It’s the role of cybersecurity specialists to protect organizations and the public from hackers, scammers and other online criminals. Cyber security is fast becoming one of the most important roles in the tech sector as cyber criminals and hackers become ever more sophisticated.
Cybersecurity specialists work with organizations to keep their computer information systems secure. They determine who requires access to which information, and then plan, coordinate and implement information security programs.
Employers of Cyber Security Specialists
Job opportunities for cybersecurity specialists can be found in both the public and private sectors. Potential employers include network providers, government agencies, IT services companies, the armed forces, professional services firms, financial institutions and cybersecurity consulting firms.
- seeking to build in security during the development stages of software systems, networks and data centres
- looking for vulnerabilities and risks in hardware and software
- finding the best way to secure the IT infrastructure of an organization
- building firewalls into network infrastructures
- constantly monitoring for attacks and intrusions
- when the cyber security specialist finds a potential threat or attempted breach, closing off the security vulnerability
- identifying the perpetrator and liaising with the police if necessary
Breaking into the cybersecurity field typically requires a combination of up-to-date computer expertise and educational qualifications. Specific educational requirements for cybersecurity specialist jobs will vary according to the position and employer.
- Associate’s Degree: Some entry-level cybersecurity specialist positions may require an associate’s degree or diploma in computer science or a related field, plus work experience. You may qualify for advancement through additional experience and education. Most mid-level cybersecurity positions will require at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree: Pursuing a four-year degree can be excellent preparation for a cybersecurity job. Many employers will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, engineering or a related discipline. Many also require specialized training, industry certifications and/or related work experience.
- Strong IT skills and knowledge including hardware, software and networks
- Meticulous attention to detail
- Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of IT systems
- A forensic approach to challenges
- A deep understanding of how hackers work and ability to keep up with the fast pace of change in the criminal cyber-underworld
- Ability to seek out vulnerabilities in IT infrastructures