The boom in the digital space has increased cyber-attacks. Hence, cyber security threats are requiring special attention for Critical Sectors. Cybersecurity professionals are in great demand. A career in cybersecurity is as rewarding as it is equally demanding. Today, Cybersecurity professionals are wanted in large numbers worldwide. It is because of the vast gap between the number of existing cybersecurity professionals and the cybersecurity challenges faced daily.
A recent study by the ISC² found that, despite COVID-19 and economic pressures, organizations plan to increase cybersecurity staffing over the next 12 months. So “How to start a career in cyber security”?
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How to Start a Career in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity professionals are needed in every organization because of their importance in data security. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is very high, and India provides a broader opportunity compared to other Asia-Pacific countries. The availability of skilled professionals who can tackle the cybersecurity issue is significantly less in India, thus opening many new doors for young Indians for a cybersecurity career.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Most jobs require a three or four-year bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field such as Information or computer science. Computer networks, Programming, cryptography are core subjects that prepare students with technical and analytical skills for successful careers in cybersecurity.
Training and Certifications
Having a college degree is the right way of starting a career in cybersecurity, but it is not the only way. 43% of cybersecurity professionals are certification holders, who got training besides the college degree. Having a proper training certificate in cybersecurity is an excellent way of starting a cybersecurity career.
Some employers may require candidates to hold a certification course as a beginner one can opt for IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate. This 8-course Professional Certificate will give you the technical skills to become job-ready for a Cybersecurity Analyst role. Instructional content and labs will introduce you to concepts including network security, endpoint protection, incident response, threat intelligence, penetration testing, and vulnerability assessment.
The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking this course is designed to provide a full overview of computer networking. It covers everything from the fundamentals of modern networking technologies and protocols to an overview of the cloud to practical applications and network troubleshooting.
Develop an extensive perception of IT in general. The more you know in each field, the better you will be able to know the workings of each team and the difficulties you encounter.
The skill required to get better in Cybersecurity
- Knowledge of languages/tools such as C++, Java, Node, Python, Ruby, Go, or Power Shell is an added advantage.
- The ability to often work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment.
- Possess the right eye for detail and outstanding problem-solving skills.
- Up to date knowledge of the latest Cyber Security trends and hacker tactics.
Make sure that you love to learn! You can check out some courses on these platforms:
Career path in Cybersecurity
Once you are ready to get started in the growing industry start exploring cyber careers now, there are ample opportunities and job careers in the cybersecurity domain. Some of the best positions include :
Security Analyst: Layouts and administer impeccable security measures.
Security Engineers: Model Information Technology Security systems for the organization.
Security Specialists: protecting applications from threats using a mix of hardware and software skills.
Incident Responders: responded to any type of security breach and limit the damage.
Penetration tester: legally hack into software systems to identify vulnerabilities and report solutions.
Security architect: designing, building, and managing the implementation of network and computer security for a company.
Identity and Access Management Engineer: focuses on digital identities within an organization to ensure correct levels of system and prevent unauthorized use.
Cryptographer: Here people are involved in encrypting sensitive information to ensure corporate privacy.
Malware/forensics Analysts: Finding, analyzing & investigating various properties of malware to seek out the culprits and reason for the attack.
Security Auditors: develop tests of IT systems to identify risks and compliance issues. Evaluate firewalls, encryption protocols, and related security measures.
Great in Demand
Besides the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, the industry faces an acute shortage of adequately trained individuals capable enough and proficient at filling the mounting cybersecurity roles.
According to The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Information Security Analyst’s Outlook, cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing career areas nationally. The BLS predicts cybersecurity jobs will grow 31% through 2029, over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%.
With COVID-19 driving a worldwide shift to remote work and online learning; and an increase in concerns around election security, cybersecurity is an increasingly critical topic. Burning Glass has been tracking the demand for cybersecurity skills based on its database of more than one billion current and historical job postings. The Cyberseek.org website, built by Burning Glass in partnership with CompTIA, offers a look at cybersecurity demand by region and job titles.
Based on the Burning Glass analysis of employer demand in postings, the skills projected to grow the rapidly in the next five years such as:-
- Application development security (164%)
- Cloud security (115%)
- Risk management (60%)
- Threat intelligence (41%)
- Incident response (37%)
- Compliance and controls (36%)
- Data privacy and security (36%)
- Access management (32%)
- Security strategy and governance (20%)
- Health information security (20%).
Although these jobs are highly technical, the demand is not limited to the information technology sector. For example, an increasing number of job postings for attorneys require expertise in data privacy and security.
Salary in Cybersecurity
The average cyber security salary in the USA is $117,107 per year or $60.05 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $88,482 per year while most experienced workers make up to $164,825 per year.
Skills for Cybersecurity
Apart from a college degree and a training certificate, a few soft skills will help one grow in a cybersecurity career. To shine in the cybersecurity career, I recommend you get some practical training during internships and follow these key steps ( and add on as per your need )
If you chose to be in a world of problem, then better be a problem solver. Cybersecurity issues create chaos in the world. Compromise in data security is enormous, as it involves the privacy of an individual and organization. It is the responsibility of the cybersecurity professional to solve the cyber issue and safeguard the data. Your critical thinking power will help you shine as an incident responder.
Fail Fast, Learn & Repeat
Be curious about the new technologies that are used in solving cybersecurity problems. Learn about the tools that are developed to assist security professionals. Be quick in recognizing the problem and implementing the right technique to solve it. You can have a bright career as a Security Architect because of your curiosity in solving issues.
Constantly learn about the problems in the field and continue giving practical solutions to solve them. Do it more like teaching someone rather than taking it up as a routine job. If you are a good listener and empathetic, then an apt position for you will be a Cyber Security Consultant.
Take up more responsibility in solving cybersecurity issues. Get inspired by the stories that have saved many people from online fraudsters. If you are an enthusiast, then the job of a Penetration Tester will be suitable for you if you are passionate about solving problems creatively.
Be an Avenger
Cybercrime damages roughly about $6 trillion annually and $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Besides, it also puts many lives at stake. A cybersecurity professional must be an Avenger who saves the planet from falling prey to any such cyber crimes. An apt position for you is a Security Engineer if you are empathetic about the victims.
Cybersecurity Tools and Technologies
The software that uses cryptography to prevent unauthorized access to digital information. Cryptography is used to protect the digital information on computers as well as the digital information that is sent to other computers over the Internet.
Web Vulnerability Scanning tools
The security technique used to identify security weaknesses in a computer system. Vulnerability scanning can be used by individuals or network administrators for security purposes, or it can be used by hackers attempting to gain unauthorized access to computer systems.
Takes traditional antivirus software to a new, advanced level of endpoint security protection. It goes beyond known file-based malware signatures and heuristics because it’s a system-centric, cloud-based approach.
A deep-packet inspection firewall that moves beyond port/protocol inspection and blocking to add application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and bringing intelligence from outside the firewall.
PKI secures sensitive electronic information as it is passed back and forth between two parties, and provides each party with a key to encrypt and decrypt the digital data.
Security Information and Event Management(SIEM)
It supports threat detection, compliance, and security incident management through the collection and analysis (both near real-time and historical) of security events, as well as a wide variety of other event and contextual data sources. The core capabilities are a broad scope of log event collection and management, the ability to analyze log events and other data across disparate sources, and operational capabilities (such as incident management, dashboards, and reporting).
Data loss prevention (DLP)
Data loss prevention (DLP) is a set of tools and processes used to ensure that sensitive data is not lost, misused, or accessed by unauthorized users. This software classifies regulated, confidential and business-critical data and identifies violations of policies defined by organizations or within a predefined policy pack, typically driven by regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR.
Career growth Opportunities
The global cyber security market size was valued at USD 167.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 10.9% from 2021 to 2028. The growth of the market can be attributed to the growing sophistication of cyberattacks. The frequency and intensity of cyber scams and crimes have increased over the last decade, resulting in huge losses for businesses. As incidents of cybercrimes increased significantly, businesses worldwide channeled their spending on advanced information security technologies to strengthen their in-house security infrastructure. Furthermore, the need to defend critical infrastructure from Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) has encouraged governments across the globe to reform their cyber security strategies, creating a pool of opportunities for industry participants.
The increasing use of a variety of technologies in the retail, banking, telecom, and manufacturing sectors is driving the need for assimilating, processing, and storing large amounts of confidential information. Breaching such confidential information can cause steep financial damage to an organization. Furthermore, the shift toward a remote working model has also increased the risk of cyber threats across organizations. The rising concern of cyber threats has encouraged organizations to adopt solutions and configure malware protection, detection, and mitigation strategies, thereby fueling market growth and career opportunities.