Cybersecurity, the practice of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or theft, has never been more important. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing faster than the supply. The number of cybersecurity jobs that are unfilled rose to 3.5 million in 2021 from 1 million in 2014. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cybersecurity jobs will increase by 33% between 2020-2030. Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president for Security, Compliance, and Identity, Microsoft, stated, “Cybersecurity requires you.”
To become a cybersecurity analyst you need to first understand the cybersecurity skills required to get a job in this field. These are the 20 skills every cybersecurity professional must have.
Technical Cybersecurity Skills
Anyone looking to get a jump start in cybersecurity is going to need technical skills. These are some of the most important technical skills needed to be a cybersecurity analyst.
Networking and System Administration
System administration and networking are the two most essential skills for cybersecurity professionals. System administration involves the management of computer systems and networks. Networking is about configuring and managing them.
You can build and manage network infrastructure by learning about networking and system administration. This is crucial for protecting data against unauthorized access and theft. These skills are also a solid foundation for other technical skills.
You can learn system administration and network basics in technical schools, colleges, or online certificate programs. The CompTIA Security+ certification is entry-level security and networking certification that can lead to specialized careers within cybersecurity.
The goal of a risk analysis is to identify potential problems and prevent or mitigate them. Analysts consider the likelihood of adverse events, identify their potential for harm, and estimate their likelihood.
Cybersecurity professionals need to be able to perform risk analysis in order to evaluate the potential impact of security breaches. Analysts can also develop strategies to prevent and respond to them. By taking specialized courses on security management and risk analysis, cybersecurity professionals can learn how to analyze risk.
Security Incident Handling and Response
Management of incident response (IR), is the process of monitoring a security event from beginning to end. This involves the identification and investigation of security incidents, supervising response efforts, as well as restoring systems or data to their regular operation.
While security incident responders are responsible for identifying and eliminating immediate threats, IR analysts manage the implementation of the solutions. The IR analyst is responsible for determining a strategy for remediating a security system breach.
Participating in workshops or training, learning materials, and attending conferences can help cybersecurity professionals improve their security incident handling and response skills.
Organizations can identify weaknesses in their security infrastructure by conducting security audits. Security professionals assess whether security protocols meet established criteria during this inspection. Auditing ensures compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements.
Security professionals need to have strong auditing skills. Auditing skills require a deep understanding of everything, from user data to hardware configurations. It is important to keep up-to-date on security trends and practices from other organizations.
Laws and Regulations
Computer security is governed by laws and regulations. Although there is not a single federal law that regulates cybersecurity or privacy, many states have passed laws regarding cybersecurity and notification of data breaches. These laws and regulations may differ from one state or another. Professionals should be familiar with their specific rules.
These laws protect both individuals and businesses from cyberattacks. It is important to understand and comply with these laws in order to mitigate risks and resolve problems. For cybersecurity professionals, reading government websites, consulting with lawyers, and attending industry conferences can be excellent ways to keep up-to-date on the laws and regulations that govern their field.
Also read: How To Build A Career In Ethical Hacking
Understanding Operating Systems and Virtual Machines
Operating systems and virtual machines are the two most prevalent attack vectors. Cybersecurity professionals need to be familiar with them. Implementation of OS and VM security methods includes firewalls, regular OS updates, and antivirus software.
By reading technical manuals and taking online courses and attending industry conferences, cybersecurity professionals can gain a better understanding of operating systems and virtual machine technology.
Network Security Control
Security professionals need to be proficient in network security control. Professionals can use network security controls to detect and prevent unauthorized network access. This allows them to identify and mitigate potential security risks.
It is essential for cybersecurity professionals to understand how to manage network security and protect data. Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software are some of the most popular security measures. These and other security measures can be used by professionals to create a strong defense against cyberattacks.
A cybersecurity training program is a great way for security professionals to improve their network security control skills. These programs provide students with a detailed and comprehensive look at how to defend computer networks against cyberattacks.
Malware could cause damage to individuals or organizations. This includes theft of data and destruction of data as well as financial damage. Knowing how malware attacks can be prevented is a critical skill for cybersecurity professionals, Malware is responsible for 28% of all data breaches. There are many ways to protect your computer from malware and tools including antivirus software and authentication methods. These skills allow professionals to detect and prevent unauthorized entry into their systems to mitigate security risks.
Security professionals can learn how to prevent malware by participating in security training programs and taking security courses. To learn from other cybersecurity professionals, you can also join discussion groups and cybersecurity forums.
Cybersecurity programming languages are used to protect networks and systems from hackers or intruders.
The following top programming languages are best for cybersecurity:
- C and C++: These languages are the most powerful since most computers can run them. They are more complicated than higher-level languages such as Java or Python.
- Python. Security professionals may use this code for automating scripts to allow them to create programs rather than buying them.
- SQL. Structured Query Language (SQL), is a programming language that manages databases as well as the data contained within them.
- PHP. The PHP language (Hypertext Preprocessor), makes it easy to update websites. Around 78% of websites were written in.
Entry-level cybersecurity jobs don’t require coding skills. As you progress in your career, however, you will need to be able to read and interpret code lines. You can learn code online or at educational institutions. Code tutorials and other online resources can help individuals acquire the skills necessary to code efficiently.
Cloud computing is a must for businesses. They need to ensure their systems are secure from unauthorized access, misuse, and disclosure. Cloud security is essential for cybersecurity professionals, as many companies store their data and apps in the cloud. User misconfiguration is the greatest security risk in cloud computing. Security professionals need to be able to correctly configure the system.
By taking classes or attending seminars, professionals in cybersecurity can learn cloud security skills. They can also find articles, whitepapers, and other information on cloud security, or talk with experts in this field.
Familiarity with Intelligence and Analytics
For cybersecurity professionals to protect their data and systems effectively, they need intelligence and analytics. These skills are crucial for understanding and predicting cyber crime behavior. Cybersecurity analysts must understand how attackers work in order to be able to protect their data and systems.
Cybersecurity professionals can take courses and workshops to learn more about intelligence and analytics. You can also read books or articles on the subject or watch videos explaining these concepts.
An intrusion detection system is a tool that detects malicious activity and policy violations on a computer. Many IDS systems, including antivirus software, include intrusion prevention capabilities. They are able to identify threats and immediately report them to the appropriate personnel.
Knowing how to identify suspicious activity, understand network traffic and use detection tools are some of the most important skills required for intrusion detection. These skills can be learned by cybersecurity professionals who take courses or training programs in intrusion detection.
SIEM has a vital role in cybersecurity. It allows professionals to monitor and control the security of computers and networks. SIEM tool helps companies to detect and respond quickly to cybersecurity threats. It collects, analyzes, and reports security event data.
Courses and training programs can help cybersecurity professionals acquire SIEM skills. They will teach you how to analyze, collect and report security events data. You can also read books or attend webinars and conferences that are focused on SIEM.
Soft Skills Required for Cybersecurity Jobs
A combination of technical and soft skills is required for cybersecurity professionals. These are the most important soft skills for a career in cybersecurity.
Effective communication is essential for cybersecurity. Analysts need to be able to communicate complex technical information to clients and other team members. Communication is essential for teaching security protocols and audits, presenting solutions to managers, and recording security events.
Cybersecurity professionals must be able to think critically and logically in order to protect their networks. This ability is crucial for cybersecurity professionals as it allows them to tackle complex problems and find solutions. Analysts can use this skill to break down complex problems into smaller parts and quickly find solutions.
Because they enable professionals to quickly identify and solve complex problems efficiently and effectively, problem-solving skills in cybersecurity are essential. The Wall Street Journal’s Cybersecurity Executive Forum panelists stated that they don’t always look for technical skills in recruiting and that problem-solving skills are more important.
Attention to the Details
In cybersecurity, attention to detail is crucial. A single mistake could have devastating consequences. IBM states that almost half (49%) of data breaches are due to human error or system failures. Security threats are often subtle and not obvious. These little details are crucial for security analysts to be able to protect their network’s security.
It is essential to be flexible in cybersecurity. The security threat is constantly changing and new technologies are being developed. Security analysts are skilled at keeping up to date with the latest cyber threats and developments in security software. Security analysts can be flexible and improve their security practices when new developments occur.
Security specialists must be able to think critically and analyze problems to find a solution.
Jill Nesek, Chief Security Officer of Cheetah Digital, said, “The most important skill for a cybersecurity professional is critical thinking – understanding the ‘why’ and not just the ‘how’ so that you can make sound decisions and implement solutions that work best for a problem. address the root cause, not just the symptom.”
Cybersecurity is always evolving and changing, just like the digital world. It is important to stay on top of emerging trends in the industry and adapt to new techniques to fight cybercrimes. Security analysts need to be open-minded and continue to learn new things in order to adapt to the changing environment.
Also read: How to Become A High-Paid Security Engineer
Four Ways to Learn Cybersecurity Skills
You can learn the skills you need to pursue a career in this area by doing a few things. These are some suggestions.
- Get a degree in cybersecurity. Take comprehensive courses leading to a degree to learn the skills you need to work in this industry. Many colleges and universities offer both undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity programs.
- Attend a training program or Bootcamp. You can learn the skills you need to become a security analyst through training programs. These are usually shorter than a degree program. Many professionals in cybersecurity learn their skills through certificate programs or on-the-job training, rather than a degree program. Bootcamps such as Springboard offer a great way to get a complete education in all areas of cybersecurity.
- Attend conferences and read cybersecurity books. Cybersecurity has been the topic of many excellent presentations and books. These materials are great additions to cybersecurity education, even though they may not contain all the information you require. You can also absorb more information by watching recorded cybersecurity conferences.
- Keep up to date with the most recent cybersecurity news. There are many blogs, news sites, and magazines that can help you. CyberCrime Magazine provides a wealth of information about the cyber-economy. It includes employment statistics as well as data on cyber-security spending.