Cyber security engineers are the professionals where their primary skill set is utilized to protect computer and networking systems from potential hackers and cyber crimes. With the increased use of technology within the businesses it has become vital for the businesses to protect their data from the potential threats. So, a growing demand has been seen in last few years for Cyber security professionals.
So in this article, we will go through the essential points for an individual and help them to build their careers in and around Cyber security area.
Becoming a Cyber Security Engineer:
Cyber security professionals can get into a variety of job roles, few of them are network system administrators, system administrators, and information security analyst.
The use of Information security analyst is to make sure that the security parameters are set to a standard and do what is necessary to make sure the network is secured. They are involved in updating patch programs to strengthen the security networks within an organization and make sure that they are not security breaches.
Cyber security Career Requirements:
The following are the requirements that need to be fulfilled before becoming a professional cyber security engineer.
- Individual should have a full-time graduate level education
- Should be a computer science graduate
- Should have a supporting experience which involves Computer systems and networks
- Should be proficient in communication, i.e. both oral and written
- Should have good analytical skills and problem-solving skills.
- Should have a working knowledge about few industry standard networking tools, i.e. network analyzers etc
- Should have undergone a cyber security professional course
Usually, most of the companies offer jobs for individual who have some sort of work experience, not necessary to have relevant experience but they look for a genuine work experience so that it will be easy for them to kick off their career easily
Cyber Security Engineer Salary:
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As per Payscale, a cyber security engineer earns about $95,021 per annum (US). Overall, the total pay could be expected between $62k - $140k. This can include your base annual salary, bonuses, overtime pay, profit sharing and other forms of incentives.
Certifications available for a Cyber Security Engineer:
The list of certifications for a cyber security engineer are mentioned below:
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- GCIH/ GCIA/ GSEC: GIAC Security Certifications
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- CCNP Security: Cisco Certified Network Security Professional
What are the steps to become a successful cyber security engineer?
Step 1: Earn a bachelor's degree :
The individual should have gone through a bachelor’s degree for sure. During their stay, the students will be exposed to different courses like:
- Unix and Network Security
- Database designing and administrative activities
- Computer forensics and digital forensics
- Information systems
- Information technology security
- General computer sciences
With the exposure towards the above courses, it will be helpful for the individual to gain overall knowledge on all the aspects of cyber security.
During their last phase of the education, most of the schools request the students to submit a real time project. This is one of the most important phases of learning, during this phase an individual will understand the topics and also gets a practical exposure towards the security aspect.
Step 2: Getting involved and Further Education:
After successfully completing the education phase, one can join active groups where they are focused on shaping future cyber security professionals is helpful. One such group is ISSA, Information Systems Security Association.
Further, another organization which is into shaping future cyber security professionals is ISCC, i.e. Information System Security Certification Consortium. They offer certifications for cyber security professionals.
The following table describes the courses that everyone needs to be aware of and the skills that are gained by taking the course:
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Step 3: Obtain Employment:
Once the individual has gone through the education phase, it is easy for them to get into one of the administrative roles where they get to have practical exposure. This is vital for them as they will get real time information and also handle real time issues. They can start off as Computer System administrators and Computer support job roles.
During this phase, they will understand an organization’s security needs and also the standards. The individual will have an option to improve his working knowledge on any one of the coding platform, this combination will enable the individual to get to a whole new level.
Alternatively, one can always seek professional certifications and make sure that they have upgraded their skill sets. This will help in their career growth.
Step 4: Excel in your career and get to next level:
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Well, to get to next level there is only one way and that is to get enough experience in your current role and make sure you get enough exposure towards the problems. It is possible that putting little extra effort will help you get into Information security analyst position.
The information security professionals are there to make sure that the organization security standards are maintained at an optimum level. Their primary duties will include and not limited :
- Investigate any potential security breaches
- Developing the security standards within the organization
- Help to improve the existing security policies defined by the organization
- Installing relevant security software programs which help in safeguarding important information
- Teach how security software are utilized within the organization
As you have read, the career path to become a successful Cyber security engineer or Information Security Analyst is not that easy. It takes a lot of effort and also a commitment from the individual to get proper education and understand the theoretical concepts of hacking and what is ethical hacking.
So make sure to follow these guidelines and also follow active groups which will help you to motivate yourself to achieve this degree. Afterall saving millions and millions worth of money and trust of an organization is going to be in your hands. So be wise and make sure you put your hearts into it.