Is there a future for ethical hackers

Ethical hackers for more cybersecurity

Cyber ​​attacks have now become one of the greatest risks in the world, as the "Global Risks Report 2021" by the World Economic Forum shows. More and more sophisticated forms of cyber crime are increasingly putting the infrastructure and security measures of companies and authorities to the test. The consequences of attacks are data loss or service outages, which can result in considerable reputational damage and financial losses. However, many Swiss SMEs are not aware of the risk, as a survey by the GFS Zurich shows: Two thirds of SMEs neither conduct regular employee training on the subject, nor does a security concept exist.

Growing demand for cyber professionals

The circumstances described make clear the increasing need for qualified specialists in the field of cybersecurity. For this reason, a project group consisting of representatives from the Swiss Armed Forces, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), ICT Vocational Training Switzerland and the private sector developed the “Cyber ​​Security Specialist” professional examination with a federal certificate. Qualification. The certificate brings qualified specialists onto the job market and is a supplier for the federal diploma "ICT Security Expert" introduced in 2018.

High demands on graduates

The first professional examination was carried out by ICT-Vocational Training Switzerland in November 2020. In a three-part exam setting, specialist skills, project management and leadership skills were tested. The 50 percent pass rate makes it clear how high the demands on the students and the level of successful graduates are.

What can Cyber ​​Security Specialists do?

In addition to well-founded specialist knowledge, the practice of the profession requires a high degree of analytics, system and process thinking, integrity, a sense of responsibility, perseverance and strong communication and team skills. As part of ICT management, cyber security specialists continuously analyze the current threat situation in cyberspace, anticipate risks or weak points and act with preventive or reactive protective measures. This also includes raising the awareness of employees who, if untrained, can pose a significant security risk.

Independently tested skills

The individual parts of the examination are developed in cooperation with specialized organizations, which ensures a high quality examination. In the hacking lab of the Swiss company Compass Security in cooperation with the OST - Ostschweizer Fachhochschule, the exam participants are exposed to simulated but realistic threats. The oral part "Leadership & Communication" is examined in cooperation with the Swiss Association for Leadership Training SVF. Cyber ​​security specialists operate in a highly sensitive field. The acceptance of the examination by an independent body ensures that the practical skills of the graduates are standardized at a high federal level.