Military Service Is An Ideal Background For A Cybersecurity Career

The UK's critical infrastructure - those sectors that provide the country with safe drinking water, electricity, communications, transport and financial networks, and internet connectivity - are under threat like never before. 

In its latest Annual Review published in November 2023, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)—part of the UK's GCHQ intelligence, security and cyber agency—warned that the UK needs to accelerate work to keep pace with the changing threat landscape. And that includes the recruitment and retention of cybersecurity professionals to help keep the UK safe from outside threats.   

The NCSC Annual Review 2023 estimates that the UK cybersecurity sector employs more than  58,000 people – an increase of over 5,000 jobs over the past year. But despite the increase, it reports that while the sector is growing, it is “in need [of] talented professionals”. 

This may explain why the NCSC spends much of its time “cultivating talent and developing young minds to future-proof our national security” regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector. 

But inspiring young people to take up a career in cybersecurity is only part of the solution. Forward-thinking recruiters are also looking to tap into the rich diversity of skills offered by veterans of the Armed Forces.  

Through their unique skills, discipline, and unmatched experience, veterans from the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force are ideally suited to help address the talent gap and the growing cyber threats we face. 

But what makes these former service personnel such a perfect match for a career in cybersecurity? 

Adaptability:   Showing initiative—and the ability to adapt to ever-changing environments—is a key part of being in the military. And it’s the same in cybersecurity. The ability to adapt and learn quickly is a skill that makes veterans a highly valuable asset to any recruiter—especially in an industry where technology and situations are evolving rapidly.

Problem-solving:   In IT, we often encounter technical problems that require creative, critical thinking. This is exactly what military personnel are trained to do. Whether it's finding new ways to approach a problem—or devising a solution under high-stakes pressure—problem-solving is ingrained in all military personnel. 

Strong work ethic and discipline:   Meeting deadlines, paying attention to detail, and working diligently are all qualities that run through our Armed Forces. Thankfully, this strong work ethic is also one of the most important aspects of succeeding in IT. 

Technical knowledge:   Today’s Armed Forces rely on technology. That means the military has to train people to operate and maintain increasingly sophisticated equipment. When service members leave, many already possess the technical skills that are so sought after in IT. And even if they don’t, many have the technical mindset and core skills for a role in cybersecurity. 

Security clearances:   Due to the nature of the work, some veterans have obtained high-level security clearances. This makes them valuable to organisations dealing with sensitive information. Arriving on day one with an existing clearance is a huge leg up.

Security-minded:   Security is one of the most important issues we face in IT and the technology industry today. Veterans have an in-built focus on security and defence; they understand the importance of building a secure system. 

For me, these qualities point to one thing: veterans offer a rich pool of talent, ideally suited to working in cybersecurity. With global threats increasing every day, we need a workforce that understands the importance of a strong culture of security and defence. 

That’s why we need government and private companies to step up and create the right pathways for veterans to enter the cybersecurity workforce. I am heartened by the comments of Johnny Mercer MP, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. He’s determined to make the UK the “best place in the world to be a veteran” and that includes bringing former military personnel and employers together for the benefit of both parties. 

In October 2023, Mercer launched An Employers' Guide to Hiring Veterans, which, as he wrote in the introduction, “Showcases best practice developed in the UK to support our veterans and Armed Forces community into employment, providing employers…with the tools, information and guidance they need to make the most of what our veterans have to offer.”

As we face some of our greatest cyber adversaries yet, we need a skilled workforce to meet this challenge. While it’s right that we encourage the next generation of young talent into cybersecurity, we would be missing a trick if we failed to seek out other avenues for recruitment. 

Veterans are the ideal candidates to quickly close the cybersecurity skills gap and create the skilled industry needed to meet these threats head-on.

Chip Daniels isVP of Government Affairs at SolarWinds:

Image: @RoyalAirForce

You Might Also Read: 

Cyber Security Jobs In 2024:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

If you like this website and use the comprehensive 6,500-plus service supplier Directory, you can get unrestricted access, including the exclusive in-depth Directors Report series, by signing up for a Premium Subscription.

  • Individual £5 per month or £50 per year. Sign Up
  • Multi-User, Corporate & Library Accounts Available on Request

Cyber Security Intelligence: Captured Organised & Accessible


 

 

« On Trend - Hybrid Cloud Strategies
Cyber Attack On Georgia's State Government »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law advise global businesses that buy and sell technology products and services. We are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

Jooble

Jooble

Jooble is a job search aggregator operating in 71 countries worldwide. We simplify the job search process by displaying active job ads from major job boards and career sites across the internet.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

LockLizard

LockLizard

Locklizard provides PDF DRM software that protects PDF documents from unauthorized access and misuse. Share and sell documents securely - prevent document leakage, sharing and piracy.

Security Brigade

Security Brigade

Security Brigade is an information security firm specializing in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessment, Web-application Security and Source Code Security Audit.

Digital Hands

Digital Hands

Digital Hands is an award-winning managed security services provider.

OnSystem Logic

OnSystem Logic

OnSystem Logic has developed a unique, patent-pending solution to solve the problem of the exploitation of flaws in application software as a technique for cyber attacks.

Zamna

Zamna

Zamna (formerly VChain Technology) is an award-winning software company building GDPR compliant identity platforms for the aviation industry.

Glilot Capital Partners

Glilot Capital Partners

Glilot Capital Partners is an Israeli seed and early-stage VC. We specialize in businesses which disrupt enterprise technology, mainly in the fields of AI, big data and cybersecurity.

Astaara

Astaara

Astaara is an integrated insurance services and risk management advisory business incorporating cyber risk advisory, underwriting and analytics.

Cyphere

Cyphere

Cyphere is a cyber security company that helps to secure most prized assets of a business. We provide technical risk assessment (pen testing/ethical hacking) and managed security services.

SecureDrives

SecureDrives

Passwordless Authentication & Encrypted Data Storage Solutions from SecureDrives. We are enabling organisations to work safely and securely, using technology driven solutions.

InferSight

InferSight

InferSight can help you design an architecture that takes into account security, performance, availability, functionality, resiliency and future capacity to avoid technological lock in and limitations

Revere Technologies

Revere Technologies

Revere Technologies is a pure-play cyber security solutions and services provider in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Stefanini Group

Stefanini Group

Stefanini is a global IT services company providing a broad range of solutions for digital transformation including automation, cloud, IoT and cybersecurity.

Swiss It Security Group

Swiss It Security Group

Swiss It Security Group offers clients complete IT security concepts based on innovative solutions and technology, with a focus on protection, detection and defence.

IntelliDyne

IntelliDyne

IntelliDyne is a leading information technology consulting firm enabling better mission performance through innovative technology solutions.

Topsec Cloud Solutions

Topsec Cloud Solutions

The Topsec Managed Email Security Platform eliminates Spam, Viruses, Malware, and Phishing.

C2 Risk

C2 Risk

C2 Risk are focussed on risk analytics for information assurance, privacy and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance).

Mindflow

Mindflow

Mindflow is dedicated to bringing answers to the challenges the cybersecurity field and beyond face today.