There has been a steady rise in the number of cybercrimes in the last few years. The easy accessibility of the internet, advanced technology, high employment rate due to COVID-19, and several other factors are fueling the growth of cyber-attacks. So, it has become of utmost importance for individuals to be cybersecurity aware and for businesses to hire the best cybersecurity professionals who can help them protect their organization’s digital assets, infrastructure, and confidential data.
The demand for such skilled professionals is on the rise, and it will continue to grow in the coming years. In this article let us check out what makes you eligible to become a cybersecurity professional and leap the several benefits this industry has to offer.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting the organization from various kinds of cyber threats and malicious activities that can cause harm to digital systems and infrastructure and can lead to monetary losses.
It involves building strong protective measures to mitigate cyber-attacks, responding promptly in case incidents happen, and analyzing the situation after it is under control. A variety of cybersecurity skills are used to perform all such tasks. Right from building a cybersecurity strategy to implementing it and monitoring it to ensure the cybersecurity efforts within the organization are in place.
What do cybersecurity professionals do?
To understand in brief, cybersecurity professionals perform the following tasks:
- Identify, assess, and mitigate cybersecurity risks
- Protect systems, networks, and data from cyberattacks
- Respond to and investigate cybersecurity incidents
- Implement and maintain security controls
- Perform penetration testing
- Do digital forensics
- Stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities
- Educate and train employees on cybersecurity best practices
What does it take to become a cybersecurity expert?
Though cybersecurity is a vast domain and there are several ways to get into this career path, aspiring cybersecurity professionals must possess minimum cybersecurity skills and qualifications that are essential to perform the above-mentioned day-to-day activities of cybersecurity specialists.
As a cybersecurity professional, you must have the following skills:
- Technical skills: You must have a strong understanding of computer systems, networks, and operating systems, and should be familiar with programming languages such as Python, R, SQL, C, etc. You must also be aware of security protocols and encryption techniques.
- Problem-solving skills: As a cybersecurity expert, you must be able to think critically and creatively as it is essential to solve complex problems. You must be able to work independently or as an effective team member.
- Strong communication skills: You need to be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical audiences as you may be required to explain complex security concepts to non-technical employees clearly and concisely.
- Attention to detail: You must have a keen eye for detail as you may be required to identify and spot errors quickly that could otherwise benefit attackers.
How can you become a cybersecurity professional?
Once you meet the relevant skills and expertise, you become easily employable in the cybersecurity field. To become an efficient cybersecurity professional, you can follow this simple roadmap:
- Earn a degree in a suitable field, to get a job in cybersecurity. You can complete either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, or related fields.
- Get certified by the best cybersecurity certification programs. There are several institutes providing certification to reinforce your cybersecurity skills and knowledge.
- Gain Experience from different sources. Do an internship, work part-time, work on your own cybersecurity project, participate in competition, etc. Once you have a strong portfolio of practical experience in the field, you can demonstrate your expertise to employers.
A glance at the cybersecurity job outlook
Now, if you are wondering if it worth is going on this career path, then let us explore the job outlook of the cybersecurity industry for a clear idea. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of information security analysts is projected to grow by 33% by 2030. And according to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be around 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2025.
Also, Glassdoor mentioned the average annual salary of a Cybersecurity analyst in the US is around $74,000 to $100,000. These numbers show that cybersecurity jobs are highly lucrative and with several opportunities in the future.
Best Cybersecurity certification programs to advance in your cybersecurity career
So, if you are determined to get into a cybersecurity career, you must take advantage of some of the top cybersecurity certification programs to hone your skills and validate your expertise in the field of cybersecurity. Here are some cybersecurity certification programs to consider:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (EC-Council)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Cybersecurity Consultant (CCC™): USCSI®
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- CompTIA Security+
Cybersecurity is a huge field encompassing several tasks, skills, and job roles. By gaining the right skills, you can become eligible to prove your mettle in this industry. Get certified, validate your expertise, and gain practical experience, and you will be on your way to achieving the highest success in cybersecurity.