The year is 2021 and all of our personal data and online behavior is out there on the World Wide Web and in the databases of many companies. Organizations are responsible for a massive amount of consumer, client, and customer information or data.
They cannot afford this data to be compromised. With each passing year, we are becoming more dependent on online services and companies are relying on the cloud and technology to store important business or client data.
With an ever-increasing number of cybersecurity risks, cybersecurity careers are becoming quite desirable with companies putting huge importance on securing their data and cyberspace. Cybersecurity acts as protection against these digital attacks and hackers, keeping customer information safe and ensuring company data is not accessed by unauthorized entities.
International Data Corporation has made a prediction that cybersecurity spending will reach an enormous $133.7 billion globally by 2022, which is great news for all the budding cybersecurity enthusiasts out there.
This article will introduce you to the world of cybersecurity and talk about cybersecurity careers in detail along with their scope in the near future.
What is Cybersecurity?
By and large, cybersecurity is the practice of reinforcing the security of exposed systems and sensitive data from cyberattacks. Data breaches cause a huge cost to be incurred by companies to compensate, discover and respond to the breach. The loss during downtime and during recovery is extensive and there is also reputational harm done which lingers for years.
Here are some benefits which cybersecurity provides to organisations:
- Discovery of potential security threats and removal of bugs or glitches and security compromising factors
- Company or business data and information protection from damage, loss and theft
- Backing up of valuable data, recovery of data and disaster management in case of data loss or disrupted services
- Customer and client information confidentiality
- Securing cloud, servers, and computers and protecting services from disruption
How to Start Your Career in Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a specialized field that requires individuals to be good at computing and technology. There are three main sectors from where cybersecurity experts originally belong from. And, they are:
- System administration
- Application development
Assuming that one does not come from these three fields or is a beginner, the best way to get exposure in cybersecurity is by completing relevant degree programmes in computer applications or computer science and pursuing certification courses in information technology, programming and cybersecurity.
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Cybersecurity careers demand expert programming skills as well as expansive knowledge of computing and networking. One must also have keen eyes which can help organisations discover security flaws.
There are four fundamental paths which lead to cybersecurity careers:
- University or college placements in companies as junior cybersecurity associates
- Internal movement from system administration or any other IT process
- Placements after cybersecurity certification courses
- Placement drives and job openings in the cybersecurity department of companies
A great way to start is by joining a BCA or BTech (computer science or IT) degree programme which provides the foundation required to pursue further studies in this field and gain advanced knowledge in programming and computing.
Working with data and information security requires individuals to know various systems and networks in depth so it is easier to inspect flaws and discover better ways to secure each area. Importance must be given to learning about security infrastructure, debugging and programming as these are the fundamental requirements of cybersecurity.
What are Some Cyber Security Jobs?
Companies from all sectors and various industries need cybersecurity to experience threats that compromise confidential business and customer information. There are many promising cybersecurity careers due to the immense need for skilled personnel to secure various components and steps of IT processes and even during the storage of data for non-IT companies. Here are some cybersecurity jobs which one can pursue or aim for:
1. Network Security Engineers: They play an important role within organisations as they ensure that security implementations are able to protect systems and networks from external threats. Their tasks range from the maintenance of systems to the identification of vulnerabilities. Their main job involves overseeing firewalls, routers and virtual private networks.
2. Cybersecurity Analysts: They help in strategising, implementing and upgrading security measures. Analysts are tasked with monitoring security access and performing internal and external cybersecurity audits to remove security flaws and loopholes. Analysts are also responsible for testing vulnerabilities, analyzing risks and managing the security protocols to be followed to avoid data breaches.
3. Security Architects: They play an important role in the design of the network and computer security architecture in companies. They help in planning, designing and researching elements of security.
4. Information Security Officer: They work with the staff for the identification, development, implementation, and maintenance of processes across organisations to remove the possibility of security breaches. They are responsible for responding to incidents and setting up appropriate standards to control security risks with the least amount of loss and disruptions to a business. These officers are also responsible for ensuring the implementation of security protocols, procedures and policies within an organisation.
Here are a few examples of specialised fields within cybersecurity:
- Network Security: A lot of breaches are network breaches that involve hackers jacking the wired or wireless networks and then gaining access to data. Network security consists of securing networks (wired, LAN and Wi-Fi) that are used on company premises and even externally when company data is involved.
- Information Security: This consists of protecting customer and company data from hackers and prying eyes.
- Application Security: This is ensuring that applications operating on the premises and portals are reinforced with security measures since the design stage is secured and protected. Application security adds security measures such as how data is handled and how users are authenticated.
What is the Salary of Cybersecurity Professionals?
Cybersecurity careers offer lucrative salaries to both freshers and experienced individuals. Experts who are skilled in information security or administration get desirable salaries as compensation which increase with more experience and time in the organisation.
According to PayScale,
- The salaries of a network security engineer range from Rs 2,40,000 to Rs 10,00,000 annually.
- The salaries for information security officers lie anywhere between Rs 3,20,000 and Rs 30,00,000.
- The average salary of security architects begins around Rs 9,20,000 per annum and can go up to Rs 40,00,000
- The average salary of a cybersecurity analyst begins around Rs 3,00,000 annually and can reach Rs 10,00,000 per year.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, cybersecurity careers are very promising and incredibly desirable, especially with the dependency of organisations on cybersecurity experts to keep their company and client data safe alongside their digital assets or technology.
No, it would not be called a stressful job. However, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with cybersecurity careers, as the safety of a lot of confidential, valuable and sensitive data depends on cybersecurity experts. It is not necessarily directly stressful or taxing, but it is a job with a huge burden on one’s shoulders.
Chief information security officers are one of the most respected positions when it comes to this field. It is also one of the highest paying jobs as it involves being responsible for everything that has anything to do with information security.
Internal bug hunters and ethical hackers as well as freelance hackers earn a lot of money by finding compromised areas, security flaws and bugs which can be taken advantage of by other hackers. Government agencies as well as MNCs are always in need of these talented cybersecurity specialists and they compensate them handsomely as well.
The easiest job in cybersecurity would be that of system administrators and network engineers. These jobs are easier than being directly involved with R&D or penetration testing (ethical hacking). The job of an information security analyst is also relatively easy in regards to the burden on one’s shoulder as he/she is not liable for the immediate risk to an organisation’s data.
Yes, humans are necessary in cybersecurity as they are able to find the bugs and glitches in automated systems and artificial intelligence. Humans will always be required to discover potential threats and errors even if machines can assist by making the tasks easier, effective and faster. Humans will always be needed to manually review and test out security systems as well.
Cybersecurity has incredible potential and a very promising future as there is more data that companies are working with and storing while depending on a massive amount of technologies and devices. Cybersecurity is required to discover the security flaws of all of these various systems and then tackle the threats which come along with them.
Yes, cybersecurity is very important and without it, organisations are open to cyberthreats and cyberattacks from hackers which might compromise personal, customer and business information.
An ethical hacker discovers security flaws inside an organisation’s security architecture and then informs it of these so that they can be fixed or removed. They also hack into systems to check if they can penetrate inside the systems without being noticed or stopped.
Cybersecurity careers are extremely desirable and hold immense potential. One can expect to be involved in highly valuable work with a promising future when joining this highly specialized field.
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The best way to start your career in cybersecurity is by making yourself available for companies searching for human assets to help secure their data and information. Pathways and gateways will open up on their own once you acquire the necessary skills and become eligible to contribute to this highly technical field of cybersecurity.