Auckland’s growing cyber security industry

More of our lives are relying on the internet and businesses are no different. As the world becomes more digitally connected, there’s ever-growing cyber threats that businesses and individuals have to encounter. As the largest city in New Zealand, and home to many large organisations’ headquarters, there’s a need in Auckland for skilled cyber security experts to guide and protect businesses as much as possible from attacks and security breaches.

Read on to learn more about why cyber security in Auckland is in high demand.

Why Auckland cares so much about getting good IT security talent

Experienced IT professionals can be tough to find no matter what the role, but finding those who specialise in the security space can be even harder.

The increasing threat of cyber attacks, especially on larger, high profile organisations, have seen employers search for the right personnel to steer their security in the right direction. The lack of competent cyber security function adds significant risk to businesses these days as digital transformation of industries, with customer interactions, data, websites, information and financials all being handled digitally, continues.

IT security work can exist at a number of levels, from the design and planning of security through to the development and upkeep of systems and processes. A security function will also help keep the business up to date with the latest threats as well as consult against new systems or changes in the business that may create a security vulnerability.

For many Auckland employers, cyber security’s primary job is to protect their users and data. There have been several high-profile hacks and breaches in Australasia in recent years, and it’s the goal of all digital businesses to avoid becoming one of these stories. Having experienced, knowledgeable IT security staff on the team can prove invaluable to navigate through these complex challenges.


Why IT professionals might want to consider following a career in cyber security

If you have cyber security knowledge, experience and qualifications then you’re likely a hot commodity in the Auckland market. If you’re still deciding whether or not this specialisation is something you’d like to pursue, here are some drawcards:

  • You’ve got a wide range of job roles to consider in different types of businesses.
  • The pay can be very compelling, especially if you progress through to senior or leadership roles within IT security.
  • A real difference maker – the work security teams do can protect a business and their customers.
  • A great community – the IT professional community in Auckland (and New Zealand) is a wonderful group of people to meet, share with and learn from. The cyber security space comes with its online groups, meetups and conferences which are often based around supporting each other’s work.
  • If you enjoy change and learning, cyber security brings both of those to the fore – new technologies create new challenges which cyber security must strategize around.


What skills are in demand specifically in Auckland for cybersec?

Because the tech stacks, languages and type of businesses can vary so greatly between employers, it’s always worth doing some digging into each advertised cyber security role to identify what would be required.

However, there are some general categories of cyber security skills that are regularly needed in Auckland including network security, penetration testing and incident response. With the cloud playing a key role in many organisations’ architecture these days, cloud security knowledge is also valuable. Underneath this will often be a strong base in programming and scripting languages in order to configure and develop security systems.

A cyber security professional will also need to bring soft skills like communication, problem solving and the ability to collaborate well with others.

Our Auckland team shared with us some of the most in-demand cyber security job roles and skills employers are looking for:

  • Cloud security
  • Network security
  • Incident response and forensics
  • Identity and access management
  • Security operations
  • Security automation
  • Penetration testing/ethical hacking
  • Security awareness and training

We also expect that cryptography and threat intelligence are skills that businesses will need in the future – and likely they will be quite challenging to find.


How to get started building your IT security knowledge and skills

In the IT sector, building up knowledge and experience comes in many forms. Perhaps the most straightforward path is pursuing relevant education and training in IT security, which includes delving into specific disciplines, popular applications, and standards.

Earning certifications through formal courses can significantly enhance your core IT security skills. It’s also worth noting that many who venture into cyber security often have a background in other tech disciplines, such as development and systems architecture.

If you’re eager to dive in, a great way for IT professionals to explore new career avenues is through networking. In Auckland, for instance, IT professional meet-ups and online forums like LinkedIn, Discord, or Reddit are fantastic resources. Hearing about others’ experiences in the IT security realm can greatly influence the direction you choose to take.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends, threats, and vulnerabilities is crucial in the ever-evolving field of cyber security. While this often happens through organisational practices and security team protocols, it’s equally important for individual professionals to stay informed. Online communities and specialist IT security news media are excellent sources of information.

As digital technologies evolve and integrate new platforms into businesses and online environments, new security challenges appear. Staying informed about popular new applications, platforms, languages, and other digital elements is key to predicting potential threats. Like many industries, being well-prepared is a significant part of the job in IT security.

Types of businesses in Auckland that need security capabilities

Essentially, any business that relies on digital technologies can benefit from robust cyber security. For large organisations that handle a lot of sensitive customer data, cyber security is even more crucial.

Auckland is home to many global and large New Zealand brands that manage sensitive financial and customer data. These organizations have integrated cybersecurity into their IT teams. This includes having dedicated personnel, either one or multiple, or even partnering with an IT security provider, to protect their business and customers from harm.

As a starting point, let’s consider businesses like insurers or healthcare providers. These types of businesses not only hold key account information about their users but also many personal details. In combination, these details could be highly detrimental to a person’s life if they fall into the wrong hands. Businesses like these understand that IT security is not just important, but essential for their proper operation.


Working alongside senior experts in security

Formal education is just one piece of the puzzle. Depending on the type of security work you’re interested in, you might also need to engage in internships or projects under the guidance of seasoned security experts. This provides hands-on experience without the immediate pressure of being solely responsible for an organisation’s IT security.

Even seasoned developers and architects need to navigate a learning curve surrounding the specific requirements and technologies involved in cyber security.


A specialised field, but something that affects all New Zealand – why cyber security is so important today

While not many are well-versed in the intricacies of cyber security, most people in the business world recognise its importance for continuity. Cybersecurity is about protecting people and businesses. Consider how much of your life depends on internet access: your emails, online banking and tax details, health records, social media, and even cloud-based storage of personal files, photos, and media.

When we reflect on our heavy reliance on the security and reliability of online systems, it’s clear why organisations give so much priority to their cyber security. As we continue to move towards the digitisation of business processes and information, the need for professionals who can ensure this transition is secure and safe also grows.


Emerging roles within the cyber security industry

IT security roles vary depending on the size and complexity of the organisation they’re needed in. Large businesses may have an entire team dedicated to security and work closely with network and architecture roles. Some job titles to look out for include Penetration Testers, Cyber Security Consultants, Engineers, Managers, and Analysts. There are also architect roles specifically focused around designing robust, security systems and processes.

As we see artificial intelligence move from niche and into the mainstream across Auckland businesses, there are new challenges and opportunities to keep both AI-based platforms secure and use AI itself as a way to identify and patch vulnerabilities.


Auckland’s mix of tech startups and global brands make it a perfect place to hone IT security skills

One of the great things about Auckland’s tech scene is just how varied the work can be – thanks to a broad range of business types, sizes and industries.

If you’re looking to gain experience or progress in your IT security career, Auckland’s a great place to do this. Not only can you find a selection of different roles, but being New Zealand’s largest tech community, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to meet and learn from others in the space.


Finding a role in security

To find an IT security role that suits you, you can take a few different routes.

At Younity we’re a specialist IT recruitment provider, meaning that our team are continually speaking with employers and have very current insights on the jobs available and the skills in demand.

You can also take a look online, whether it’s on large job listing websites, on business’ own careers pages or even start looking around on LinkedIn.


Chat to us about cyber security job opportunities in Auckland

We’d love to chat with you, whether you’re considering a cyber security for the first time, or if you’re a seasoned expert looking for that next challenge.

Get in touch with us today to start your next career chapter.



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