Is It The Right Time To Build A Career In Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity experts have become the most sought after professional in the post COVID world as industries across the world grapple with surging data breaches, hacking and cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals are exploring new and advanced ways to infiltrate information systems, disrupt service, and steal sensitive information. With remote work becoming new normal, the hackers are having a field day. To that end, cybersecurity experts play a critical role in keeping companies’ data safe.

The cybersecurity market was valued at $156.24 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $352.25 billion by 2026. Gartner reported an upward spend of $1.7 billion globally on cybersecurity last year, a 10.7% spike year on year. 

High In Demand

Currently, there are over 5,000 open jobs in the cybersecurity domain. According to a report, the cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 62% to meet the rising demand. 

The demand for security professionals is skyrocketing and shows no signs of stopping. From security architect to security consultant to Chief Information Security Officer, the potential for professionals to grow in this space are immense. Many companies are looking to make cybersecurity training and hiring a priority. 

Cybersecurity covers the whole spectrum of technical and non-technical skills. For instance, apart from engineers, professionals from various backgrounds such as program managers, software developers, data scientists, system analysts, and similar roles can pursue a career in cybersecurity. 

Sought-After Skills

Cybersecurity job titles can vary from company to company. The standard designations companies offer for cybersecurity professionals include network security engineers, cybersecurity analysts, ethical hackers, cloud security engineers, security architects, malware analysts, cryptographers, security auditors, and cybersecurity engineers. 

The list of responsibilities of cybersecurity professionals:

  • Managing network security to hardware, software and cloud-based platforms
  • Preventing unauthorised use of applications
  • Designing, building and implementing network and computer security for a company
  • Identifying security vulnerabilities
  • Detecting malware
  • Overseeing legal compliance
  • Implementing network solutions to defend against cyberattacks
  • Conduct penetration testing for web and mobile-based applications
  • Plan and create penetration testing methods, test cases, and scripts
  • Think like a cybercriminal to understand systems’ vulnerabilities and predict and prevent cyberattacks

Required skills: 

  • Strong programming experience 
  • Understanding of logging and monitoring procedures
  • Network defence tactics
  • Security and networking foundation
  • Web application security techniques
  • Cryptography and access management practices
  • Good knowledge of system vulnerability assessment 
  • Excellent knowledge of web application security and secure coding
  • Proficiency in Application Security concepts, among others.

Starting A Career

While cybersecurity as a career option is trending, there is a dearth of professionals with desired skills. Given the opportunities in the field, it is the right time to start a career in cybersecurity. While many cybersecurity professionals are self-taught, a lot of aspirants do certifications, courses and degrees to launch and advance careers. The first and foremost requirement to become a cybersecurity professional is to have a strong understanding of programming fundamentals. More than the educational background, most companies look for demonstrable competencies in the field. 

Some of the most popular certifications and courses on cybersecurity are listed below:

You could also refer to the ranking of top cybersecurity courses in India here

Apart from gaining professional knowledge and certifications, volunteering time and expertise is an excellent option to achieve the required experience. Networking with industry experts, attending workshops and webinars on the topic can also help with upgrading your skill set. 

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Srishti Deoras
Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.

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