Learn How To Become A Cybersecurity Specialist – Forbes Advisor

Editor’s Note: We earn a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

Cyber ​​security specialists do crucial work in protecting sensitive digital information and communications. These professionals work with public and private employers of all sizes to ensure the security of data for clients, government agencies, and healthcare organizations.

This guide provides information on how to become a cybersecurity analyst, as well as details on other cybersecurity roles such as: B. Information Security Specialist. If you’re wondering how to get into cybersecurity, read on to learn about salaries, job prospects, and available certifications in the field.

What does a cybersecurity specialist do?

Cybersecurity specialists perform a wide range of technical tasks related to protecting sensitive digital information and data. Depending on the size of their employer, these cybersecurity professionals may work in niche or specialty areas, or they may have more general security roles. They provide continuous monitoring of organizations’ cybersecurity efforts through various methods.

Cybersecurity specialists perform similar work as information security specialists, but may have a more hardware focus. As cybersecurity experts, these specialists help create, analyze, and deploy organizational security systems. Cybersecurity specialists test potential areas of risk in interconnected computer networks, document their results and provide solutions for vulnerabilities.

These professionals also train employees on best practices as breaches can occur accidentally or intentionally by bad actors in their organizations. Cybersecurity specialists need to stay abreast of changes in this space by investigating new threats and solutions.

Cybersecurity specialists earn relatively high salaries. Payscale reports an average annual cybersecurity salary of around $92,000, and those salaries typically increase with experience.

Cybersecurity specialists can expect strong job growth over the next decade. For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a projected job growth rate of 35% for information security analysts from 2021 to 2031. This title includes roles such as cybersecurity analyst and information security specialist.

Types of Cyber ​​Security

Some experts say that cyber security, network security, information security and infrastructure security are all different. Others feel that these cybersecurity careers exist under the same computer security umbrella. The following section examines the differences between different subfields of cybersecurity.

network security

As a discipline within network engineering, this field covers breach protection for interconnected electronics rather than individual databases or devices. Network security professionals use firewalls, physical hardware, and training to protect against intruders and retain lost data.

Network security can also focus on email and user security. Employees in this specialty can lead organizational efforts to create stronger passwords or restrict Internet browsing to trusted sites.

Network security professionals work in a narrower framework than cybersecurity professionals. Cybersecurity defends against attacks on hardware, software, networks and users. In contrast, network security focuses on vulnerabilities in the connections between devices.

information security

Information security has some overlap with cybersecurity – in fact, cybersecurity is a subset of information security. However, cybersecurity focuses solely on protecting digital assets, while information security encompasses digital and physical information across all mediums.

Both cyber security workers and information security specialists protect valuable information and data. However, cybersecurity prevents access by bad actors, and information security takes into account aspects such as data availability and confidentiality. Information security specialists can cover aspects such as multi-factor authentication and access to physical information storage areas.

Infrastructure security

Infrastructure security involves the protection of physical and digital assets by the architecture itself. This specialty can focus on protecting sensitive items with structures such as generators, security systems and locks. Digital infrastructure security refers to creating and maintaining protected systems from security breaches.

In addition to creating structures to protect connected devices, professionals in this sector protect sensitive assets for applications and data. At the app level, infrastructure security professionals design and implement effective databases to prevent access by malicious actors. For data, this field protects information by building structures for backup and encryption.

How to become a cybersecurity specialist

To become a cybersecurity specialist, you should have formal training—like a degree or a cybersecurity boot camp—in information security or a related subject. The following section examines the requirements for cybersecurity analyst training.

Earn a degree or certificate

Begin your cybersecurity specialist journey by earning a degree or certificate in cybersecurity or a related field. You can pursue cybersecurity education at any level—in addition to associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, some schools offer certificates for completing a class or a series of courses.

Colleges and universities may offer cybersecurity degrees or concentrations in other majors, such as information systems technology or computer science. Employers typically require applicants to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry-level cybersecurity jobs, including those for cybersecurity specialists.

Consider certifications

Although certification is not required to work in this role, formal credentials can improve your employment opportunities and salary as a cybersecurity specialist. Certifications demonstrate cybersecurity expertise and commitment to potential employers. Earning a certification usually involves passing an exam. Keep in mind that most certification exams require extensive preparation and some experience requirements.

The following list includes some of the most common cybersecurity certifications:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Expert (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)®
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Security+, Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

Network with other professionals

In all professions, networking is a reliable way to find job opportunities. In addition to networking with your peers, consider joining a professional organization.

These companies may host job fairs, host conferences, and provide resources for connecting with colleagues and employers. Consider some of the following professional cybersecurity worker organizations.

  • (ISC)2: This international, non-profit association offers its members cybersecurity resources such as exam preparation, continuing education and a network of peers. (ISC)2 offers some of the most coveted cybersecurity certifications in the world.
  • ISACA®: ISACA serves more than 150,000 employees around the world in areas such as information security and governance. This organization offers popular certifications as well as training opportunities and resources such as breaking news in the field and a peer-reviewed journal.
  • International Association for Information Systems Security: ISSA, a non-profit organization, aims to promote a secure digital world by bringing together international information security professionals. The ISSA hosts digital and face-to-face networking events to update workers on best practices in this area. It also offers opportunities to develop future generations of cybersecurity workers.
  • SANS Institute: This organization administers cybersecurity certifications and courses and offers a vast network of professionals and resources in the field. Members can train for qualifications, attend events, and develop security awareness through webcasts, research, and specific areas of cybersecurity.

gain experience

Given the wide range of jobs for cybersecurity specialists, not all employers require significant work experience when hiring. Some organizations employ these specialists in entry-level positions so that they can gain hands-on experience.

Other companies may specify that they are looking for cybersecurity specialists with specific work experience. Candidates may gain experience in other cybersecurity roles or through internships while continuing to pursue their studies to meet this requirement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *