By comparison to today, in the age of digital transformations, malicious hackers, and remote teams, the answer is an impassioned and irrefutable, “YES”.   A survey by Robert Half found that nearly half (44%) of CIOs and CTOs consider cyber-security to be a priority. Despite concerns that include cost reduction, process automation and innovation, the top strategic priority amongst IT leaders was focused on maintaining the IT security of systems and safeguarding company information. It comes as little surprise, given that a number of high-profile companies in Australia have fallen victim to countless cases of security and data breaches. From government organisations to corporate giants, it’s clear that no one is safe from the rising rates of cyber-crime. In 2024, businesses are faced with unprecedented pressure to keep their systems up to date and vulnerabilities patched, so they can swiftly respond to, and recover from cyber-security incidents stemming from breaches, such as malware, ransomware, and phishing. Consequently, businesses in Australia are desperately seeking cyber-security professionals to safeguard their systems and defend an ever-evolving security perimeter.  Related: 4 frequently asked cyber-security interview questions   Cyber-security demand through the lens of a recruiter Adam Queay, Associate Director and specialised tech recruiter at Robert Half, advocates that as cyber-security breaches become more common, so too will the surge in demand for cyber-security talent. “Organisations are more reliant on mobile devices and cloud-based technologies to run their teams and operations,” says Queay. “In turn, they need specialists and engineers who can protect them against information fraud and provide more secure data handling connections for their remote employees.” “Both companies and jobseekers often ask me, ‘Is cyber-security in demand in Australia?’, and I always stress to them that while our technology is becoming more sophisticated, so too are the threats and the risks. Hence why the demand for these roles is only expected to grow.”  "Public cyber-security threats have encouraged organisations of all differing levels of maturity to assess their current state cyber and information security protocols. For example we are seeing a lot of organisations set up their initial frameworks and baseline controls in less mature organisations as well as more mature cyber environments progressing through uplift programs and more advanced enhancements” For organisations in Australia intent on hiring the right cyber-security talent, here are four roles that demonstrate why this sector of IT is booming in demand and why they are worth considering to be a part of your technology team:   1. Cyber-Security Specialist The role of the Cyber-Security Specialist is to safeguard sensitive information and systems from digital threats, especially with cyber-crime booming in Australia, costing billions to both small and large Australian businesses. A Cyber-Security Specialist will typically monitor analyse their network for vulnerabilities and suspicious activity, respond to incidents to contain damages or minimise impact, design and implement security measures to prevent future attacks, and assist with educating their wider organisation about building a culture for digital security. An ideal candidate for a Cyber-Security Specialist will be an individual with good technical knowledge of networks, operating systems, and security tools. However technical knowledge alone is not enough – they must also have solid problem-solving skills, clear communication abilities, and be an effective team player.   2. Cyber-Security Manager While the aforementioned Cyber-Security Specialist handles much of the primary technical implementation and execution, in contrast, the Cyber-Security Manager oversees the leadership, strategy and overall security posture for an organisation. As a leader in cyber-security, the Manager will be responsible for strategic cyber-security planning, budget management of resources, ensuring compliance with both Australian and international regulations, and risk management for mitigating potential cyber-security threats. Cyber-Security Managers are in high demand, largely due to the skills gap for such talent in Australia and combined with a local surge for qualified cyber-security leaders due to recent high-profile incidents. For organisations intent on hiring a Cyber-Security Manager, the ideal candidate will have extensive cyber-security experience, experience in incident response, leaderships skills to motivate their team on security initiatives, and demonstrate strategic thinking to develop comprehensive security strategies to defend their company’s infrastructure. Related: What jobs can you get with a cyber-security degree in Australia   3. Network Security Engineer Network Security Engineers build and maintain the security infrastructure that shields networks and data from unauthorised access, attacks, and breaches. The responsibility of these engineers largely focuses on designing and implementing security solutions that includes building firewalls and intrusion detection systems. They keep a watchful eye on network activity for potential threats and consistently assess their company’s network for weaknesses that could be exploited.  As more businesses in Australia move online, there is a rising demand for experts who can safeguard their digital assets, particularly their data against network intrusions. Thus, an ideal candidate will have knowledge of network protocols, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. And they will have familiarity with security tools, threat landscapes, and vulnerability management practices.   4. CISO The Chief Information Security Officer hold the highest leadership position within the cyber-security domain, acting as the strategic architect and visionary for protecting critical information assets for an organisation. As has been mentioned several times throughout this article, Australia is seeing a surge in cyber-security threats and demand for security talent to defend against those threats. However, demand for the CISO is unique – because while most companies require specialists and engineers to design and implement the grunt work of cyber-security, some organisations require that level of expertise in a senior leadership capacity to align security initiatives with business objectives. A company with a large-scale cyber-security team and infrastructure will require a CISO to not only manage its team of security professionals, but spearhead incident response, oversee containment, and lead recovery efforts. Candidates for the role of CISO will need to have extensive experience in cyber-security, strong leadership and communication skills, business acumen to understand the impact of their security protocols on the wider organisation, and strategic thinking to develop long term strategies for the company.   Cyber-security is in demand in Australia The pressure on Australian organisations to digitally transform and navigate the new era of remote operations is immense.  Whether you run a boutique Australian business or a multinational corporation spanning several countries, the reality remains that if your organisation operates online without the necessary security talent to defend, you are vulnerable. The frequency and sophistication of cyber-security attacks in Australia and globally is expected to grow, and companies need to adapt and respond aggressively against such digital threats. The demand for cyber-security professionals significantly outpaces the available supply in Australia, creating a skills gap in the market. And this gap is expected to widen further in the coming years. Related: How important is the impact of cyber-security in Australia?