Government seeks cyber security skills

New Zealand Government security bodies, all members of the New Zealand Intelligence Community (NZIC) are on the hunt for a broad range of cyber security skills. 

The main recruiter is the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), which along with the National Assessments Bureau (NAB) in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) form the core of NZIC.

 GCSB is looking for a cyber incident responder, an unspecified number of graduates and, for its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), an applications engineer and a systems engineer. NZSIS needs a vetting system officer.  All roles are Wellington based apart from the vetting officer role, which is in Auckland. 

Graduates recruited will be placed in one of two, graduate training programmes: either a two-year technical programme or a one-year analyst programme. 

NCSC is described as an integral part of the GCSB, an engineering team responsible for building and administering unique tools and technology to protect some of the most important information infrastructure in New Zealand. 

Most of these positions could be tough to fill. There is a worldwide shortage of cyber security skills and, given the highly sensitive nature of the work, the pool on which GCSB can draw is somewhat limited. 

Candidate for any of the positions must have been New Zealand citizens for at least 10 years or have New Zealand residency and citizenship of Australia, Canada, the UK or the US (the ‘Five Eyes’ countries) for at least 10 years. 

In addition they must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret Special (TSS) security clearance. The job ad says: “Ordinarily to obtain this level of clearance candidates must have a 15 year checkable background in countries where meaningful and reliable checks can be undertaken. “ 

Last November communications minister Amy Adams announced the establishment of an eight-person taskforce to be led by David Eaton, CTO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) New Zealand o address the shortage of cyber security professionals in New Zealand. 

This came a month after the head of the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) Graeme Muller warned that the country faced a security skills shortage. Despite that he said cyber security could become a significant export earner for the country over the next decade.

 In February this year PwC NZ released the results of its 20th annual NZ CEO survey saying it showed cyber threats, skills shortages and the speed of technological change to be CEOs main worries. Ninety one percent were worried about cyber security and 84 percent about the availability of key skills. 

All the ads can be found on the NZIC web site.


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