8 In-Demand Cyber Careers
The headlines have been ringing the alarm for years. Widening technical skill gaps have created a forecasted cybersecurity industry shortage of, quite literally, millions of unfilled jobs. Meanwhile, cyberattacks show no sign of slowing down and organizations are scrambling to secure the trained professionals they need to keep valuable information secure.
Clearly, there’s no better time to think about making cybersecurity your next career move, especially if you have a background in IT and are an adaptable, curious problem solver who thrives on a challenge.
One look at the list of cybersecurity job postings reveals just how broad the field is. There is a need for a robust cybersecurity workforce in nearly every industry, and cyber professionals can pursue a variety of career paths. Finding the right one for you depends on your strengths, experience, and education.
Here are eight of some of the most in-demand jobs in cybersecurity today to help you decide which career could be your perfect fit.
Penetration testing is the process of simulating cyberattacks to identify weak spots in an organization’s technology infrastructure and then proposing solutions to strengthen them. Penetration testing helps organizations fine-tune their procedures and is an important way for companies that handle sensitive or financial data to stay compliant with regulations.
Technology advances quickly, and so do a hacker’s sophisticated tricks. Penetration testers need to be nimble and creative thinkers with excellent organizational ability to stay one step ahead.
A cybercrime investigator is a highly skilled and specially trained investigator who works with cybersecurity and police teams once a cyberattack has been committed to collect evidence to help solve the crime. These special investigators analyze computer systems and networks, recover data that was destroyed or damaged, gather evidence and computer network information, prepare reports, and train law enforcement on cyber-related issues.
Incident Response Analyst
An incident response analyst’s main goal is to protect their organization’s network and computer systems. They work with the cybersecurity and information technology teams to repair damage when a crisis occurs. Incident response analysts are also responsible for finding new and better ways to protect the organization’s systems and are constantly researching new ideas and ways to prevent cyberattacks from occurring.
Depending on the organization, incident response analysts are likely to monitor systems in multiple locations all over the United States or even the world.
Cybersecurity Operations Engineer
Cybersecurity operations engineers make sure data, personal information, and software are protected against all cyber threats. While many members of IT teams help fix a cyberattack after it has occurred, security operations engineers work to prevent threats before they become incidents.
Cybersecurity operations engineers are highly technical specialists whose responsibilities include maintaining security policies at the points of access to a clients’ networks, working with different vendors to ensure network access and security requirements are met, as well as researching, developing, and testing software.
Large organizations have security operation centers that are charged with monitoring and protecting an organization’s assets. Within these centers are security operations center (SOC) analysts. They investigate potential cyberattacks, while examining traffic and user logs. SOC analysts work as a team, using a network of sensors and security tools, and monitoring equipment to stop potential cyberattacks.
Among the entire team, SOC analysts provide 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year protection and immediate response capabilities. Each analyst might have a specific role or have many responsibilities, depending on the organization where they are employed.
Information Systems Auditor
Information systems auditors, or certified information systems auditors (CISA), are professionals who ensure IT systems are appropriately managed and are functioning properly. IT auditors perform audits on the general IT structure of an organization, its application controls, and its system security, as well as perform risk assessments.
To advance in this position you must pass certification as designated by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).
Cyber Compliance Analyst
A compliance analyst helps ensure an organization complies with all laws, regulations, and standards related to information security. The role is part of an organization’s risk management strategy and involves meeting various measures and controls, usually set in place by a regulatory authority, to protect a company’s data.
Depending on what industry a compliance analyst enters, some of their job duties may look different. For example, those in health care looks at medial compliance issues, such as those associated with HIPPA. In the financial sector, analysts might look at auditing expenses and accounting practices.
Chief Information Security Officer
A chief information security officer, or CISO, is responsible for maintaining the security of information technology and computer systems for any company. CISOs are a part of the leadership team that collaborates with other officers, business managers, and IT managers to effectively monitor and maintain the security of their organization’s computers, websites, applications, networks, and databases.
Across all industries, CISO positions are a necessity; whether you work in higher education, health care, fashion, ad management, or other industries, this position is essential to the success of a company.