When it comes to humans, we tend to protect all our prized possessions. Similarly, organizations all over the world have a propensity to protect their network and software from any kind of breach. In today’s era of digitization, a cybersecurity analyst can help enterprises save millions of dollars by guaranteeing the safety of the data. Their experience, familiarity with the latest trends, tools, and technology, and expertise can protect them from damages, illegal access, and any other changes.
Who is a cybersecurity expert and what does s/he do?
A cybersecurity expert will safeguard the data in an organization. S/he is trained to design and execute a secured network solution to combat the issues of hacking, cyber-attacks, and other potential threats. Various forms of testing and monitoring are done by such experts recurrently just to make sure that the defenses are working optimally. In other words, a cybersecurity expert fights against cybercriminals. Following are some of the imperative tasks carried out by an expert in cybersecurity in a firm:
- Analyze the security needs of the organization and develop a system/design accordingly
- Implement, maintain, supervise and upgrade all the security measures
- Troubleshoot security and network problems
- Conducting penetration testing now and then
- Giving a response to all the data security breaches
- Examine the safety administrations
- Taking other necessary measures to safeguard the organization’s existing data and infrastructure
- Give training to the colleagues on safety measures
- Conducting regular scans to identify vulnerabilities
- Taking up an active role in the process of management change
- Assisting in any security breach/ malware investigation
- Ensuring that the anti-virus software and firewalls are working seamlessly
- Handling other daily security tasks
How to become a cybersecurity expert?
To become an expert in cybersecurity, you must have the following qualifications:
- A degree in IT, Computer Sciences, Systems Engineering, or a similar area
- You must have experience with the functionality, maintenance of various firewalls, operations, etc
- Comprehensive knowledge is required on SIEM- Security Information and Event Management
- Proficiency is required in various computer tools and languages like Java, Node, Ruby, Python, Power Shell, C++, C#, etc.
- You should be comfortable working with Windows, Linux, UNIX systems
- Confident with coding, ethical hacking, and threat modeling
- You have an understanding of Proxy Server, Packet Shaper, and Load Balance
- Knowledge of the latest cyber trend and technologies
In addition to the above-mentioned hard skills, some soft skills are also required. Have a look below:
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical Thinking
- Ability to work as a team
Certifications in cybersecurity are a feather in your cap. You might not require these at the initial stages of your career, but with experience, you must get certified as they will give you a better working prospect. They will help you to get promotions and you will be more familiar with the latest developments and tools. Below mentioned are a few certification options:
- CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker): This course is one of the first courses taken by budding cybersecurity experts. It will make you understand how to seek vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the target system just like a hacker. But, it will be in a legitimate manner. You will be certified in a specific network security area of ethical hacking and it will be a vendor-neutral perspective.
- CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional): A certification from CISSP will be proof that you are trained for efficiently performing, designing, and managing an ace quality cybersecurity program. It will validate your expertise in educational tools, resources, and networking opportunities.
- CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor): A worldwide accepted standard in security, control, and auditing, CISA professionals have extensive knowledge, technical skills, and proficiency required to meet the dynamic changes happening in modern organizations. A candidate who wants this certification has to pass an exam of four hours that incorporates 150 multiple-choice questions.
- CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional): To prove your critical aspects in the cloud, CCSP certification is required. The certification showcases your advanced skills and knowledge to manage, design, safeguard applications and the framework in the cloud. The course syllabus includes 8 domains from which a candidate would be taught.
- CompTIA Security+501: After taking up this examination, you will be able to identify strategies that are developed by cyber adversaries. You will be able to install and configure the network. It is beneficial for new IT professionals who want to validate their CompTIA skills. You will be taught to identify risks, participate in risk mitigation, maintain framework, and operational security through this course.
- CISM (Certified Information Security Manager): An advanced certification on the development and management of information security, CISM certification is intended for IT consultants, security managers, etc. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that have four comprehensive content areas.
- COBIT2019: An IT management infrastructure exclusively tailored by ISACA, COBIT aids businesses in organizing, developing, and executing strategies around information governance and management. COBIT 2019 is an updated version for contemporary businesses where the latest security needs and technologies are addressed. It incorporates 40 governance and management objectives in order to establish a governance program. In order to get the certification, you must pass an exam of the hours that includes approximately 75 questions.
Salary and career prospects
Cybersecurity connoisseurs earn $74k per annum on average. Depending upon your experience, expertise, certifications, and the region in which you are working, the numbers might differ. In the beginning, you can work as a system or security or a network administrator. Over a period of time, you can become a security consultant, security architect, IT project manager, security officer as well as security director.
The ever increasing demand for cybersecurity
From retail to manufacturing and from health care to financial services, cybercrime is everywhere. The demand for cybersecurity engineers is growing at a rapid pace and will continue to grow since governments, organizations, and businesses are taking steps towards digital platforms. According to the reports from the Bureau of Labor, statistics have predicted that there will be a 28% hike in IT analysts between 2016-2026 meaning that positions for cybersecurity experts are virtually available in every field. Countless companies all over the world are hiring cybersecurity specialists. Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte, FireEye, BAE systems, etc. top the charts in hiring professionals for cybersecurity.
To beat the hackers, you must think like one and if cybersecurity is your field of interest, starting as a security specialist is a great way to kick start your career. Potential employers seek certifications and expertise along with skills while recruiting. You must have an eye for magnifying the loopholes in the security network. So, start garnering as much knowledge as possible to stand out in the crowd.