Why the Cybersecurity Industry is an Excellent Career Choice
Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing industry. There are currently nearly 300,000 unfilled jobs in the sector in the United States alone, according to the Department of Homeland Security. This number is expected to grow to an incredible 1.8 million globally by 2022.
As these jobs need to be filled, and with a current skills shortage, cybersecurity is becoming an appealing career choice for tech-savvy young people. Indeed, with such professionals in high demand, the average salary for a person doing information security analysis, incorporating vulnerability testing, malware prevention and risk assessment, is nearly $100,000.
It’s little wonder there has been a jump in people seeking courses in the cybersecurity industry, specifically the analyst’s role. Data security is an increasing concern in 2018 and beyond, as much of cybercrime involves the acquisition of such data. Protecting data from ransomware and theft as well as other malicious acts will save the user money, prevent downtime and, for businesses, maintain customer trust and brand reputation. The cybersecurity analyst role complements security measures by uncovering risks to the network (such as forgotten or rogue databases as well as database vulnerabilities), protecting data internally as well as externally (finding compromised internal users, for example), and detecting and eliminating cyber attacks. The role presents not just an exciting opportunity but a fulfilling and well paid one.
Established sectors such as banking and defense continue to lean on the cybersecurity industry for expertise but the market is skyrocketing as a result of emerging customer bases such as aerospace, financial services, insurance, retail, healthcare and manufacturing. Inevitably, with modern society’s employment of connected technology in the digital age, the security of online data and the infrastructure that supports it is not only becoming more pronounced but increasingly challenging. That’s why 95% of organizations have increased spending on cybersecurity over the last few years and why the market continues to gain traction. It’s also the reason behind top IT professionals agreeing that cybersecurity was an area most companies need to place focus on over the other hot IT topic: big data analysis.
Anticipation of more cyber attacks is also set to bolster the need for security experts. This is further underlined by the growing interconnectedness of the business ecosystem, making the chance of security breaches more likely. According to research conducted in the UK, seven out of ten businesses said they had been hit by a cybersecurity breach. The most telling factor in these breaches? The cost to businesses in some cases resulted in millions of dollars of losses. Data storage is amongst one of the biggest areas modern businesses will need to protect because it’s an integral part of the activities in the digital world, and yet it contains information of sensitive nature such as sensitive employee data, private customer details or proprietary information.
What makes cybersecurity more challenging – and perhaps more interesting for those that want to test themselves – is that nefarious hackers are upskilling themselves, finding new ways to breach systems. Being a cybersecurity expert is therefore not exclusively about understanding IT principles but an ability to adapt knowledge in innovative ways to counter emerging threats. Thinking out of the box and excellent problem-solving skills are two attributes essential to many types of cybersecurity professionals.
As is an understanding of cloud-based technology, an ever-increasing part of the digital environment. For example, tackling data and application security through web application firewalls will form a significant proportion of a cybersecurity professional’s skillset as they utilize WAFs to analyze and inspect requests, creating security rules, finding and eliminating rogue attacks. With the right WAF, applications in the cloud as well as on the premises can be secured with the same set of policies and management controls, while best practice will confidently tackle the most critical web application security risks.
It’s clear that businesses need the skills to fight back. It, therefore, makes sense that companies will seek to prevent breaches of their cybersecurity by hiring those with expertise in such areas as the configuration of threat detection tools on a case-by-case basis, data interpretation and analysis, and identifying vulnerabilities proactively.