- Cybersecurity: Introduction
- Importance of Cybersecurity
- Cyber threats faced by industries
- Demand for cybersecurity professionals
- Getting into a cybersecurity career
- Salary Trends/ Career Growth
A recent study surveyed the demand for cybersecurity professionals, revealing the realities of this job profile. There is a significant increase in cybersecurity requirements with the exponential growth of job postings over 94% in just seven years. As opposed to this surge, other IT jobs have just grown over 30% in general. So, that leaves a 300% increase in the demand encompassing all IT job profiles. Cybersecurity happens to account for about 13% for all IT jobs.
Importance of Cyber Security
The world we live in is networked like mesh including our finances, social profile, and even governmental infrastructure. So, cybersecurity by default has become a necessity. Cybersecurity encompasses everything, from protecting our personally identifiable information to intellectual property from deliberate attempts of damage and theft.
Risks are festering, especially as the world leans more towards cloud services and global connectivity. Breaches, or cyber-attacks, are also increasing that puts you and your organisations at the risk of being bruised in the following sectors:
- Economic Loss: Theft of any intellectual property, disruption in trading, corporate information can be cost-intensive.
- Reputational Loss: Loss of future engagement, consumer trust, and poor media output.
- Regulatory Cost: Regulatory fines can be levied against your organisation if it transgresses the data breach or GDPR laws.
There has been a significant amount of data breaches which rose to 145% costing $13 million for an organisation. So, cybersecurity should be thorough regardless of your business scale. Computer networks in a time where increased adoption of IoT and cloud services are on the rise, the disruptive nature of cybercrimes will exponentially increase. But with cybersecurity specialist assistance, they can help your organisation minimise the damage and prepare a preemptive framework for you to recover if a cyber attack were to happen.
Most popular Cyber Threats faced by industries
Phishing attacks carefully target people with messages to fool people into clicking on a link that will install malware exposing all their sensitive data. The antics of phishing exploits have become increasingly sophisticated with machine learning, helping attackers craft convincing fake machines in the hopes that their victims fall prey.
Ransomeware costs its victims billions of dollars annually. The hacker employs a technology that can hold an entire database hostage unless paid. Experts have inspected that the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has helped ransomware attacks get traction since Bitcoin allows anonymous transactions, making it difficult for authorities to track.
Cryptojacking is a cyber threat trend where the hackers hijack third-party home mining devices. Hackers can earn a significant amount of money by piggybacking the host system since crypto-mining requires huge amounts of resources. Cryptrojacking can be costly since it’s quite difficult to track and allocate an immediate solution.
Technology that has enabled us to be more agile also puts us at greater risk and critical failure. Hacks targeting transportation systems, water treatment hubs, and electrical grids represent a major trend in cyber threats.
With an expected reach of 75 million connected devices by 2025, IoT is growing to be more ubiquitous. Connected devices like tablets, webcams, household appliances, automobiles, home security systems, and even medical devices put you at greater risk. Once hacked, the hacker will have complete control over your IoT network and can wreak havoc – overload networks or lockdown essential devices for financial exploits.
Hackers are evolving with time and now they are opting for psychological exploits as well. Social engineers are hackers that will use human psychology to pry out sensitive information via phone calls or social media.
Growing demand for Cyber Security Professionals(demand vs supply numbers)
There is a cybercrime epidemic going on with annual escalation surging rapidly. Governments and companies have continually struggled to hire qualified professionals to assist them in building a better security work-frame. However, there is a dearth in candidates with over a million unfulfilled positions globally which can potentially rise to 3.5 million by 2021.
There is a severe shortage of cybersecurity professionals, ringing alarm bells since a digital workforce is instrumental in combating these growing trends of cyberattacks. The demand being stationary, cybersecurity jobs are typically taking 20% longer to fill than other IT roles.
One of the primary reasons for the lack of candidates can be pointed towards funding and investments forwarded by IT companies. Training schools are also lacking a cybersecurity curriculum that can train students professionally on emerging technologies.
Cost is also another barrier for students to opt for this coursework. Organisations are not keen on investing in cybersecurity or hire freshers unless they have prior experience. So, there is an infrastructural failure to forward a legible talent pool for the companies to hire.
Getting into Cyber Security Career
As the world is increasingly getting more dependent on internet and mobile computing to accomplish daily tasks, there has been a sudden surge in the number of potentially catastrophic cyber threats. It might sound intriguing, but according to a report published by CISCO, the demand for qualified candidates is increasing. However, more than 85% of the global IT professionals still believe that there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals.
Perhaps it is one of those rare fields that is outgrowing and hiring amid COVID-19.
Due to such high demand and perks that are being offered to professionals, no wonder there has never been a better time than today to start a career in Cyber Security.
Most of the working professionals in the field have supplemented their skills through certificate programs. So, if you are already in the IT field, aiming towards cybersecurity, security certificate programs are the most common choices.
Although this acute shortage has consequently spiked the salary for cybersecurity professionals, companies are having difficulty in finding the right talent since a security officer demands 2 to 10 times what a normal engineer gets, making them unaffordable.
For professionals with an existing technical background, they can be employed as a security engineer, virus technician, cryptographer, and penetration tester.
For folks coming from a non-technical background and plans to migrate to cybersecurity, they can be employed as technical writers, cyber policy analysts.
Prerequisites for a Cyber Security Professional
Although there are no prescribed degree requirements for getting cyber security jobs, most companies will expect their cybersecurity candidate to have a bachelor’s’ degree in computer science or any technical field.
Having technical skills will be beneficial if you are trying to figure out how to get into cybersecurity, especially if you want to land cyber security jobs in technical positions like Security Engineer, Cryptographer, and Penetration tester. While on the job, you might have to decode certain computer-related aspects at a faster pace.
But for a cybersecurity course work to commence, you’d be required to have a thorough understanding of the following concepts:
- Mathematical concepts like linear algebra, arithmetic, calculus, matrices, and multivariable optimisation.
- Python programming happens to be a core element for working as an IT professional.
- Acquaintance with database and querying platforms like SQL.
- Valid CCNA Security Certification or CCIE certification. A 600-199 SCYBER exam needs to be cleared for you to be a certified professional.
Additional hard skills that you need to learn are as follow:
- Anti-virus, and anti-malware, DLP
- Computer networking, routing, TCP/IP, and switching
- Ethical hacking, threat modelling, and secure coding practices
- Intrusion detection/prevention and firewall protocol
- ITIL, COBIT, and ISO 27001/27002frameworks.
- Java, PHP, C++, C#, or C programming languages
- NIST, GLBA, PCI, HIPAA, and SOX compliance assessments
- Penetration and vulnerability and IDS/IPS testing
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
- Windows, UNIX and Linux operating systems
Cyber Security Professional Career Growth (designation vs avg salary)
Starting small would require you to hold an entry-level position which can be converted into a more technical field with cybersecurity certificates like security+ or ethical hacking. Once you start, your navigation will be easier in the cybersecurity field. You can get cyber security jobs like network administrator, SOC analyst, vulnerability analyst etc.
Here some of the popular cyber security jobs and their average annual salary:
- IT Security & Infrastructure
- 70,65,647 INR
- Security Risk Management
- 74,07,421 INR
- Security Testing and Auditing
- 74,38,910 INR
- Security Policies and Procedures
- 72,77,311 INR
- Network Security Management
- 72,54,053 INR
- Ethical Hacker
- 59,65,566 INR
- Security Consultant
- 80,18,778 INR
- Security Architect
- 89,62,017 INR
- Chief Information Officer (CISO)
- 1,17,80,106 INR
Highly skilled cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and if you are planning to forward your career in this direction, now will be a fascinating time for you. You can work towards getting your cyber security job by upskilling Great Learning Academy’s free ‘Introduction to Cybersecurity’ course.1