Cyber security has been in the headlines in recent days after the largest computer attack in history took place last Friday. 150 countries were affected by the same computer virus. An extraordinary event that placed the security of companies, governments… at risk.

This phenomenon, which until now seemed distant, as if taken from a futuristic movie, has generated significant social alarm. Speaking of the seventh art, the Walt Disney Company itself has been affected severely by the massive attack on Friday, after one of their most wide-expected releases for 2017 was “kidnapped”.

Even the Popular Party came to the fore this week talking about the need to create some type of unit in case such a digital offensive digital was repeated by hackers.

Beyond all this, what is certain is that the role of cyber security has been strengthened after the recent events. In the coming years, it is called to become a new booming economic sector that will generate 825.000 jobs between now and 2025 in the European Union according to the National Institute for Cyber Security (INCIBE).

However, this is not a widespread type of professional profile, at least in Spain. So much so that, according to experts in the field, the market is growing so much that those lucky enough to be proficient in this field can choose the jobs they want, “who they work for and for how much”, stated an ‘ethical hacker’ to a newspaper recently.


Organisations are seeking professionals in three fields mainly. First of all, they need experts in systems and security, i.e. IT and security managers, known as CISOs (chief information security officer) who usually have an executive and managerial profile. It is their job to stave off attacks and obtain extensive information on each action.

Ethical hacking consultants are also required. This is a new position designed to test IT systems to analyse any risks and, thus, prevent them.

Finally, data protection officers (DPOs) are also in great demand. These are people with a legal profile and that represents a new field for lawyers and that, in accordance with Data Protection legislation, will become a requirement after 2018 in the public administrations and in certain private companies.

The industry’s figures

Based on their careers and the industry for which they are working, experts in cyber security earn salaries that can range between 45,000 and 75,000 euros. Auditor profiles are usually below this figure, while a CISO can earn up to 120,000 euros.

The global turnover for cyber security amounted to 62,540 million euros in 2015 and is expected to reach 79,292 million in 2018, according to Gartner. The National Observatory for Telecommunications and the Information Society (ONTSI) calculated that this amount in Spain reached almost 600 million in 2014. This agency has considered more than 530 companies that are dedicated to this activity or other similar or complementary fields. This group, which invested about 80 million euros a couple of years ago, employs almost 6,000 people, based on data provided by the National Institute for cyber security (INCIBE).