Do you know that Cybersecurity Ventures, world’s leading researcher in global cyber economy, predicts there’ll be 3.5 million cyber security job openings by 2021? In fact, there have been considerable efforts to increase the supply of cyber security workers. However, demand has increased as well, meaning that cyber security talent is still expensive and not easy to find. In this blog post, we delve into the world of cyber security careers and give the overview of cyber security career. Also, we take a look at cyber security workforce shortage, three entry level cyber security jobs and also entry level cyber security jobs requirements.
Cyber security career at a glance
Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate. But with technological advancement comes the progress of cybercrime. This phenomenon constantly creates novel attack types and techniques that allow criminals to penetrate well-controlled environments, and cause damage. Cyber attacks become more and more of everyday reality for all companies, regardless of their size. The result of the given situation is obvious, that the need for cyber security professionals is increasing significantly.
In the most basic sense, cyber security is the name for the measures taken to prevent or minimize any disruption from an intruder on data, computers or mobile devices. Security breaches may occur when we use even paper records. The impacts, however, of security breaches with digital information are actually far more serious. Cyber security breaches are highly costly. Besides that, the increasing prevalence of security breaches poses an extraordinary threat to not only organizations but also national security. For that reason, it must be a top priority for all organizations.
Cyber security is not a single career path. Instead, it offers many distinct paths with dozens of opportunities for anyone who has a passion for security. The good news is that cyber security presents many opportunities for both technical and non-technical people. After all, cyber security is not only about technology as it also involves people, information, systems, culture and physical surroundings. Organizations are spending billions of euros every year on implementing new technologies to fight malicious cyberattacks. We at Swiss Cyber Forum believe that it’s definitely the people with adequate knowledge, competencies, and skills to use these technologies who will determine success.
Cyber security workforce shortage
It is all about supply and demand. Cyber threats have grown in intensity. By 2021, the global cost of cybersecurity breaches will reach nearly 6 trillion US dollars. The increasing number of cyber attacks has been moving up the demand for qualified cyber security experts to help defend businesses. Given the situation, cyber security workforce shortage is fundamentally unchanged, leaving organizations to struggle.
It turns out that conventional education is insufficient in meeting demand. Thus, new solutions are required to build the cybersecurity workforce essential in an interconnected world. One potential solution for organizations can be highlighting necessary training and career development opportunities. There seems to be a positive correlation between employee satisfaction and the ability to provide the necessary training and development opportunities that employees are looking for. Second solution is that organizations have to remain open to the idea of hiring applicants from various industries or applicants with different academic qualifications.
Network security company Plixer believes that university and colleges are not the only solutions for dealing with cyber security workforce gap. Last but not least, organizations should think twice when they use their existing IT or network teams in place of qualified cyber security personnel. Because cyber security experts have a ‘security first’ mindset which IT professionals usually lack. Having a ‘security first’ mindset will not only help organization’s overall information security posture but also it’ll help the organization protect its sensitive data. It’s true that boosting this mindset isn’t t going to be an overnight journey. For that reason, it’s crucial to hire the right people for cyber security jobs.
Organizations don’t look at the workforce crisis in the right way, that it’s a business, not a technical issue. We believe that business executives must understand that they have a critical role to play in tackling this deficit by properly investing in their employees. After all, it takes time to educate cyber security experts in response to the intensifying demand.
Entry level cyber security jobs
We believe that many of you have wondered what is an entry level cyber security job and how to land your first job in the field. Before going any further, we would like to state that the cybersecurity field is so diverse. Dynamic nature of cybersecurity is challenging, compounded by work roles varying among organizations, and even departments within. Following are the positions held by those new to cyber security:
- Information Security Analyst. According to Glassdoor, information security analysts are responsible for formulating and implementing IT security systems to protect the organization’s computer networks from cyberattacks. You also monitor computer networks for security issues, install security software and document all security issues or breaches they detect. To land a job as an information security analyst, applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in IT related discipline. Information security analysts must have an analytical mind, as well as a great passion for cyber security. Furthermore, they need multitasking and strong problem-solving skills. Briefly, the ideal information security analyst is like a detective – they are keenly observant and stay calm under pressure.
- Security Administrator. Each organization demands a different skillset from its security administrators. But the tasks they usually perform include monitoring network traffic for suspicious behaviour, and detecting threats and work to establish steps to secure against them. They are mainly concerned with defending company databases and their diverse interfaces against unauthorized access. Security administrators should understand router and firewall configurations, and also operating systems like Windows and Linux. In addition, they should be familiar with some of the access control schemes like role-based access control (RBAC) and discretionary access control (DAC). In terms of personality, security administrators are usually investigative, logical and inquisitive.
- Junior Penetration Tester. Infosec Institute says that a penetration tester (may also be known as an ethical hacker) is a type of network security individual who tries to detect possible exploits in different computer systems and software. They generally execute some tests, usually based around network penetration, and fill out assessment reports about what they’ve discovered. Their responsibilities include detecting vulnerabilities in software as well as proprietary applications, running web application vulnerability software to find out security issues in web applications, and etc. A good penetration tester is always staying up to date with the latest technologies and how they can be exploited. Required skills and knowledge may include programming skills and fundamental understanding of penetration testing tools and techniques such as Kali, Backtrack, or Metasploit.
Entry level cyber security jobs requirements
It’s true that cyber security has been a consideration since the beginning of extensive computer use, and its importance has grown considerably. The increasing need for workers in the field of cyber security gradually became clear. Cyber security workers utilize methods and technologies to keep information secure in the face of cyber attacks. In this part of the blog post, we’d like to introduce you to the entry level cyber security jobs requirements.
As a matter of fact, cyber security is a demanding occupation. For many employers around the world, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is the bare minimum requirement. Some employers even require a master’s degree in computer science-related subject. So, formal education in cyber security turns out to be a good starting point.
In addition, applicants should develop problem-solving and communication skills. We believe that those in the field have to have the capability to discover new methods to take on and tackle security challenges across a variety of existing technologies. Being technologically savvy is also very important to handle the daily responsibilities. Last but not least, cyber security is not limited to technology, so good interpersonal skills can set up entry level cyber security workers for workplace success.
Now, you are aware of some of the entry level cyber security jobs requirements. In cyber security, there is always new information and new threat vectors. If you want to be good at your job you must continue to learn. Increase your knowledge – join our monthly webinars and keep an eye on our exclusive content.
How to start a career in cyber security?
Cyber security is a multi-disciplinary domain. It’s commonly acknowledged that no path can be completely planned from the beginning till the end, purely because the environment is evolving in the blink of an eye, making it extremely difficult to predict what is ahead. That being said, individuals who hold a degree in science, technology, engineering or maths can potentially step into the game.
The most important thing is to always have a burning passion for cyber security, and staying up-to-date with the current technological advancements. Internships and work placements are a valuable way for graduates to obtain real-world experience in cyber security. Internships allow both the intern and employer to get to know each other. This experience may be a route to a full-time cyber security job with that organisation.
Organizations now are very aware of the importance of qualifications in demonstrating competence to future employers. Needless to say, specialist training, as well as qualifications, will be needed for careers in cyber security. Cyber security jobs are in high demand. We believe that this demand for security professionals isn’t t going away in the near future.
Fire up your cyber security career now
Cyber crimes are increasing year by year all around the world, despite the efforts of many organizations and nations. Worse yet, another problem is emerging which is cyber security workforce shortage. Swiss Cyber Forum believes that we have a responsibility to address the talent gap to realize ideal cybersecurity.
For the development of highly skilled cyber security talent in Switzerland, we’d like to proudly announce our Cyber Security Specialist training course with Swiss Federal Diploma. This course will introduce you to the field of cybersecurity and prepare you for the Swiss Federal Examination. The great news is that you can get government funding for this course. Those who register for the federal examination are entitled to a refund of 50% of the course fee by the Swiss Government. For more information, please download the training course brochure.