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start a career in cyber security

How to Start a Career in Cyber Security

Nearly anywhere you look in the world, cybercrime is becoming an increasing threat. Some experts even go so far as to say that cybercrime is the greatest threat to virtually every company and organization on the planet, a fact that governments and corporations across the globe are taking very seriously. For instance, the US federal government spent $75.4 billion on information technology in 2011, an expenditure that ballooned to a total budget of $95.7 billion for IT in 2018. Meanwhile, in Australia, over 11,800 people reported incidents of cybercrime to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network between April to June 2017. According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, in 2016 cybercrime accounted for over 50% of all crime in Britain. Private security firms estimate that by 2021, global cybercrime damage will amount to about $6 trillion. What these figures clearly show is that cyber security is more important than ever, with professionals and specialists needed in almost every industry. So if you’re looking to pursue a career in cyber security, there’s no better time to start than now.

Know What You’re Up Against

Understanding the national and global impact of cybercrime is the one of the first steps towards pursuing a career in cyber security. Not only are these facts proof that cyber security is a promising career, they’re also indicative of how essential it is for every country and industry in to be able to defend against hackers. In fact, any industry whose resources can be moved and utilized via computers – which today is virtually every functioning industry – needs the expertise of people who understand how to prevent cybercrime. You should also be looking into networking with cyber security professionals who can provide you with valuable advice as well as leads on available jobs.

How Can You Help?

Determine which specific skills of yours can contribute to the job of securing a company’s data. Trip Wire explains that cyber security is divided into various domains, each with its own technical requirements. For example, threat detection and data protection fall under security operations. Meanwhile, security architecture is about access control, cloud security, cryptography, and secure network design. Risk assessment deals with determining how vulnerable your assets are to actual attack. On the other hand, user education is about training your users to be the first line of defense against cybercrime. These and other domains like threat intelligence, governance, and physical security all work together to protect a company’s data from theft.

Obviously you don’t need to stick to just working for one domain. Everyone who works in cyber security needs to know at thing or two about certain aspects of information security that may not necessarily be part of their main expertise. The more experience you have about the technicalities of each essential domain, the better you can predict and defend against any and all forms of cybercrime that falls under your responsibility. It is for this reason that Forbes recommends earning experience in the tech industry.

Get the Right Training

Getting the proper training and certification can go a long way in securing the right job for your skill set. Whether you enroll in an offline or online college to get your cyber security diploma or certificate, pick an institution that’s accredited by the both the National Security Agency as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Program. While bachelor degrees in computer science or programming can definitely help, specialized cyber security courses can give you the practical skills necessary to excel at different information security domains.

Cyber Security is a High Risk, High Pay Industry

As for the pay, you can expect a lucrative career from fighting cybercrime. Maryville University reveals that security engineers can earn as much as $88,000 annually while information security managers can rake in a yearly $100,000 – and those are just the lower to middle tiers of the cyber security career ladder. If you’re competent enough to become a chief information security officer for a medium to large company, your basic annual earnings could be upwards of $150,000. Just remember that there’s a reason why cyber security professionals are paid this much. Even the entry level jobs in this career requires tons of expertise.

Do Your Homework

If you’re looking to work for a particular company, do your research and really dig into that company’s security history and profile. Here on MyComputerCareer we have advised in the past, on how doing your homework can greatly increase your chances of getting the job and not just end with you getting frustrated due to spending too much time job searching. Do your research and make sure you have the proper expertise to actually defend the company’s data, at least from the predictable threats to its security.


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About the Author

JBOnline is a writer with over eight years experience in cyber security. She works as a security consultant for a wide range of businesses. Through her writing she hopes to demonstrate how important cyber security is in today’s digital world. In her free time she likes to be away from the computer and enjoys taking long walks.

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