A computer or a network connected to the internet is vulnerable and can be attacked by cyber criminals any time without effective security procedures and policies. Owing to this, there is an increased demand of cyber security professionals across the world and hence, it stands as a field with great career opportunities.
As per US News and World Report, the Security Analyst has always been among the top five technology jobs, taking into account the number of jobs available and the salaries. Hence, planning to opt for a career in cyber security can prove to be a smart move.
But to become a professional in cyber security, there are certain steps that need to be followed to possess the right skills and to avoid being confused along the path. Let us see what all is required to become an expert in cyber security.
The Basic Requirement
In order to start a career in cyber security, it is imperative to learn the basics of cyber and network security. This includes knowledge of networks, routing, switching, LAN, WAN, etc.
One must also know at least one computer language. This is because a cyber security professional would often require coding if the tools get blocked by antivirus; and to perform reverse engineering, malware analysis and automation.
It is also important to be clear about the domain or project that a candidate wishes to handle. Understanding this is extremely important because this helps to decide the area of interest, strengths and weaknesses; and hence enables the candidate to excel in the chosen field.
Cyber security demands numerous job responsibilities such as:
- Ensuring security during the development stages of systems
- Finding out vulnerabilities in both hardware and software
- Creating firewalls within a network infrastructure
- Keeping a check on attacks or intrusions
- Identifying perpetrators or attackers
Most in-demand Certifications
A cyber security professional is most of the times preferred to possess a certification. Cyber Certifications validate expertise in and knowledge of all the tools and technologies required in securing networks.
Looking at all the certifications, a list of shortlisted or the most popular certifications has been shared here under:
- CISSP – A certification in Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from (ISC)2 demonstrates your expertise in designing, implementing and managing a cyber security program.
- CCNP Security – A certification in CCNP Security validates your skills in securing routers, switches, networking devices and appliances; and managing and troubleshooting firewalls, VPNS and IDS/IPS solutions for the networking environments.
- CEH – A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) gains expertise in finding out the vulnerabilities and weaknesses in target systems and often uses the same techniques and practices used by a hacker, but in a legitimate manner.
Though a list has been shared, it is strongly recommended to go through the details of other certifications as well, as you may be needing a certification in some other domain as per your current job responsibility.
A Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree is also a Good Option
A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree might also prove to be the best route for a career in cyber security. A bachelor’s degree in cyber security prepares you for advanced level certifications thereafter. If you already possess a bachelor’s degree in technology, you can choose to opt for a master’s degree in cyber security.
There are a lot of career opportunities in cyber security but sharp skills and the right attitude can only help you get through the exams and excel in your career. Employers demand professionals with clear knowledge of tools and techniques so they may test you in various areas during the interview rounds. Hence, all you need is to be highly proficient in what you choose.