The increased cyber security threat brings with it career opportunities

Written by on July 28, 2017 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

By Tashatuvango /

Internet technology tends to be anything but stagnant. Ever evolving, with new trends, tools, techniques, and innovations, particularly when it comes to cyber security. The scope and opportunities are wide and varying, cyber security is an incredibly diverse field for anyone considering it as a career.  Of course, any prospective candidate will require the right set of cyber security skills.

Besides being, well technically fascinating, it can also be quite lucrative. You may be wondering why cyber security skills are so much in demand.  One could say it’s a direct response to the rising popularity of cybercrime, but I believe that too is just a symptom. The reason for both is really is due to the exponential growth of connectivity. In a world where everyone and everything is connected, the opportunity and the supposed “anonymity” of the internet make the potential for crime so much more prevalent.

Categorically, the job postings on the leading job portals have rapidly shot up with career opportunities in cyber security. However, this is worth mentioning that there isn’t any standard career path in this field.

“Cyber security is in the Wild West stages, and that creates a lot of blue sky for those interested in shaping their career,” says Carlos Pelaez of Coalfire Systems Inc.

More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years, according to a 2015 analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program.

A recent report from Cisco puts the global figure of the cyber security skills shortage at one million job openings. Demand is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million, says Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the world’s largest security software vendor.

Presumably, this can be the potential reason why so many critical cyber security analyst jobs remains vacant. According to a last year’s survey conducted by Black Hat USA,“Nearly 75% of security professionals say they do not have enough staff to defend their organizations against current threats.”

The global cybersecurity market is expected to be worth $170 billion by 2020, according to Hemanshu “Hemu” Nigam, founder of security advisory firm SSP Blue, and an expert in online safety and privacy who has led security efforts at Microsoft and News Corporation. The cyber security market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8​% from 2015 to 2020, according to a report from Markets and Markets, making the cyber security skills drought so much more worrisome.

According to IDC, the hot areas for growth are security analytics / SIEM (10​%​); threat intelligence (10​% +); mobile security (18​%)​; and cloud security (50​%​). The global managed security services market is projected to reach ​nearly ​$30 billion by 2020, with a CAGR of 15.8​%​ over the next five years, according to a​ report from Allied Market Research (AMR). The global enterprise governance, risk and compliance (GRC) market is expected to grow from $5.8 billion in 2014 to $11.5 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 14.6​% ​for the period 2014 to 2019, according to MicroMarketMonitor.

What  cyber security skills and competencies are companies looking for?

Breaking into the field of cyber security generally, demands a core knowledge and IT educational background. Moreover, the applicant should have full command on the latest cyber security suites and the expertise to sort out the most critical issues that hinder in prevailing cyber security. In addition to academic background and degrees, below are some managerial skills that a person seeking the career in cyber security should possess. It may help if you can get those “little grey cells” going as Hercule Poirot would often say. I have added my two cents too.

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills (Figure out the crime scene or potential security gaps).
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills (you need to communicate with the outside world – dumb it down., so to speak)
  • Expert in dealing with a broad range of computer devices and cyber security tools (There are only ever going to be or “things” connected to the internet – IoT security is now a red-hot topic in the industry).
  • Management and leadership qualities (The man/woman with the plan).
  • Should be able to go extra miles to achieve a target (Dedication and long hours are part of the game).
  • Work well under pressure (this one should be obvious)
  • Multi-tasker who can do well in a fast-paced working atmosphere (I personally think multi-tasking is overrated).

What are the top cyber security skills candidates should be learning?

If you are an ambitious IT worker thinking about your next move, then you might want to cross over to cybersecurity. 35% of cybersecurity jobs call for an industry certification, compared to 23% of IT jobs overall, according to Burning Glass Technologies. Here are some most bankable cyber security skills/areas that one might seek to master

  1. Deep Knowledge about Cyber-crime and criminology

Organizations plagued by cyber crooks severely seek cyber security specialists who can deal with the ever-growing cyber security threats. These professionals are well-acquainted with the data collection method and cyber security information that is requisite to protect, mitigate and avoid cyber security threats. Furthermore, the penetration of smartphones and virtualization has made the job of these professionals even tougher and more rigorous. So, in order to pursue the career in cyber security, one should be technically skilled in serving with precautionary measures and post-attack practices to retrieve the data or minimize the loss.

  1.   Application Security

The unstoppable growth of mobile phones amid applications has brought some unavoidable cyber security threats that need an expert to get into the technicalities and complexities of the application. Every application demands different method and expertise to cope up with the threats or malware injection. Hence, a cyber security expert should master the functionality and technicality of a wide range of applications. Today some companies and vendors are approaching this problem from the opposite direction.  Building security into every aspect/facet of the application from the ground up.

  1.   Data Security

Data security matters to all! Be it an organization or any individual none of us would like to compromise with our valuable data. But, it becomes somewhat similar to an asset for an organization that mainly runs on its database. To that end, many organizations hire data security expert to be sure with the security of company’s data. These professionals should master the ways of protecting or recovering the lost data. Moreover, such cyber security experts should be aware of the latest cyber security attacks that target company’s information mainly. Such as, ransomware attack and its various types that are emerging with skyrocketing speed.

  1.   Network Security

A network where you share the same connection with generally the people, you do not know, and even if it is an organization network, it still needs to be secured with advanced security methods. The demand of internet network professionals has surged up after the inception of virtualization and cloud computing techniques. The practitioners mastering in network security are hired by the organization, healthcare sectors, government sectors, retailers, etc. to save their network from the malicious attacks.

  1. Cloud security

As more cloud infrastructure is built out and applications and data continue to levitate up, the cloud will be target more and more. VMs, containers and east-west data security are just some of the “newer” security issues that come with the cloud.

What everyone wants to know – How much can I earn?

As suggested, the field of cyber security can be highly lucrative, but the actual figure depends a lot on the level of expertise and capabilities of each specialist.

SilverBull, a full-service IT and cybersecurity recruiting and staffing company based in Manchester, Conn. recently published figures for chief information security officer (CISO) salaries. They state that the average median CISO salary is $204,000. SilverBull lists the top six U.S. metros for CISO salaries as follows:

  1. San Francisco, Calif. where the average CISO salary is $249,000, and ranges from $154,000 up to $380,000.
  2. San Jose, Calif. where the average CISO salary is $240,000, and ranges from $149,000 to $368,000.
  3. New York City, N.Y. where the average CISO salary is $240,000, and ranges from $149,000 to $367,000.
  4. Washington, D.C. where the average CISO salary is $225,000, and ranges from $139,000 to $334,000.
  5. Los Angeles, Calif. where the average CISO salary is $233,000, and ranges from $138,000 to $341,000.
  6. Chicago, Ill. where the average CISO salary is $214,000, and ranges from $132,000 to $328,000.

Moreover, a US News and World Report listed out top ten best technology job of 2017, the cyber security job appeared on the seventh number on that list. Unsurprisingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees this field to be expanding at the rate of 18 percent till 2024.

Whether you choose cloud, data-networking, device or applications, the field of cybersecurity is liable to provide a solid, fascinating and richly rewarding career, to the right candidates with the right cyber security skills, for many years to come.

This article was first published on CyberSec.Buzz.

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Jonathon Gordon

About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .


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