses must not hesitate from investing in these services as they are worth every penny and will promote the system and data security.
How common is Cyber Crime in Australia?
The last two years saw a massive rise in Cybercrime in Australia, which is third after Singapore and India when it comes to the cyber-threats reported.