Cybersecurity is a domain that is maturing and expanding in leaps and bounds. Cyber security has gained a lot of attention, from portrayals in series and movies to job opportunities, crash courses and academic courses everywhere. One might wonder why this happened, but the answer is not all that difficult. As we all know, the technological industry has taken huge strides in the 21st century with inventions that brought the whole world to our fingertips. But while it has made our life undeniably easier, it also opened up a world of possibilities for criminals who could make use of the information the world put up online for the wrong reasons. And that is where cyber security comes in.

Cyber security can be loosely defined as the protection of data that exists online and that is a very vague definition of a huge term that encompasses techniques and tools that are very hard to master. The enticing part is that if a person is able to master the techniques and tools or even have a moderate understanding of how to make use of it, the cyber industry will welcome you with open arms. With the pandemic, there is an increased risk of data breaches, leaks, and cybercrime, which can prove detrimental to organizations, across sectors.

The need for skilled cyber security professionals is dire as with every passing day, new attacks are being coined that are more harmful than the previous. These rising threats require skilled cybersecurity professionals to help ensure safety for individuals as well as organizations. There are numerous prospects to begin and progress as a career in cybersecurity. After all, cyber security is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but a matter of ‘when’. Let us now take a look at some of the career options available for someone who is really passionate and interested in cyber security:

IT Security Consultant

This is a position that can be referred to as a steppingstone within the industry, security consultants are usually hired by small businesses that cannot yet afford to handle their security issues or even by large MNC’s to act as an unbiased perspective for their security issues. They meet up with clients and on being provided a layout of their security structure, advises them on how to protect their assets in the most cost-efficient way. To be hired as a security consultant, the applicant requires a bachelor’s degree in CS, cyber security or related fields and few professional certifications may be a plus point.

Security Systems Administrator

A security systems’ administrator usually takes care of the security infrastructure in companies; installation, maintenance, troubleshooting different security systems including data and network. They are also usually involved in drawing up organizational security procedures. To work as a security systems administrator, the applicant needs to hold an Associate degree in a CS field at the minimum.

IT Security Engineer

Security engineering gives a way of designing to deal with network protection, explicitly in regard to the plan of security frameworks to counter possibly cataclysmic issues. They are usually associated with maintaining the  systems, performing security checks to distinguish possible weaknesses along with creating logs to keep track of any mishaps. Employers usually require a bachelor’s degree in engineering or CS while they are looking to hire a security engineer. A few years of experience is preferred.

Ethical Hacker/Penetration Tester

Ethical Hacker/Penetration Tester looks out for loopholes and weaknesses in IT systems. Penetration testing is a method deployed by security professionals on systems to proactively find any vulnerabilities. The testers hack (with authorisation) into the system’s infrastructure to weed out any system vulnerabilities, issues with any of the application software’s, configuration issues, zero-day vulnerabilities and more. The aim behind penetration testing is to look at a system from an intruder’s perspective and discover all the issues before the attacker can cause any real damage. A bachelor’s degree in cyber security or closely related subjects along with other professional certifications are usually possessed by an aspiring penetration tester.

Compliance and Auditing

To step into this domain of cyber security, zero programming skills are required. Learn about underlying technology and business models. One must understand how businesses operate so they can protect them and ensure new regulations don’t hinder company innovation. Gain some real time exposure by working with company officials and managers by grabbing some internships. Study industry best practices, like those from the NIST, SANS or Centre for Internet Security, as well as regulated standards like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, ISO 27001, SOX, etc. to understand how to make your organization compliant without negatively impacting productivity.

Forensics Analyst/Investigator

Forensics analysts focus on cybercrime, an ever-growing phenomenon. They work with law enforcement personnel and agencies in both public and private sector organizations. Computer forensic analysts must keep a well detailed records of their investigations, and often provide evidence in court. This role needs you to be meticulous with how you handle evidence and even requires training the first responders on how to deal with electronic evidences such as computers, hard drives or portable drives.

Incident Analyst/Responder

Incident analysts/responders are an asset to an organization and are mostly professionals who have undergone Cyber Security incident response training. Their responsibility entails quickly resolving threat issues and taking necessary steps to prevent any further such attacks.

Chief Information Security Officer

One of the higher positions that is up for grabs within the cyber field, a CISO typically supervises an organization’s IT security division. They are directly accountable for organizing and directing all the security related issues and needs of the company. They interact with upper management to come up with detailed plans to ensure the cyber security of the company. CISO’s typically hold a bachelor’s in cyber security along with a few years of experience and large companies prefer that they hold a master’s degree in cyber security.

These are just a few titles among hundreds that are available within the InfoSec industry. If you have the passion, with the accurate training and practice, even you can become a skilled cyber security professional.


Courtesy: Cybersecurity and Forensics, UPES