“Becoming a Pro in Cybersecurity: Essential Steps and Tips”

The increasing sophistication of cyber criminals has made cyber security a critical priority for governments and private enterprises worldwide. To address these threats, organizations are investing heavily in cybersecurity measures and skilled practitioners. In fact, in 2020, the UK government invested about $2.3 billion in internet and network security initiatives for defense and research. The same trend can be observed in major economies like Germany, France, Qatar, India, and Canada, where companies and governments are adopting technologies such as machine learning, big data, IoT, and cloud-based solutions to identify potential risks and detect uncertain threats and activities.

As a result, there is a growing demand for cyber security experts. In 2020-2021, there were approximately 500,000 open positions related to cyber security, and this demand is only set to increase in the future. With this in mind, there is no better time to enter the field than now.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in cyber security, it is essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of cyber security experts. While job titles and descriptions may vary, all cyber security experts share a common goal – to protect sensitive data. This data could range from an individual’s financial information to a company’s clients’ lists and intellectual property, to a government’s classified projects.

To protect data from being compromised with respect to integrity, confidentiality, and availability, a cyber security expert may perform a combination of the following functions:

  • Developing, implementing, analyzing, testing, and maintaining security systems
  • Assessing and managing security vulnerabilities and risks
  • Developing firewalls within network infrastructures
  • Responding to and reporting security incidents
  • Continuously monitoring for attacks and intrusions
  • Developing threat prevention strategies
  • Collaborating with authorities when perpetrators are identified

While these duties are common for most cyber security experts, different positions within different companies may entail different responsibilities. Your specific role and responsibilities will largely depend on your experience level and the type of organization you will be working for.

There are various job titles that can be pursued to enter the cyber security career path. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Computer Forensic Analyst – tasked with inspecting cyberattacks to determine the exact methods perpetrators use to gain unauthorized access to a network system.
  • Information Security Analyst – responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring, and adjustment of security policies and strategies, as well as organizing and facilitating security training for employees.
  • Cyber Security Specialist – an entry-level job that takes on the duty of monitoring security infrastructure, learning about potential risks, running system checks, and offering suggestions for security improvements.
  • Penetration Tester – also referred to as an ethical or white hat hacker, employed by organizations to breach their systems to understand, expose, and resolve vulnerabilities.
  • Security Architect – in charge of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s defense systems through the application of techniques that hackers might use to gain unauthorized access to protected data. This professional offers recommendations for the software security structures that need to be developed to prevent cyberattacks.
  • Software Security Engineer – responsible for the design and development of detailed security structures, programs, and measures that protect computer systems, networks, and information against intrusions.

To become a cyber security expert, you need to identify the qualifications required for the job titles that interest you. While each job role will have specific requirements, many of them also share similar qualifications. Some of the most important qualifications include:

Education – Most cyber security jobs demand some form of formal education. While some employers may accept candidates with an associate’s degree and a few years of experience, most prefer employing candidates with a bachelor’s degree in cyber security, programming, computer science, or engineering. If you want to advance to higher positions later on in your career, a master’s degree may be necessary, as many executive-level cyber security