Becoming a cyber security expert starts with a thorough understanding of the various systems that can interconnect within any business. This isn’t information that you can gather overnight, or by simply studying a few books — it takes time and experience to see how everything works together. There are thousands of computer systems and literally millions of ways that systems and software can be configured together. The change in the cyber security industry on an annual basis is staggering, so it’s imperative to be a lifelong learner if you’re interested in becoming a cyber security expert. Here are some ways to become a cyber security expert.
Cyber Security Skills
There are severe shortages of cyber security professionals, meaning that people are jumping from finance or audit backgrounds into this in-demand direction. The Information Systems Auditing and Control Association estimates that there will be a shortage of 2 million skilled professionals by the end of 2019, so it’s no surprise that people are interested in helping fill the gap. Along with strong technical skills, individuals who are successful in cyber security have a range of skills:
- Methodical and detail-oriented
- Creative thinking (linking together disparate systems and software in new ways)
- Programming know-how
- Security analysis
- Malware analysis and reversal
- Risk analysis and mitigation
- Intrusion detection
While all of these skillsets aren’t required, they provide the backbone of a truly three-dimensional cyber security expert.
Cyber Security Career Paths
Cyber security professionals have multiple career paths available to them, starting as IT technicians or web developers and leading up through the ranks to system administrator or network administrator. With more than one-third of all cyber security jobs in the U.S. requiring specific or advanced certifications, it’s no surprise that continuing education is recommended for these professionals. Advanced management-level cyber security positions are often highly specialized, too. Here are a few of the most common cyber security career paths.
- Security Consultant. These professionals are a type of catch-all in the cyber security world, needing to be flexible and competent across a wide range of companies and industries. These positions often require a bachelor’s degree in a technology-related field as well as working their way through the ranks in general security or IT while pursuing advanced training and certifications.
- Security Architect. System and security architects are often passionate about finding new resolutions to emerging problems and thinking at a strategic level about complex issues. They often begin as a security administrator or systems engineer and progress through advanced education opportunities to the security architect role.
- White-Hat Intrusions / Ethical Hacker. Penetration tester is perhaps a more palatable term for these individuals, who are solely focused on finding weaknesses in your current configurations of hardware and software as well as testing potential options you plan to implement. These individuals may or may not have formal training, but are often certified at advanced levels in particular solutions.
- CISO (Chief Information Security Officer). This senior level position is often an executive in the organization, reporting to either the CEO or CIO. Individuals spend years honing their strategic know-how while overseeing security and technical teams. They often have a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on security or technology before being promoted to this position.
The path to becoming a cyber security expert is varied, but the one thing that these individuals have in common is their dedication to protecting the businesses that they serve. At Coretelligent, we have a talented staff of professionals who devote a great deal of time to their ongoing education — ensuring that they have the tools and knowledge needed to protect your organization through a combination of active monitoring with 360 Support and powerful software tools such as CoreArmor and CoreBDR. Contact us today to see how we can support your organization’s cyber security needs.