Technology continues to play an essential role in our daily lives. It’s crucial to protect data, applications, and networks as well as the devices we use. It is also vital to inform technology users about protecting themselves and plan for a response in case of an emergency.
Individuals can work in cybersecurity to protect private and public organizations from a wide range of cyberattacks. Types of attacks can include, but are not limited to:
- Ransomware: To take a victim’s computer files and demand a ransom payment to get them back, usually through an insecure device or network.
- Malware: Installing malicious software such as viruses or worms on the victim’s computers.
- Social engineering: Tricking victims to break security policies to access sensitive information.
- Phishing: Sending fake emails that appear to be from trusted sources to convince users to share sensitive or personal information.
Cybercrimes are on the rise, and every government department and major company relies on a team of experts to prevent them. Learn more about the career prospects and potential salary for cybersecurity specialists, as well as the practical steps you can take to make a career out of this field.
In this article, we will cover the following topics.
Importance of Cybersecurity
Cyberattacks can lead to fines for organizations, loss of job opportunities, customer dissatisfaction, and a decrease in trust and reputation. Cybersecurity experts can help companies avoid the headaches associated with cyberattacks by maintaining their security strategy and operations.
For example, in 2020, the SolarWinds hack exposed sensitive data from around 100 companies and a dozen government agency agencies. 122 major crypto-blockchain hacks claimed $3.8 billion. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in early 2021. This ransomware took 100 gigabytes (and more) of data from the largest US gas pipeline. It was part of a $5,000,000 extortion scheme.
Not only are organizations under threat from hackers, but also internal threats. Businesses are also at risk from internal cyber threats such as employee sabotage and data leaks. Cybersecurity professionals can protect valuable information, customers, brand reputation, and brand by preventing data breaches.
Cybercrimes have a significant impact on the global economy, besides reputational damage. According to The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), cybercrime costs nearly one percent of global GDP each year. This number is rapidly rising as cybercriminals use new technologies and digital currencies. These crimes are being uncovered by cybersecurity professionals who continue to search for new ways to prevent and respond.
Job market & Career outlook
In today’s digital environment, cybersecurity analysts are highly sought after, and there is a great career opportunity for them. Recent data from the labor market shows that cybersecurity jobs will grow 31% by 2029, which is greater than seven times the average rate for all industries.
Employers find it increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates to fill these positions as the demand for cybersecurity professionals increases. A 2020 study from ISC(2) found that just over 4,000,000 professionals are required to fill the cybersecurity skills gap worldwide. This means that the United States needs to see an increase of approximately 62 percent in its cybersecurity workforce.
Professionals should pursue the education and training necessary to develop cybersecurity skills.
Skills needed for success
Cybersecurity careers can be very demanding as they protect information assets and complex IT systems. These professionals must be familiar with the basics of IT security and IT-specific terminology and vocabulary. A plus is experience with data analysis and engineering in multiple programming languages.
These skills are essential for cybersecurity professionals:
- Programming and coding skills
- Data management
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM).
- Security of mobile devices and applications
- Handling security incidents
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
Professionals in cybersecurity must keep up to date with industry trends. The 2021 Cybersecurity Trends for 2021 and Beyond include focusing on specific attacks against internet-connected devices and outdated operating systems that are especially vulnerable.
Cybersecurity certificate programs are also available to anyone who is interested in more detailed instruction in cybersecurity, digital forensics and risk management. This education is designed to help professionals in cybersecurity to improve their careers or start the process of earning a Master of Science degree.
Professionals can land the best jobs by obtaining an advanced degree in cybersecurity and enhancing their skills.
High paying Cybersecurity careers
1) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
Average Salary: $165,985
The CISO is responsible for overseeing the IT security department. This position requires knowledge in IT strategy, security architecture management, communication, and leadership. The average salary for this position is $165,985, but CISOs can earn up to $229,000. This wide range in salary is due to factors like the size of the company and the security team, as well as executive bonuses and profit-sharing arrangements that can add over $85,000 to a base pay.
2) Security Architect
Average Salary: $124,769
This position builds and maintains an organization’s computer and network security infrastructure. This role requires extensive knowledge about security frameworks. Certificate programs and other professional development opportunities can help you get this information. The salary of security architects can reach $166,000, depending on their education, experience, and location.
3) Information Systems Security Manager
Average Salary: $116,978
This role is highly sought after by hackers because it involves managing systems that contain proprietary or exclusive information. Information systems security managers can earn up to $152,000, depending on their experience level.
4) Information Systems Security Engineer
Average Salary: $100,936
They perform security testing, maintain networks free from viruses and malware, and set up security protocols for companies. Information Systems Security Engineers can earn up to $145,000, depending on their education, experience, and location.
5) Application Security Engineer
Average Salary: $97,684
This role is responsible for monitoring all software applications used by an organization and ensuring compliance policies and privacy are in place. More experienced engineers are needed by organizations that use automated software to perform operations or analytics. Application security engineers can earn up to $151,000, depending on their experience level.
6) Malware Analyst
Average Salary: $92,880
These cybersecurity professionals assist organizations in understanding the malware threats they face, identify software products and services that can protect them from intrusions, and work quickly to mitigate and detect intrusions when they happen. This role is highly paid and can earn up to $156,000 depending upon the person’s education, work experience, and location.
7) Penetration Tester
Average Salary: $85,869
This role involves the design of security vulnerability tests and evaluations of cybersecurity effectiveness. Mondo says that this job is highly sought after, and therefore, salaries for penetration testers should increase over time. Penetration testers can earn up to $139,000. This depends on their experience.
8) Forensic engineer
Average Salary: $85,525
This role analyses information from an organization’s networks and computers to identify potential intrusions. This role requires professionals to be able to collaborate with law enforcement agencies and assist in investigations. Knowledge of cryptography is also a plus. Depending on their education and experience, the salary of forensic engineers could be as high as $120,000, depending on where they work.
9) Security Director
Average Salary: $85,501
This role involves employees who implement IT security measures, allocating resources to a security team, creating security education campaigns for employees and end-users, and supporting law enforcement in the case of an external incident investigation. Security directors can earn up to $156,000 depending on their level of experience.
10) Cybersecurity consultant
Average Salary: $84,279
A consultant is another option for a career in cybersecurity. These consultants are hired by organizations to implement security products or develop security strategies. According to PayScale, cybersecurity consultant salaries range from $61,000 to $140,000. Some can do this work part-time as part of a career change or for a personal goal.
11) Cybersecurity Analyst
Average Salary: $76,550
Cybersecurity analysts focus on protecting against a wide range of cyberattacks based on data-driven analysis and forecasting. Strategic planning is a common senior role that comes with a higher salary. Cybersecurity analysts can earn up to $117,000 depending upon their education, industry experience, and industry.
12) Network Security Analyst
Average Salary: $72,388
This position is responsible for the security of a company’s information systems and computer networks. In industries that rely on the safety of Internet-connected devices– including healthcare, transportation, and energy–organizations often look for more experienced professionals. Network security analysts can earn up to $107,000, depending on their experience level.
A career in cybersecurity is more than a commitment for yourself to improve your education and earn a better starting salary. It’s also about making a difference by helping to stop bad actors from compromising the technology that we all enjoy. Your skills can be used to prevent ransomware, debit card fraud, and high-level government hacking.
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