A career in Secure Operations


What do you do?


Working in Secure Ops, you manage systems and networks to ensure they deliver the expected services to their users and other systems, but with the particular responsibility of ensuring that this is done securely. When there are updates to existing systems or new ones to install, you plan the implementation carefully to minimise disruption to existing services and assure that the changes will not create new vulnerabilities or disrupt any ongoing services.

Your primary responsibility is to keep the services operating reliably and securely, serving the needs of the business. This means you have a fair understanding of the relationship between systems and their role within the business; this is so you can, when necessary, prioritise support for those systems that are most crucial to business operations.

Some responsibilities may include:

  • manage identification, authentication and authorisation controls, including directories
  • monitor system performance, including security incident metrics
  • ensure that system processes, such as backups, are effective and in compliance with agreed protocols
  • manage discrete development and test environments
  • manage the transition to operation of new components and systems so as to minimise the risk to the security of other systems and current services
  • ensure that updates (patches) to externally supplied software and hardware are applied quickly but safely
  • support users in viewing and processing data according to agreed access controls
  • manage the recovery of services after a security incident has been resolved

What are the skills needed?


  • attention to detail
  • logical thinking
  • maintaining detailed records of actions
  • evaluating the probable social, commercial, cultural, ethical and environmental consequences of an action


  • configuring and managing processes on servers and network security devices
  • selecting and creating methods for measuring system performance
  • change management
  • monitoring system performance and security
  • scripting in operating systems

Transferable skills?


Previous roles in the operational management and supervision of other kinds of technological systems can be useful transferable skills for starting within Secure Operations, alongside further cybersecurity training. These roles may include:

  • CNC machine operator
  • telecoms network operator
  • broadcast or cable TV engineer

From a different cybersecurity discipline?

  • Secure System Development
  • Vulnerability Management

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