Cybercrime is arguably the biggest threat to businesses today. In the first half of 2019, there were over 4.1 billion records exposed in 3,813 breaches.
Data breaches are becoming more frequent and are getting worse. Out of the ten worst data breaches of all time, three have occurred in 2019, and the year is set to be the worst ever in breach activity.
As institutions embrace technology to make operations more efficient, their risk of suffering cyberattacks increases. This, in turn, increases the need for institutions to hire data security specialists.
What Is Data Security?
Data security is the process of determining and implementing necessary measures to prevent corruption or unauthorized access to data in its lifecycle. Three core elements guide data security:
- Confidentiality— Only authorized individuals should be able to access the data
- Integrity— Data should be stored accurately
- Availability— Authorized individuals should be able to access data when they need to
In today’s digital landscape, data security is essential for both large and small companies. Also, as technology advances, it comes with new cyberthreats. This is why organizations need to have cybersecurity teams that can detect and mitigate cyber risks before a breach occurs.
Opportunities in Cybersecurity
Due to the increasing number of cyber threats, there are plenty of opportunities for cybersecurity professionals. In the US, over 200,000 cybersecurity-related roles go unfilled every year. Also, the number of jobs in cybersecurity is projected to increase by 37% annually up to 2022.
In addition, recent cybersecurity regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), have forced organizations to rethink their data security approach.
Some of the most popular Cybersecurity roles are:
1. Cybersecurity Engineer
In most organizations, a cybersecurity engineer is an intermediate to high-level personnel. Their role is to protect businesses from hackers and other cyberattacks. They achieve this by using an engineering approach to stop advanced attacks and implement security systems.
The roles of a cybersecurity engineer include:
- Develop security protocol and policies
- Implement security measures
- Risk mitigation
- Investigating and resolving security issues
A cybersecurity engineer must be knowledgeable in methods of identifying threats, system maintenance, and improving automation. To get a senior-level engineering role, one must have a master’s degree, and at least three years of experience.
2. Cybersecurity Analyst
Threat assessment is an important component of data security. The role of a cybersecurity analyst is to keep an eye on the company’s network for any threats and weaknesses. Their work is crucial as it allows institutions to avert risk and prevent liabilities that may follow.
3. Network Architects
As cyber threats evolve, new security tools are developed to secure data. Network architects are tasked with keeping up to date with the latest threats and security tools. They design, test, and implement cost-effective computer networks. These include wide area networks (WAN), local area networks (LAN), internet connections, and other data communication systems.
To prevent future attacks, they take a hackers approach to identify weaknesses in the network. If vulnerabilities are detected, they implement security patches and upgrade software and hardware.
Network architects are high-level employees who work closely with senior management to ensure security measures and protocols are in line with business objectives.
4. Cybersecurity Consultant
Cybersecurity consultants are third party cyber-security experts that help organizations test and improve their security. They assess networks and try to identify weaknesses that in-house personnel may have missed.
There are many opportunities as a cybersecurity consultant, and they range from entry-level to more advanced roles.
5. Cybersecurity Administrator
The network systems, especially for large organizations, tend to be vast and diverse. To ensure that it is not compromised in any way, cybersecurity managers are tasked with overseeing the security program for a given network or system.
Their roles include:
- Monitor their network/system
- Audit programs
- Maintain security tools
- Ensure compliance with security policies
The role of a cybersecurity administrator is highly technical and requires one to have a cybersecurity-related degree and a lot of experience.
6. Malware Analyst
Although malware attacks are reducing, they still pose a considerable threat. By mid-2019, the number of malware attacks stood at 4.8 billion. As such, malware still presents a significant risk to corporations. To prevent such attacks, companies rely on malware analysts to identify cyberthreats such as viruses, Trojans, worms, etc.
How to Succeed as a Cybersecurity Specialist
It is estimated that the global cybersecurity market will be worth $ 248.26 billion by 2023. There are many employment opportunities within the sector, as there is a shortage of specialists. Alternatively, you can set up your own consultancy and target all the firms that do not have in-house security teams.
A career in cybersecurity is very lucrative. However, it requires one to be hungry for knowledge and ever curious. This will ensure your skillset evolves with the challenges that come.