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We live in a data-driven world. Every company, big or small, generates and exchanges tons of data every minute via the internet. Undeniably, this virtual sharing of information has made workflows faster and more efficient, but what about security? People sharing data through an open network exposes them to cyber threats.
Hackers steal confidential data and demand ransomware, costing companies a loss of millions of dollars. Besides the financial loss, it leads to reputational damage.
As cybercriminals continue to threaten the security of the digital world, the demand for cybersecurity experts has spiked. They protect networks and computers from unauthorized digital access, providing a secure forum for companies. While the need for experts remains high, the available jobs have outnumbered qualified candidates.
So, how about you pursue your career in this field? After all, the industry is full of valuable opportunities that can kick start your career.
Here we have highlighted seven career options in cybersecurity.
One of the common reasons cyberattacks occur is due to the system’s vulnerability. It has open gateways, giving access to everyone and anyone on the servers. Therefore, the primary goal is to design robust security structures to prevent malware and unauthorized access. Here, the role of a cybersecurity analyst comes in handy. They perform end-to-end vulnerability tests to identify glitches in the system.
This job requires expert knowledge of security protocols and cryptography, and you can work for both the private and government sector. Most private organizations need to hire cybersecurity analysts to protect their data.
Similarly, government organizations like Homeland Security also hire these analysts. So if you have a sense of patriotism and an interest in technology, there are colleges for homeland security that can help you get the required degree and start on this career path.
Do you have solid analytical skills with a curious mind? If so, the role of forensic analyst could be the best choice. These analysts are more like investigators who find digital evidence and solve crimes virtually. They recover data lost due to a cyberattack or data breach and try to determine how cybercriminals steal that data. They also study patterns to determine how hackers gained access and traversed the network.
Besides this, these analysts collaborate with the incident response and risk management team to perform a thorough analysis. Once they identify vulnerabilities, they reach out to engineers so they can make new developments in the system. Lastly, they examine all data sources, including firewall, web, and database, to determine malicious activity and find compromised data.
Incident Response Specialist
An incident response specialist is the first person who responds to a cyberattack. They investigate and respond to cyber incidents. For example, if there has been a data breach, they will install additional firewalls to secure the remaining data. They identify threats and try to eradicate them as soon as possible.
Do you know the best part? This role doesn’t require advanced cybersecurity qualifications. However, you should know about computer intrusion and incident response procedures. Also, you must beware of security architecture and networking systems. Finally, although this is an entry-level role, the median salary is $92,000, higher than the industry.
Ethical hackers or penetration testers both have the same job role. They simulate and execute attacks on networks and systems but with the intent to identify vulnerabilities. Once they specify where the system lags, they address those vulnerabilities. In short, penetration testers must think from the hacker’s viewpoint and find ways to break into the system.
As penetration testing is a programming-oriented role, they must know different programming languages. In addition, you have to learn the code review for common vulnerabilities like OWSAP. Also, get familiar with network-related protocols and compliance standards to avoid breaches.
As a malware analyst, your role will be to identify and examine cyber threats. That includes identifying the virus, worms, bots, and trojans to understand their nature. You will study different viruses to comprehend where they enter the system and how they damage it. Once malware analysts have a keen understanding of the virus, they develop malware protection tools. Similarly, they document all the methods that can help avoid malware threats.
Moreover, malware analysts can deploy security protocols and malware identifiers in the system. Every time a phishing attack or a virus tries to break into the system, the network will send an alert to every user. In turn, they can take necessary protocols and eliminate the threat of these attacks, keeping the system secure.
Have you heard of crypto mining, ransomware, trojans, or botnet? These are a few of the many cyberattacks happening today. The variety and complexity of these attacks are rising, so cybersecurity engineers are needed. They work on planning security measures to prevent cyberattacks in organizations. They also add multiple protection layers to the system to secure the company’s data and networks. More importantly, they can design cybersecurity platforms according to the organization’s data and network needs.
To become a cybersecurity engineer, you need a degree in computer science. Likewise, it would help if you built a solid understanding of the architecture and management of operating systems. To excel as a cyber engineer, you must be well-versed in C, C++, Python, Java, and programming languages.
Chief Information Officer
Truthfully, the cybersecurity field has expanded, unfolding growth opportunities. Once you excel in your career, you can qualify for leadership positions such as Chief Information Officer (CIO). These officers are responsible for the company’s information technology and computer systems. They have to assess current processes to find vulnerabilities. They also recommend software upgrades to protect the systems from potential cyber threats.
CIOs also direct the team on the best processes and focus on implementing new IT systems. After all, the older the system, the more easily cybercriminals can gain access. Besides in-depth knowledge of data administration, you need a degree in computer science or a relevant field. Although the role is demanding, it is rightfully compensated. On average, a CIO earns $225,000 annually.
Cybersecurity could be your calling for everyone who wishes to have a stable yet rewarding career. It is an ever-growing industry with ample opportunities for aspiring security experts. You have to find your career niche within your interests to kickstart your career in this field. As demand increases, it will allow one to climb the professional ladder. In short, opening doors to a successful career.