How to Get Into Cybersecurity
In an increasingly complex digital world—one in which 80 percent of companies have experienced a cybersecurity incident in the past year—it is essential for all professionals to be armed with cybersecurity knowledge of some kind. In particular, there is an urgent need for non-technical managers who have enough foundational cybersecurity training that they can serve as a liaison between engineers and c-level executives. When these professionals can communicate effectively and set smart strategy with the technical team, they can alleviate confusion and frustration throughout the organization.
Here are a few suggestions on how to become a cybersecurity specialist, even if you’re not already trained for a technical role. Learn how to use cybersecurity skills in a managerial role, or start preparing yourself to transition into cybersecurity full time.
How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist for Non-Technical Professionals
The first step for anyone wanting to become a cybersecurity specialist is to seek out training in fundamental language and concepts of the field. This does not mean diving headlong into a technical certification process; instead, see if you can find a cybersecurity course pitched at management-level professionals who want to learn about concepts like the cyber threat landscape and practical security measures to inform their decision-making.
The next thing to consider is how your soft skills may help you integrate your newfound cybersecurity knowledge into your day-to-day work. Start developing a regular rhythm of communication with your IT team to help you strengthen your expanding cybersecurity vocabulary through practice and learn the intricacies and nuances of how key cybersecurity concepts present themselves in your industry and your specific organization.
If you are looking to take the leap and make a full pivot into a cybersecurity role, consider ways in which you might continue working to sharpen your growing cybersecurity skills. Look into obtaining professional certifications like Network+, Security+ or Certified Ethical Hacker. These credentials will impress potential employers and can give you a leg up in the hiring process. Interning is another great option which can let you gain firsthand experience with professionals who know the field inside and out. And be sure to seek out any opportunities to practice or learn while you are on the job in your current position.
Want to Get Into Cybersecurity? Try These Jobs
In 2019, launching a career in cybersecurity is a practical option for both technical and non-technical professionals alike. The industry is burgeoning as escalating cyber threats demand a robust defensive workforce creating and refining preventive measures. Professional opportunities are abundant in this field as the number of employment opportunities for information security analysts is expected to explode by 32 percent by 2028. At the current rate of expansion, there are expected to be around 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions in 2021.
If you are looking to transition to a cybersecurity role, consider these entry-level positions, which can give non-technical professionals the opportunity to develop the necessary skills and exposure advance in the cybersecurity sector:
Network Administrator: This role facilitates access to company networks while ensuring their overall security. These professionals will acquire in-depth knowledge of a company’s network architecture and its particular vulnerabilities.
Security Operation Center (SOC) Analyst: This job is a 24-7 responsibility that consists of reporting damaging cyber incidents that threaten the organization, whenever they may occur. SOC analysts conduct regular vulnerability analysis of networks and recommend strategies to minimize the impact of cyber threats.
Cyber Policy Analyst: This job spearheads policy strategies and protocols for public- and private-sector entities regarding cybersecurity issues. It can also consist of helping with the implementation of cybersecurity policies for your organization and its clients.
Vulnerability Analyst: Professionals in this role use security tools like Nessus to probe their organization’s networks, systems and applications for potential flaws. It requires constant research into evolving threats in order to understand what kinds of attacks your organization may face and what assets or points of entry they may target.
If you are ready to become a cybersecurity specialist, either operating in your current role or in the interest of transitioning into cybersecurity full time, now is the time to start learning the field. Explore the Cybersecurity Foundations and Frameworks self-paced online course from EmergingEd, and see the depth of cybersecurity knowledge you can begin to build from content developed by cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Groman, CISSP. A strong, up-to-date background in cybersecurity can be your career advantage; start building it today.