With rapid advancements in information technology, and with interconnected systems becoming a necessity for both businesses and governments worldwide for information sharing and collaboration; and to reach out to the customers, vendors and to support online banking, ecommerce, education and logistics etc
While all this has resulted in significant productivity gains and ease-of-doing businesses, however the new interconnected systems also carry a serious cybersecurity downside.
While some of these attacks may by just annoying in nature, however more sophisticated attacks can impact telecommunication networks, shutdown utility or nuclear or military infrastructures or may impact the financial system thus paralyzing the economy or governance.
Besides the financial impact of cyberattacks is soaring and sometime just one severe cyber-attack is enough to put the organization out of business.
With the pace of digital transformation accelerating with new technologies like the internet of things (IoT), cloud processing and storage etc., it also spawns vulnerabilities and catastrophic scenarios and high-risk events which may sometime cause existential threats to businesses and governments.
Most of the recent cyber-attacks have revealed that while the breached companies thought they had strong cyber defences in place to prevent such attacks, however the constantly evolving and well-funded hackers armed with sophisticated tools were easily able to find many open doors to intrude in.
Despite improvements in security technologies and tools and better expertise to deter such attacks, in reality the cyber-attacks and data thefts are only going up in scale and sophistication and becoming deadlier by the year. These pose significant threats to businesses and governments worldwide.
As organizations become more and more customer data dependent, they become more valuable to hackers. The stringent data protection regulations from the government worldwide that penalize firms for customer data breaches and loss, make it imperative for the companies to hire IT security experts to protect their data and systems. Any organization that depends on digital technologies and the internet requires cyber-security tools and experts to manage their systems and data.
While every industry needs cyber security experts, however some of the critical industries/sectors like Telecommunication, Government, Banking and Finance, Insurance, Utilities, Law Enforcement are the ones who need these the most.
While small to medium organizations can managed their security needs with a team of IT professionals having expertise in information security to monitors, analyse and protects their systems from attacks, however in case of governments and large organizations running mission-critical applications, a full-fledged command centre called Security Operations Center (SOC) constantly log system activity and mitigate threats.
It functions round the clock, with experts working in shifts to monitor internet traffic, networks, endpoint devices, servers, databases, and applications for any potential threats or security incidents. These are managed by people with high-level of IT and cybersecurity skills. continuously monitor and improve an organization's security posture while preventing, detecting, analysing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents and leveraging threat intelligence data and collaborating with threat intelligence community and other internal and external sources.
All this has resulted in a huge demand for cybersecurity professionals who work in nearly every sector and industry and are one of the highest paid professionals across industries.
Right from the leadership roles requiring high level problems solving, making strategic decisions, team management; to architecting, consulting and deploying access control, anti-malware, anomaly-detection, application security, data loss prevent (DLP), endpoint security, firewall, Intrusion prevention systems, Security information and event management (SIEM) and Threat intelligence tools to operations/supports staff to monitoring incidents and Data loss prevention opportunities are available at all levels
The key roles within an organization can be:
• Chief Information Office
• Chief Security Officer
• Security Architects
• Application security specialist
• Forensics experts
• Network security specialists
• Vulnerability management
Initially you may start at entry level and as you gain experience and expertise in these areas you might set your sights on pursuing specialized architecting and consulting roles and eventually in leadership and managerial roles.
Many universities now-a-days offer bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in Computer Science with specialization in Cyber-Security. In addition, several professional bodies like ISACA, ISSA, ISC, SANS, CompTIA, EC Council etc. offer professional courses and certifications for various security roles that help you become conversant in current and future cybersecurity issues relevant to your role, organization, and industry. These certifications have wide industry acceptance and offer career advantages. Some widely accepted certifications are CISSP, CompTIA Security+, CEH, CISM, , ,GSEC,ECSA, GPEN, GIAC, SSCP etc.
Cyber Security jobs offer one of the best salary packages in the industry. The entry level salary of an Analyst are around INR 35,000 – 45,000 per month, while a Chief Security Officer roles with a large companies can easily fetch a monthly salary upto 6-8 lakh per month.