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7 jobs fighting cybercrime with data science, or a motorbike

From "horizon scanning" to data science, the NCA has a host of open IT roles.

Want to put your IT or other technical skills to good use fighting cybercriminals?

The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA)'s digital, data, and technology team is hiring aggressively, with vacancies open for data scientists, technical architects, cyberskills educators, even motorcycle surveillance specialists.

The NCA is the UK's lead agency combatting organised crime, including human, weapon and drug trafficking and cybercrime -- it describes its focus as being on "critical cyber incidents as well as longer-term activity against the criminals and the services on which they depend. We work closely with UK police... organised crime units, and partners in international law enforcement such as Europol, the FBI and the US Secret Service..."

7 jobs at the NCA to consider

Here are 7 open roles at the NCA worth considering. (A quick aside: Those in the private sector may frown in mild disbelief at the salaries. The agency offers good benefits however and on top of that, a genuinely meaningful job taking the fight to people smugglers, ransomware purveyors, and worse.)

1) "Technology Futures and Horizon Scanning Team Lead" -- £45k

The TRACER (Threat and Risk Assessment, Capability, Exploration and Research) business unit in the NCA is a a multi-agency hub which conducts threat and opportunity management for a range of digital intelligence capabilities. In this role, you will be responsible for identifying "upcoming social, political, legal and technological changes in the digital communications landscape... [including via] in-depth open source research, and engagement with a number of experts across Government and industry."

2) "Senior Data Scientist" -- £55k

This role is at the "cutting edge of data exploitation for law enforcement, using your skills in data science to deliver real world impact to safeguard UK citizens", with responsibility for strategic direction at a data lab owned by the NDEC (National Data Exploitation Centre: a new centre setup with £4m funding in 2020). The data scientist will need to "identify and gather insights into new tools, data technologies and methodologies that could be obtained and utilised to expand and develop Data Lab capabilities."

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Skills needed are: "Knowledgeable of a breadth of techniques available for manipulating and analysing data over multiple datasets from a wide variety of sources. E.g. NLP, Network Analysis, SciKit Learn / TensorFlow. Experience of programming in either statistics or machine learning (e.g. R or Python) to solve data science problems in a professional context."

3) Senior Cyber Engineer -- £36.7k

The Senior Cyber Engineer role includes providing "tactical support during critical incidents and crimes using technical solutions" and will be involved in deploying "deploy technical capabilities to manipulate large data sets to support intelligence led enforcement and disruption of cyber-criminal activity."

Applicants will need to demonstrate "Good knowledge of cyber techniques (e.g. ethical hacking, reverse engineering, malware analysis) and/or internet technologies (e.g. Cloud technologies, AWS) and/or data approaches (machine learning) etc.; excellent knowledge in working with Linux environment; proven experience/knowledge working in at least one of the following programming languages: Python, C++, Java, Bash; good problem-solving skills, e.g. troubleshooting network/hardware/software/data problems."

4) Cyber Exercising and De-briefing lead -- £45k

This role falls into the Cyber Exercising and De-briefing (Cybx) Team and is focussed on enhancing "the efficiency and effectiveness of UK law enforcement when responding to significant and critical cyber incidents."

The candidate will need to work with multiple stakeholders, including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Regional Organised Cyber Crime Units (ROCUs), Counter Terrorism Policing, UK Intelligence Agencies, Cabinet Office and International Organisations, and be heavily involved in debriefing after incidents and exercises to identify "key findings, success and improvements at both tactical and strategic levels."

5) Application Architect -- £45k

This role includes supporting the development of the NCA's applications strategy and supporting architecture, optimising its application portfolio, and integrating systems with a variety of internal and external partners.

The requirements are broader for this role, and include "strong application architecture expertise, combined with areas of deeper knowledge of technologies and practice, broad understanding of all architecture domains, and strong stakeholder and consultative skills."

6) Cyber Skills and Development -- £36.7k

This role for the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) includes managing cyber training, funded from the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP); "building cyber capability for NCCU and wider NCA" and "working proactively across the unit to develop and implement learning design solutions that exploit new technologies, platforms, embed new ways of learning and encouraging wider take-up across NCCU, NCA and potentially government."

7) Surveillance  Motorcyclist  -- £32k

Tired of looking at a screen or managing large teams. The NCA is also looking for surveillance motorcyclists. (The role can be critical in tracking targets using fast-moving public transport; e.g. picking up surveillance when someone is walking through heavy traffic from tube to a train station, among other examples.)

The role involves providing "motorcycle support to National Crime Agency led operations so as to enable the effective and accurate collection of information, intelligence and evidence." You will be expected to deploy operationally or in a training environment on a minimum of ten occasions in a rolling six month period.

The full list of open roles at the NCA is here.

See also: Veeam CISO on life on swapping life as a beat cop for running cybersecurity at critical financial services firms