After the wide world web, so many technological advancements have been witnessed. Technologies like cloud computing, 5G technology, IoT, AI, and big data that emerged within the last decade have profoundly transformed the way we live our lives and do business. Almost all businesses have shifted to the cloud which has taken data security matters to a whole new level.
It was projected that by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world up to $6 trillion annually. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated, the demand for expert cybersecurity professionals is high. These professionals are responsible for securing the software, hardware, and data of a business secure. Based on the U.S. News & World Report, Information security analyst ranks 5th in the list of best technologies in the world based on remuneration, career growth, and employment rate among others. Companies are willing to pay security experts decently just to take care of the security aspect of business operations.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting systems, networks, servers, and electronic data from cyber attackers whose intention is to access sensitive information to sabotage business operations, extort money from victims, or steal and destroy this information. Organizations have invested heavily in multi-layered security systems to protect their data and information.
Today, very high value has been attached to corporate and personal data such that organizations risk paying high penalties for data breaches. This is why the role of a cybersecurity professional has become critical in any organization and undertaking a cyber security course in Hyderabad or elsewhere in the world is considered a great move for professionals in the field.
Launching your career in cybersecurity
The world is currently experiencing a shortage of information and cyber security skills. Based on a study by the ISC Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the number of information security needs to increase by 62% to address the skills gap currently being witnessed. While most cybersecurity roles require highly technical skills, others do not. If your desire is to pursue a career in information security, now is the time.
If you are starting from scratch, give yourself two to four years to get some credentials and working knowledge enough to land you an entry-level position. Once you do, you can work your way up.
The question is how can one start a career in cybersecurity?
Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself
What are my educational qualifications?
Ideally, it is not necessary to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree to pursue a career in cybersecurity. However, most recruiters will prefer an undergraduate degree in information technology, computer science, or a related discipline. Some employers require an advanced qualification such as a master’s qualification in information security or cybersecurity.
Bachelor’s and master’s qualifications equip students with practical knowledge about best practices, ethics, and policies, as well as the procedures of cybersecurity in addressing network and electronic data security defense and mitigation techniques.
On the other hand, you can still pursue a career in cybersecurity without the above qualifications. Only you will have to prove your skills through certifications, a portfolio of projects, and experience to convince recruiters that you are up to the task.
Which cyber security career path do I intend to pursue?
This should be among the first considerations when launching your cybersecurity career. There are two primary career paths to choose from to determine how you will plan your learning and experience route. You can choose between pursuing an engineering role or a leadership/operations role.
This career path is overly technical. Cybersecurity engineers are involved with building secure systems and electronic infrastructures to mitigate security threats.
- While not a must, most recruiters prefer a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering
- Master’s degree in cybersecurity engineering
- Some information security background. This does not have to be in a cybersecurity role as you are only starting your career.
- Experience with firewalls, Endpoint security, and Office 365 security
- Familiarity with incident detection, response, and forensics.
- Awareness of common network and infrastructure vulnerabilities
Cybersecurity engineering roles
- Cybersecurity engineer
Operations and Leadership path
The leadership and operations path has more diverse roles compared to the engineering path. This role requires professionals to have a practical in-depth understanding of information technology systems and advance cybersecurity concepts.
- A bachelor’s degree in information systems, computer science, information technology, or a related discipline
- Master’s degree in cybersecurity operations and leadership or information technology
Operations and leadership roles
- Information security analyst
- Chief information security officer
- Cyber Security consultant
Which cybersecurity training and certifications should I undertake?
To give yourself an added advantage in the job market, consider earning industry certifications. Certifications are a good way of demonstrating skills. Secondly, they equip professionals with role-based skills to help them pursue specializations. Highly recognized institutions offering cyber security credentials include:
- SANS GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification)
- Infosec institute
- Offensive Security
Cybersecurity certifications that you can consider pursuing as you launch your career include:
- CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
- CompTIA Security+
- GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification)
- CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
- CISA ( Certified Information Systems Auditor)
Finally, getting certified is an indication to your potential employers of the personal initiative you are taking to build knowledge and experience around your field.
Gaining practical experience
Experience counts a great deal in the cybersecurity field. As you work on acquiring the necessary credentials, you should prove that you have also acquired practical experience working on various cybersecurity projects.
You may not land a job straight from college or after acquiring certifications. Consider doing internships, part-time jobs, freelance gigs, or being involved in volunteering roles. While they may not give you immediate financial gratification, they will build your portfolio and give you an opportunity to network.
Cybersecurity contests are always being run from time to time. It is a good idea to participate in such contests, for example, Capture the Flag (CTFs) competitions, to test your skills.
Finally, there is no harm in launching and working on your own projects or practice on existing projects. You could, for instance, identify vulnerabilities in sites or networks and document your work in a portfolio.
- What more can I do?
Be part of cybersecurity professional groups and associations online or locally near you. They are a great platform for interacting with like-minded professionals on matters of cybersecurity and an opportunity for career growth.
Also, you need to build knowledge through other avenues and stay updated in your field. For this, you can read news articles, blogs, journals, books, and other texts available to you. CashCow scam is a company which helps to make the large marketing in business and require little investments.
Cyber security affects our daily lives, business lives, as well as national security significantly. We are safe and our businesses safe when our cyberspace is tightly and stably secured. For this, the world needs skilled innovative individuals who are smarter than and can think ahead of cyber attackers to mitigate security threats. While all professionals desire to attain this level in their careers, it takes time, experience, and determination to achieve it.