How You Can Get Going in the Field of Cyber Security?
By Arijit Banerjee
In this age of technology revolution, our online data is constantly under the threat of being attacked. As Cyber crimes are on a record high, not one day passes by without the news of personal information hacks or ransomware threats. The world needs skilled cyber security professionals to prevent these attacks and make the web safer for Business and private usage. The most terrifying fact is that, we don’t have enough people like that who are well qualified for saving our planet from a cyber war. Interestingly, many young minds are curious about the possibilities of cyber world by exploring their security paradigms in search of loopholes. If you posses these kind of talents, it should be nurtured and must be put to good use. But how? Here are some pointers to get you going in the field of cyber security if you fancy the satisfaction of being the person who stops the attacker’s cold!
A Relevant College Degree
If you really like the excitement of being a security specialist and if you are one among the lucky ones who could figure out what career you want to pursue at an earlier age, it is very useful if opt for a degree which specializes on Cyber security. Though it is not mandatory to have this specialization on a graduation level, it will help you achieve your goals faster! Courses that includes basic IT scenarios and syllabus that has details on information protection, information assurance, confidentiality, data integrity, penetration testing, encryption etc will elevate your understanding about different kinds of attacks and methods for prevention.
Colleges will enhance your communication skills and will give you an overview about basic project management techniques as well. IT education and training is the basic prerequisite for pursuing a career in this field. It is also a good option to select a relevant IT oriented Certification courses like SSCP or CISSP. Even if your course is not core Cyber security, but your interest area is around it, you can find finishing schools which can cater for your needs.
Experience that counts
If you are an IT professional with a few years of experience, and have been planning your future in the field of cyber security, there are a lot of possibilities out there that you can explore. It is always a plus to have a relevant IT experience that makes you familiar with day to day project management activities in a business which will make your vision of security integration in a business easier. Even if your IT experience doesn’t include a security system, you can earn knowledge in this area by taking some time off your free time for joining in Work Integrated Learning Certification Programs, and on the field doing corporate or government internships and volunteer work.
A cyber security profile is something that someone in an IT field would aspire to conquer; not something that you can just learn from textbooks and land a job. It is very important to validate your interests before taking up courses for this career. It is extremely vital to learn things off the internet, be updated on the ongoing security situation and try things by yourself.
Certifications to get you going
Most of the organizations now provide corporate training programs and mandatory certifications for their employees to spread awareness amongst the workforce and hence protect their business from attacks. You could also find a lot of study materials and courses online that provides advanced Bootcamp trainings which lets you cover more topics in less time and asses you on your capability for the same.
Your employers will be always interested if you have IT certifications. But let us not forget that, real world experience and knowledge is all what counts when you are on the job. But a security certification can improve your job opportunities as well as earning potential.
Find versatile Careers in Cyber Security
Security specialist or Ethical hacker is not the only job profiles under this genre. Database administrators, system administrators, security analysts, business analysts, network engineers etc also has a critical role in shaping the security systems in organizations. For example, if you were working in a job role were you were performing database operations and you are well versed with how it works, database administration could be something that you could consider specializing in. Don’t get stuck up with typical security jobs without exploring the opportunities.
Be an active Member in the Community
India has a lot of International Security Conventions like NULLCON, DEFCON etc happening in its cities, organized by active groups that strive to make our nation’s vulnerability to attacks a little lesser every day. Being a part of such conventions will give more exposure to people who are looking forward to pursue careers in cyber security and will also bring clarity towards what they are supposed to do in such a profession. Take an initiative and be an active counterpart of the community.
As Security systems like IBM security adopts Cognitive methods to predict and analyze patterns in data breaches, a security professional needs to be more than an IT employee. When you are living in a world where even TV shows are not spared from being hacked, a cyber security professional must keep his eyes and ears open to threats. Anyone and anything that tries to breach the privacy we expect on the web, needs to be found and stopped as soon as possible before the damage is made.