A career in cybersecurity is no longer a challenge but an opportunity

By Arjun Mohan, CEO-India, upGrad

The pandemic has pushed and increased the adoption of technology and the digital footprint of organizations. Due to the rise of hybrid working and digital business processes in the cloud, new risks have emerged and the existing centralized cybersecurity control has become obsolete. As ransomware attacks have become more frequent and sophisticated, the rise in cryptocurrency usage has also led to the current spike – an industry report suggests.

Industry experts have pointed to an increase in the use of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), a SaaS-based attack vector. Cybercriminals can buy them on the dark web and don’t need to know how to code to use them. According to the Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), ransomware is considered the most significant threat facing organizations today. These attacks have been on a slope, with an increase of almost 13% over the past year, which is as high as the combined peak of the past five years.

The growing number of similar ransomware attacks has exposed technology gaps and skill shortages. As we enter Web 3.0, where new technologies are being introduced, the need for cybersecurity is going to increase at a rapid rate. There can be no better time than now for professionals considering a career in cybersecurity.

A career in cybersecurity is as rewarding as it is equally demanding. These dedicated professionals are sought after in large numbers around the world due to the vast gap between the number of cybersecurity professionals in existence versus the challenges of the field that are faced on a daily basis. This demand has been confirmed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics which predicts a 31% impact on employment rates for cybersecurity professionals by 2029. Comparatively, the average growth rate for all industries is not than 4%. This demand for data security specialists is expected to increase by 33% between the 2020s and 2030s, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Regardless of industry, all businesses have cybersecurity concerns and are responsible for protecting the data of their business, employees, and consumers. Therefore, organizations are keen to hire qualified specialists, who are equipped to analyze and identify network and software vulnerabilities before any exploitation. Therefore, learners who choose to become cybersecurity professionals can consider different roles to build a high-growth career in cybersecurity, through developmental efforts in disciplines such as application security, data privacy, cryptography and network security.

Some of the popular roles to consider in cybersecurity include:
1) Security Architect: A security architect deals with the planning, implementation and testing of security systems. They are responsible for protecting data from hackers, malware and DDoS attacks
2) Security Advisor: A security consultant is a flexible, tech-savvy professional who protects the organization’s data and capital. They analyze various security systems, in all areas
3) Penetration tester: A penetration tester finds weaknesses and loopholes in the system that hackers can use. They are also called Ethical Hackers
4) Cryptographer: They are security system professionals responsible for writing code that hackers cannot crack. It’s a mid-level job that you’ll enjoy if you like to code
5) Security Analyst: As a security analyst, you will need to plan and execute various security measures. You analyze and document system security and find areas prone to attacks
6) Security engineer: A security engineer is responsible for rebuilding the security system of the organization. They set up the necessary devices to safeguard the system
7) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): As a CISO, you will have the power to create security measures. You will also need to work with other stakeholders to determine system security as this is an advanced role.
8) Computer Forensics Analyst: A computer forensics analyst works on cases of cyberattacks to collect digital evidence and recover encrypted, deleted, manipulated or stolen data.

There are several other roles learners can choose to pursue. However, in this pursuit, the key is to choose the right UG or PG courses that will equip one with the fundamentals of the subject and the required industry skills.

Therefore, it is important to assess the quality of learning offered by new-age EdTech platforms, where learners are taught directly by industry experts, who are aware of the realities of the cybersecurity world. It also comes with results-oriented bootcamps, projects, masterclasses, and live training to enable application of skills during fieldwork. Additionally, access to a global peer-to-peer network allows learners to gain a comprehensive understanding of the global privacy and security landscape.


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