Cybersecurity is one of the hottest topics of this decade. From cyber-attacks to security breaches and phishing scams, companies are getting compromised and are making headlines every day. This scenario presents a massive opportunity for people looking to break into the industry — the increasing demand for qualified professionals to deal with some of the worst cyber threats is significant.
According to a report, jobs in cybersecurity are expected to reach 3.5 million by 2021. Even if you feel that you’re not too technically qualified, you can still pursue a career in cybersecurity — this domain has room for everyone.
Job Roles In Cybersecurity
When you are starting your career in cybersecurity, make sure you take a look at the different roles that the domain offers. There are profiles like security analyst, security engineer, security architect, and security consultant, among others, which are very popular. However, in recent times, there are few more roles like Cryptanalyst and Cryptographer have also emerged.
Security Analyst: basically monitor computer networks for security issues, investigate security breaches and other cybersecurity incidents. Also, a security analyst installs security measures and operate software to protect systems and information infrastructure, which also include firewalls and data encryption programs.
Security Engineer: The role of a security engineer is basically about creating systems for automated logging, respond to incidents, and also create and implement new technologies to fight cyber threats.
Security Architect: A security architect maintains a company’s security infrastructure. They usually think like hackers to understand all of the strategies a hacker can use to compromise and gain unauthorised access to the computer system.
Security consultant: A security consultant is an individual or group of individuals who have specialised knowledge in some facet of the cyber security domain. They advise and help clients have a strong cybersecurity infrastructure.
When you are completely new to the domain, these are some of the job roles you can opt for. According to the desired job role, you can decide your next moves towards your cybersecurity career. Therefore it is always considered to be a good practice to first have a look at the job roles that domain has.
For example, if you want to pursue a career as a security engineer, then you might need more than just a bachelor’s degree (a master degree is mostly what most of the firms look for). Also, you would need a significant amount of experience in the field of IT.
The Learning Path
To take a leap towards the cybersecurity domain, you would need to start off with a background in technology and IT. While a bachelor’s degree focused on IT is one of the must-have prerequisites, you also need to have an in-depth knowledge of the latest industry trends. You need to be updated with each and every tool coming into the market, all the breach and hacks happening and what was the loophole that caused the breach etc.
There is a huge amount of resources available on the internet that you can use to expand your knowledge. We have compiled a list of cybersecurity-focused blogs and websites that you can have a look. Also, along with all the domain knowledge, you also need to have strong fundamentals of data networks and operating systems, and a scripting language such as Python.
Word To The Wise: If you are a professional who works in an ecosystem with programming, data, networks etc. involved, then you can make the most out of that to brush up your skills and knowledge. It would help you big time when you make a transition to the cybersecurity industry.
Instead of following the general path of learning, if you want to dive deep and put in your complete focus on one domain, then you can always take up a cybersecurity training course.
There are many institutes available that run classes completely focused on ethical hacking and cyber security — they even come with full time and part time formats. Also, these institutes train you in such a way you also manage to write your certification exams.
These courses are considered to be one of the best ways to enter the cyber security domain. Many of the institutes even offer placements on some of the big firms in the industry.
Certifications That Push Your Career One Step Ahead
While knowledge and skills are definitely mandatory to be a cybersecurity professional, certifications have their own set of advantages.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): This certification focuses on making candidates understands and knows how to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems and uses the same knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate manner to assess the security posture of a target system(s).
CompTIA Security+: It is a global certification that validates the skills you need to perform core security functions and pursue an IT security career. The major advantage of this certification is that no other certification that assesses baseline cybersecurity skills has performance-based questions on the exam. Also, it emphasises more hands-on practical skills.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): It is an advanced-level certification for those who want to have a career in information security. It is offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium a.k.a (ISC)2 and is recognised worldwide for its standards of excellence.
CISSP credential holders are considered to be one of those who possess expert knowledge and technical skills necessary to develop, guide and manage security standards, policies and procedures in an organisation.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): Introduced to security professionals in 2003 by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), CISM is a management-focused certification that promotes international security practices and recognises the individual who manages, designs, and oversees and assesses an enterprise’s information security.
Add-On Points To Remember
Connection with leaders or other senior professionals from the industry is one of the best ways to make yourself exposed to the industry. The more you connect, the more you get to know about the industry.
Also, Make sure that you utilise your free time practising and polishing your skills. Bug bounty programs are one of the best ways to expand and polish your skills. These programs not only help you have a picture of the real-time scenario but also rewards if you successfully find a bug. Here is a list of Bug bounty programs you can have a look at.
The demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed in the past couple of years, and it is not just the demand, even the paycheck of a cybersecurity professional is significantly high compared to many other IT job roles.
If you want to start your career in the cyber security domain then it is definitely the right time to get started with the process and land that dream job of fighting cybercrime.