Everyone is welcoming technological innovations with open arms. Entrepreneurs are reaping benefits of online marketing, while customers are happy to make online payments.
Undoubtfully, technological advancements have led to many positive changes, but it is also increasing the risk of cyberattacks. Despite the antivirus software and firewall, cybercriminals can break into systems as hackers of the 21st century are smarter than ever.
These attacks aim to access sensitive information, damage business reputation, or steal money. Data breaches involve financial information – credit card numbers, bank account details, health information, etc. that can drown people into losses. With personal data and confidential information at risk, the demand for cybersecurity is skyrocketing. It is an ethical practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and programs from cyberattacks as we all rely on technology these days.
As a result, companies are making cybersecurity hiring a priority. They are looking for individuals with a technical discipline, knowledge of information technology, and business management. Surprisingly enough, the cybersecurity domain is becoming the most competitive and promising career choice. After all, we are breathing in a world of unprecedented connectedness.
Are you willing to give it a shot? Here is a comprehensive guide to starting a career in cybersecurity.
Before picking a career option, people want to know the earning potential. Salary and job prospects are a significant motivating factor when it comes to making a career choice. There are a plethora of career paths for individuals who are passionate about cyberinfrastructure. Here are some options for you.
1. INFORMATION SECURITY MANAGER
These individuals are responsible for overseeing and controlling all aspects of security in a business. They propose measures to protect data from cyberattacks while securing information from unauthorized access. Similarly, they upgrade systems, design new ones, test security products, and ensure international security standards. The Information security manager's salary is higher than the majority of careers. On average, they earn $120,000 annually, making it one of the most lucrative career options.
2. SECURITY ARCHITECT
The weak encryption of antiviruses is encouraging organizations to build their security systems. A security architect holds the bag for designing, building, and testing security systems within a company. They have a thorough understanding of complex IT systems and know-how about the latest security updates. Thus, they regularly conduct system tests to ensure network security. Moreover, access to the IT system is limit by need and role. Although the job is challenging, rewards make every effort worth the trouble. They earn a median salary of $118,000 annually.
3. INCIDENT RESPONSE ANALYST
Unsurprisingly, cyberattacks can happen anytime, and the way the company responds can minimize or expand the damage. Incident security analysts know how to respond to a security breach. They address the threats and implement temporary firewalls to limit the damage. Alongside this, they identify the causes and glitches that led to a cyberattack. An effective emergency response can help the company recover damage a lot more quickly.
4. SECURITY AUDITOR
Alongside engineers and architects, companies want experts to audit the security system's effectiveness. They find underlying problems, glitches, and suggest ways to improve it. These auditors are different than penetration testers as they use established standards to evaluate the system. They think from a hacker's viewpoint, helping them identify the loopholes in the system. According to business labor statistics, the demand for these professionals will increase by 32% in the next ten years.
HOW TO BECOME A CYBERSECURITY PROFESSIONAL?
Every profession demands a robust educational background, and cybersecurity is no different. You have to complete a bachelor's program in cybersecurity and equip yourself with primary skills. In this modern era, degrees and certifications are not enough. Employers want professionals with expertise and a versatile skill set to cope with challenging situations. Here are the top cybersecurity skills to help you excel in this field.
A. TECHNICAL APTITUDE
Cybersecurity is an entirely technology-focused field. You should have complete knowledge of multiple networks to address problems. Some days you might encounter troubleshooting problems, while at times, you have to update security systems. Likewise, learn about subnetting, routing, and switching to deal with security encryptions. Being tech-savvy is imperative in this career while being proficient helps you win over other candidates.
B. COMMAND OVER PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE
In cybersecurity, everything links with coding. Therefore, you should be on the top of common programming languages – Java, Python, PHP, C/C. At the same time, you should know assembly language to perform reverse engineering and analyze malware. Without these skills, managing and implementing security systems won't be possible.
C. ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Organizations are at a threat of cyber attacks 24/7. Thus, cybersecurity professionals must be highly vigilant with an eye for detail to detect vulnerabilities and risks in the system. Similarly, you have to quickly identify concerns and develop real-time solutions to combat all security threats. Moreover, ensure continuous monitoring as cybercriminals only need a small glitch to hack the entire network.
D. FORENSIC SKILLS
Although computer forensic and cybersecurity are two different fields, they are closely related. A strong foundation in computer forensic can be a bonus for your cybersecurity career. It lets you protect the organization's digital assets while preventing security breaches. You learn how to recover compromised data without inviting any malware and spying software.
E. HACKING SKILLS
When it comes to protecting an organization's infrastructure, you should know how one can exploit it. As a result, many cybersecurity professionals learn how to 'ethically hack' the system. It lets you think from a hacker's perspective, allowing you to analyze the pitfalls in the system. Once you have the same skills as a hacker, resolving data breaches would become more straightforward.
CYBERSECURITY JOB OUTLOOK
Are you skeptical about job opportunities? Stats suggest, around 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs are opening by 2021, out of which 1.5 million would remain unfilled. After all, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is outweighing its supply. And as the economic rule of demand and supply, shortages always push the wages up. The job outlook for cybersecurity seems more promising than any other industry. Digitalization would further increase in the coming years, meaning the future is bright for these individuals as it offers job security.
Believe it or not, but there hasn't been a better time to start a career in cybersecurity. The digital era is overflowing with opportunities and cyber threats that many people fail to acknowledge. Sooner or later, organizations are recognizing the need for cybersecurity professionals. If you have a keen interest in information technology and want to put your expertise to use, pursue a career in cybersecurity. Alongside lucrative opportunities, you will always stay in demand.