Getting Into Cybersecurity Career And Making Choices For Growth
“How you can get into a cyber-security career? Which certificates required? What’s my recommendation?”
As the world continues to advance, there are multiple career streams that emerge. One such very popular profession is related to Cybersecurity. There are multiple roles that you can take up as a cybersecurity professional like CISO, Cybersecurity consultant, Security Analysts, Pen testers or even Security software developers and the list goes on.
The path you opt upon entering into a career related to cybersecurity depends on which background domain are you coming from. People enter cybersecurity career coming from Math, Science and Computer sciences or IT fields. Professionals who already have an IT background are more likely to choose cybersecurity as their career since it has a great scope currently and in near future.
As a cybersecurity expert, there are various areas where you can work like finance departments, financial institutes, government sector, retail department etc. if you wish to get your foot in the door, you need to start with learning.
Basic requirements for cybersecurity jobs
There is no set way to start a working as a cybersecurity professional. If you are a student, you can get a college degree in cybersecurity. If you aren’t, you need to focus on your interests. There are some major skills required. These skills are defined below:
Risk management and assessment involves analysis of threats and evaluating risks that lure into organization’s infrastructure. It also highlights if the measures of protestation that the organization has opted for are appropriate according to latest standards. Employees systems are also assessed and a score is calculated based on the level of vulnerabilities that are spotted.
In this process, user’s identity is made sure. Thus, it allows them access to digital resources that the user requests for. In a cybersecurity care, person identification is a very important skill. Cybersecurity professionals create new authentication mechanisms and audit existing systems for any vulnerabilities.
A cybersecurity official must have some hands on experience with Linux. IT is best to have a Linux related certification like Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or Linux Foundation Certified Engineer. There is a lot of flexibility with Linux and thus, it is the favorite of cybersecurity professionals.
Knowledge of information systems
Information systems are designed for collection, processing, storage and distribution of information. As a cybersecurity professional, it is important to understand what are the areas from which information can be stolen from within as information system. This way, proactive measures must be implemented for better information security
Most of the cybersecurity professionals fancy a role in the Forensics department. It is a job where you have to perform investigations based on the evidence and finding out real evidence. To detect malicious activities or digital crimes.
Team work is essential to flourish in cybersecurity domain. When working as a team, you and other teammates would have jobs divided amongst yourselves. The ultimate goal of a team can only be accomplished if there is proper team work.
As the internet usage is growing and practically every device these days can be connected to the internet, there has been seen a sudden rise in the number of cyber-attacks throughout the world. In order to be proficient cybersecurity professionals who actually are witty and smart like the hacktivists out there, you must go for a certification. Here is a list of certification that you can go for:
1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
IT is ranked as the top most certification in the cybersecurity and information security domain. Once you have earned this certification, you are now considered capable enough to implement, monitor and design a cybersecurity method. To start this certification, you must have a work experience of 5 or more years. There are 8 domains in cybersecurity and you must have experience in two if the following:
Security and Risk Management, Communication and Network Security, Asset Security, Security Operations, and Software Development Security, Security Architecture and Engineering, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing
2. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
The IT professional association ISACA offers CISA. With this certification the students/professionals are taught to assess vulnerabilities, designing and implementation of controls, reporting and compliance. It is also considered as one of the best certification for cybersecurity professionals. After this certification, you can work as an IT audit manager, IT project manager, Compliance program manager, IT security engineer, Cybersecurity auditor
Information security analyst. The requirements for this certification are: The candidate must have at least 5 years of experience in IT field. If the candidate holds a college degree (2 or 4 years), it can be substituted for 2 years of experience.
3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
This is also offered by ISACA. This certification focuses on the managerial side of information security and cybersecurity career. This certification makes you eligible for jobs like Data governance manager, Director of information security in addition to the other cybersecurity professional jobs that you can do. For this certification, if you hold a graduate degree in the same field then you are eligible with around 3 years of IT security experience.
Offered by CompTIA, this is an entry level certification. It teaches you core skills needed for a wide variety of roles. Cloud security, vulnerability assessment, overall security posture of IoT devices, mobile communication security and few of this kind of skills. The certification also deals with making students understand the core regulations when it comes to security. Immediate response reactions are also presented to the candidates of this certification. You can become a cloud security engineer, security administrator, Software security developer and such jobs.
5. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Out of all the certification, this is the most amusing one. This certificate makes you a certified white hat hacker. Ethical hacking is a type of hacking which is done for the better of the target system. It is done to discovers potential threats that those systems are exposed to. This is done by learning hiking techniques and exploiting existing vulnerabilities. With this certification, you can become a pen tester, Cyber incident analyst, Cybersecurity engineer, Threat intelligence analyst
6. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
This certification is also designed for entry level professionals who wish to make a career in cybersecurity. It enlightens the participants with the background o cybersecurity and why do we need professionals in it. Once you get the certificate, you’ll have the following skills: active defense, network security, cloud security, cryptography and incident response.
For this certification, there is no set of specific requirements. However, the knowledge of computers is a must.
7. Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
This is a medium level certification for people who wish to excel in cybersecurity profession. You’ll gain skills like designing and implementing secured IT infrastructure. the exam assesses the candidates with access controls, risk identification, security administration, communications, systems, application security, incident response, cryptography, and network security,
Recommendations on getting into cybersecurity
For professionals who wish to enter into this field, the best option is to gain a certification. However, it is recommended to follow plan and then enter into a career so you are equipped with the skills and midst that is needed to excel in the profession. Here is a recommended journey:
1. Get a bachelor’s degree: For any profession, a bachelor’s degree is a must. If you have decided to go for cybersecurity, then it is recommended to go for a CS or IT related bachelor’s degree. IT is evident from the nature of it, if you have a bachelor’s degree in media and arts, you might have a hard time getting into cybersecurity. Thus, a relevant bachelor’s degree will prove to be a better choice in the long run
2. Get advanced training
No degree is complete without necessary training to make a complete professional. Cybersecurity training is necessary before starting a proper career.
3. Pass a security clearance
In case you are eager to join military forces or a government agency, it is best that you are cleared from security perspective. Every type of security has its own paper work. A background investigation is also necessary alongside security clearance.
4. Start with Pen Testing
Once you have the training, it is best to start the career with Pen testing. This way, you can understand how hackers work and you’ll be in a positon to better understand the security posture of a system. Later you can take higher roles like Director security, Security auditor etc.
5. Get a certification
Out of the many certifications listed above, you can get a professional level certification. After this, you can Gradually take up new roles as experts in the field like CISO etc.
Entering into any professional field requires a lot of patience and planning. In this blog, we have highlighted how to become a cybersecurity professional alongside some certifications details. We have also provided some recommendations for readers.