As technology continues to evolve, there is a growing demand for cyber security experts. Although many people earn IT degrees, these programs often fail to provide the specific cyber security skills needed to protect important information on apps, websites, and other platforms from hackers. Here are two major things to consider if you are interested in pursuing a cyber security career.
There is a Growing Demand for Cyber Security Experts
There are already more than one million positions within the cyber security industry, and the market is expected to grow by 350% by the end of 2021. As the job market continues to expand, people seeking any sort of career in the IT field are expected to have a basic understanding of cyber security. However, many IT professionals wishing to break into the field of cyber security have only a basic understanding, and that simply isn’t enough to deal with malicious cyberattacks. Specific, detailed, and hands-on training is essential to ensure you have the skillset necessary to implement proper security measures.
Cybersecurity positions fall into two main categories: red or blue team. Jobs vary depending upon which side you belong to. Red teams are responsible for planning and implementing cyber attacks to test a platform’s security and integrity. These teams develop reports of how security strategies can be improved. In contrast, blue teams are responsible for designing and implementing security measures to protect important information on various platforms. Jobs are available for both teams but certification requirements vary widely.
Many People Are Missing the Right Skillset
One recent survey conducted to cybersecurity employees at nearly 300 companies discovered that, although the employees often understood the basics of cyber security, they often lacked the following skills that are essential for implementing proper procedures:
● Data and cryptography
● Common exploitation techniques
● Computer architectures
If you are interested in a cyber security career, it is especially important that you make an investment in proper training. Obtaining a degree can be a great start (though not all cyber security roles require one), but more significantly you can improve your core abilities with hands-on practice. The proper cyber security framework combines programming and coding skills with security so you have the practical skills to provide comprehensive security programs. Because they approach the issue from opposite sides, it is also important to choose whether you would prefer to work with a red or blue team so you can determine which certifications you need for your chosen career path.
If your plan is to work with a red team, hacking skills are beneficial. Courses on general penetration testing are a good start, then you can dive into training specific to web applications, mobile applications, or exploit development.
Working on a blue team requires different expertise and certifications. You should seek out certifications and training for various platforms such as Microsoft, Cloud, CYSA and CCNA. A detailed understanding of these platforms allows you to enhance security programs so they are stronger and more effective. It is also important to look for training courses on defensive tactics like incident response and digital forensics to deepen knowledge of blue team techniques.
Widen Your Focus
No matter whether you opt for the red or blue team, not only will cyber security skills be essential, your core IT knowledge needs to be up to par as well. Look for ways to boost your programming, networking, and system administration skills. Trial and error is one of the best teachers, and that means digging into practical examples. Look for comprehensive cyber security certificate programs that emphasize hands-on learning, that lead you step-by-step through case studies and specific situations, and that push you to integrate all of your IT skills into finding solutions.
Careers in cyber security offer the potential for rewarding, high-paying work. Although the market is growing and many roles are open, training is still vital to landing a position. Develop important cyber security skills and knowledge, but don’t neglect the basics. Cyber security experts will be the first to tell you that every one of your IT skills will be essential in your work.