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Cyber Hiring Trends in 2024: The impact of flexible working models on cyber security

As we plough on through 2024, hiring trends are continuing to change and evolve at a dizzying speed. We speak with hiring managers in the cyber sector every day, and we have summarised some of the key considerations for hiring in this space below for you.

Security Risks & Protocols

Flexible working is wonderful for allowing teams to pick up and chip in wherever they may be, but from a dodgy network in a coffee shop to a set of eyes on the screen over the shoulder, there’s far greater risk of security slips outside of the office. The solution is to establish clear protocols, rules and guidelines, and ensure the tech provides support too, in the form of VPNs, multi-factor authentication and encryption.

Remote Access Infrastructure

Having laptops and work IP on the move can be very enabling, but it can also create opportunity for issues. A wayward laptop without a password, weak passwords, important documents baked into a single inaccessible machine. We’ve all seen the politicians snapped on the train with confidential documents clearly on show, and the electronic equivalent is an ever-present risk in the modern day. We suggest machines with biometric access enabled; strengthened by the use of remote terminal-servers, VPNs and similar tech to keep your important data locked in a single location.

Monitoring and Incident Response

The larger an organisation grows, the wider its digital footprint, and capacity for risk. We suggest considering the use of a robust monitoring and incident response mechanism to detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents in real-time. You might also consider security information and event management (SIEM) systems, intrusion detection / prevention systems (IDS / IPS) and security analytics tools to monitor remote access activity and identify potential security breaches.

Employee Training and Awareness

A regular schedule of employee training is likely to go some distance to entrenching those positive habits around the importance of personal ownership around cybersecurity. A huge number of issues are caused by user error, weak passwords, clumsy laptop losses etc. We can all see how these things might happen, but with robust training, it is likely that these are habits we can rule out.

By addressing these areas of consideration, organisations can make great leaps in managing the risk profile that comes about through the combination of flexible working and cyber security concerns.

Don’t sleep with the phishes…

At Real Time Consultants we’re proud of our organisation-wide attention to cyber security. We work with some of the best infosec minds in the business, for some of the leading UK public and private sector teams, and we know this topic is not to be taken lightly.

As today is known as ‘Black Friday’, one of the most popular pre-Christmas online shopping days in the calendar, it is more likely than ever that people in our network will receive marketing emails and messaging; some of which they’ll want to engage with; so what is a phishing email and why is it relevant?

A phishing email is a message that is purposefully designed to appear like a legitimate message, but with one innocent client, will actually download a small file to your machine, or direct you to a page to elicit personal / financial details from you to enable criminal activity. You may well have received the odd phishing text through the pandemic, however phishing emails are becoming incredible sophisticated.

How to avoid Phishing Attacks?

Configure your account to reduce spam visibility

Spam protection is improving, whether system-wide configuration or personal inbox adjustment, you can proactively filter and reduce your exposure to nasty mails with a few adjustments in your settings

Operate with caution

Have you received an invoice that you don’t recall? Has an ‘urgent’ message got an unfamiliar name attached? Or with your own emails – perhaps you might add ‘we will never ask you to [x]’ to improve confidence on the part of your recipients too.

Check for the key phishing signs

Check the from email address very carefully, is it the actual domain for the provider? Also carefully checking the grammar and terminology used – often phishing emails can come from overseas and the translation may be a little clumsy in places. Finally if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is! Best to proactively look up any messages at their source, rather than follow a thread direct from the email.

Report anything suspicious

Almost all mail inboxes will have a ‘block’ or ‘label as phishing / spam’ feature. If you’re certain your message is malicious, block it and not only will you not receive mail to your own inbox from that sender, but it will flag the message to the ISP, increasing the chances of a system wide blacklist for the digital perpetrator.

Check your digital footprint

Attackers use anything in the public domain they can to make their message seem more legitimate – the extent they’ll go to can be very far reaching. You’ll know yourself that if they¬†appear to have details that are known only to a few, that vastly increases their chances of engagement, and encouraging the recipient to believe they are legitimate. If you are careful with the content you reveal online, you can reduce your scope for being taken advantage of.

Phishing is on the up and mail server administrators / ISPs will always be on an upward hill battle to keep up and distinguish legitimate emails from the more sinister kind. Check out the https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/ website for more information if you’re interested in finding out more about phishing or other aspects of cyber security. Otherwise if you’re looking for a cyber security job or specialist cyber security recruitment support, you’ve come to the right place – contact our teams today.

The Importance of Communication When Working Remotely

 

In recent years, remote work has transformed the way businesses operate. With the rise of technology and the global connectivity of the internet, working from home or other remote locations has become a viable option for many professionals. However, while remote work offers numerous advantages, it also comes with its unique challenges, with effective communication being a critical component for success.

1. **Maintaining Team Cohesion**: In a remote work environment, team members are often physically separated, making it crucial to maintain strong team cohesion. Effective communication fosters a sense of belonging, trust, and camaraderie among team members. Regular video conferences, team chats, and project management tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams can bridge the gap, ensuring everyone stays connected.

2. **Clear Expectations and Accountability**: Remote work can blur the lines between work and personal life, leading to potential misunderstandings and missed deadlines. Clear communication of expectations and responsibilities is essential to ensure everyone is on the same page. Setting clear goals, deadlines, and using tools like Asana or Trello can help keep tasks organised and team members accountable.

3. **Reducing Isolation**: Working remotely can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, which can affect productivity and job satisfaction. Encouraging open communication channels through daily check-ins and virtual water cooler chats can help combat this isolation. Teams should have a dedicated space for casual conversations, just as they would in a physical office.

4. **Conflict Resolution**: Conflicts can arise in any workplace, and in remote settings, these conflicts can fester if not addressed promptly. Effective communication helps identify and resolve conflicts, ensuring that they don’t escalate. Encourage team members to voice their concerns, and use video calls or mediation tools to facilitate discussions.

5. **Professional Development**: In a remote work environment, opportunities for spontaneous learning and mentorship are reduced. However, through effective communication, employees can still seek guidance, ask questions, and participate in online training programs. Tools like Zoom or Skype can facilitate virtual mentorship sessions and knowledge sharing.

In conclusion, effective communication is the bedrock of successful remote work. It not only ensures that tasks are completed efficiently but also fosters a sense of connection and belonging among team members. With the right tools and a commitment to transparent and open communication, remote teams can thrive. By prioritising communication, businesses can overcome the challenges of remote work and unlock its vast potential.

The Evolving Landscape: AI’s Impact on Cybersecurity Careers

 

In today’s digital age, the rapid advancement of technology is transforming nearly every aspect of our lives, including the way we approach cybersecurity. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is not only changing the cybersecurity landscape but also reshaping the careers within this critical field. In this article, we’ll explore the profound impact of AI on cybersecurity careers and how professionals are adapting to stay ahead in the game.

The AI Revolution in Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence has become a powerful tool in the fight against cyber threats. Its ability to process vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and make real-time decisions has revolutionized the way organizations protect their digital assets. Here are a few key ways AI is reshaping the cybersecurity landscape:

  • Threat Detection and Prevention: Traditional cybersecurity methods relied heavily on rule-based systems and signature-based detection. However, these methods often fall short in identifying new and evolving threats. AI-driven systems, on the other hand, can analyze massive datasets, detect anomalies, and predict potential threats before they become full-blown attacks. This shift has placed a greater emphasis on AI specialists who can develop and maintain these sophisticated threat detection systems.
  • Automation of Routine Tasks: AI-powered cybersecurity tools can automate routine tasks, such as monitoring network traffic, filtering out spam emails, and patching vulnerabilities. This automation not only enhances efficiency but also reduces the burden on cybersecurity professionals, allowing them to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their roles.
  • Response and Recovery: In the event of a cyberattack, AI can play a crucial role in mitigating the damage and facilitating a swift response. AI-driven incident response systems can analyze attack vectors, contain breaches, and even suggest remediation strategies. This has led to the emergence of roles like “Incident Response Analysts” who specialize in utilizing AI tools to minimize the impact of cyber incidents.

The Changing Face of Cybersecurity Careers

As AI continues to permeate the cybersecurity landscape, the roles and responsibilities of cybersecurity professionals are evolving. Here are some key changes:

  • AI Integration Specialists: Organizations are actively seeking professionals who can integrate AI-driven cybersecurity solutions into their existing infrastructure. These specialists are responsible for ensuring that AI tools work seamlessly with other security systems and adapt to the organization’s specific needs.
  • Data Scientists and Analysts: With the influx of data generated by AI systems, the demand for data scientists and analysts in cybersecurity has surged. These professionals are tasked with extracting actionable insights from the data collected by AI tools to enhance threat detection and response.
  • Ethical Hackers and AI Security Experts: As AI becomes a central component of cybersecurity, ethical hackers and AI security experts are in high demand. These professionals are responsible for identifying vulnerabilities in AI systems and ensuring they cannot be exploited by malicious actors.

Preparing for the Future

As the impact of AI on cybersecurity careers becomes more pronounced, aspiring professionals and current practitioners must adapt and prepare for the future. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Stay Informed: Continuously update your knowledge about AI’s role in cybersecurity by following industry news, reading research papers, and attending relevant webinars and conferences.
  • Invest in Education: Consider pursuing certifications and courses that specialize in AI and cybersecurity. These credentials can help you stand out in a competitive job market.
  • Develop Soft Skills: While technical expertise is crucial, don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. These skills will be valuable in collaborative AI-driven environments.

In conclusion, AI’s impact on cybersecurity careers is undeniable. While it introduces new challenges and opportunities, it ultimately empowers cybersecurity professionals to be more effective in protecting digital assets. By staying adaptable and embracing the changes brought by AI, individuals can secure a promising future in this ever-evolving field.