Nick Haaker heads up our Cyber Security division at Electus Recruitment. Here he talks about the importance of making your business cyber secure and what his thoughts are for the future:
1. There’s a lot of talk around the importance of cyber security, is it just scare mongering or is the threat real?
Cyber Security has gone from being a commodity to being a necessity, it is not only logical but now a legality with things such as GDPR coming into play. We live in a world where everything we do leaves a digital footprint, it is not just important, it is critical that the information and systems we use are secure.
2. What small changes can companies make to become more cyber secure?
There are various small things you can do. A simple one being is to get support from a professional or from the Government. There are many 1-day audit processes that can really help you set the foundations, we for instance are Cyber Essentials Certified, which looks at access control, antivirus and firewalls, human interaction and a few other disciplines. In summary, the change is to change the culture and there are many businesses and guidelines out there to help SMEs with this!
3. At what point would you suggest a cyber professional is needed within a business? Size of turnover/size of data? Should every business have one?
I think every business should take into account Cyber Security; it is a difficult question to answer as it very much depends on the size and nature of the business. For instance, a one man band who has an ecommerce website for selling products probably needs to focus more on cyber than a personal trainer who works in a gym most of the time with minimal information on the 'system'. Logic comes into play here but all information and systems should have some type of guideline or audit.
4. What do you look for in a candidate when recruiting for a cyber role?
I look for enthusiasm and for solid technical skills – people think Cyber Security is simply about software or IT. It most certainly is not, there is no specific profile. The world of Cyber is similar to that of medicine, there are many areas.
5. Would you agree that there is a skills shortage in cyber expertise? If so, in your opinion what should be done about it?
Yes there is. The main issue here is that some businesses (sometimes), specially within the HMG and Defence sectors will not hire a candidate due to salary expectations being too high and would expect a Cyber person to earn the same as a mechanical person. Unfortunately this is not the case as Cyber skills are in high demand and certain industries (such as FinTech) are recruiting all the good candidates as they are paying the right salaries. More often than not, companies in certain sectors lose candidates as they believe they are asking for too much money. The skill shortage is very much in line with educating companies. There should also be a focus from the Government at university and graduate level – pushing for these skills to develop from an early age. Initiatives such as Code is Cool is helping kids at school learn about binary and code – essential skills in today’s world!
6. Have you seen business increase in the last 12 months? If so, in any specific area?
Yes, I can’t disclose information about the clients I work with but I have seen many business hire at the C level (Head of Cyber, Cyber BDM, Cyber Lead) to kickstart new cyber capabilities and to tackle the ever growing cyber threats.
7. What’s the number one misconception about cyber security?
That IT and Software is the same. Also that it is all about the system, most of the time cyber attacks are due to social engineering or human error!
8. How does Electus Recruitment practice cyber security?
We take Cyber Security and Information very serious, we have been one of the first businesses in the UK to achieve Cyber Essentials, we are members of CiSP and the Dorset Cyber Alliance.
9. What do you think is the future for cyber?
Cyber is the future. Everything will wrap around it.
10. In three words, tell us what it feels like to help people secure their dream role in Cyber Information & Security?
3) Motivational - it's great to speak to candidates about how they will 'change the world'!