How Do You Get Trained in Cyber Security?

Can senior executives of top companies confidently say that their systems are entirely secure from cyberattacks? Considering the data breaches at Facebook, Yahoo, JW Marriott, LinkedIn, Uber, and Adobe, no company can give such a statement. Cybersecurity has reached the top of the list of priorities for every company and today they are ready to bear the costs of cyber security awareness training as it is worth the Return on Investment (ROI).

Security incidents are costing companies losses worth millions of dollars. According to a report by IBM and Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach stood at USD 3.86 million in 2020. These costs include direct and indirect costs related to time and effort spent in dealing with a data breach, regulatory fines, and lost opportunities due to a bad reputation. The report further stated that companies that were prepared and took effective cybersecurity measures had a much smaller average cost of breaches.  

Over the past few years, cyber security has emerged as one of the fastest-growing career domains of the overall tech job market. As malicious hackers are becoming more sophisticated with their attacks, cyber security experts are needed to avert all kinds of cyber threats. Though not many professionals start their IT careers in this field, many are enrolling in cyber security training programs to make a switch and become eligible for various cyber security jobs. 

Professionals who don’t have a clear idea of cyber security are often confused about how to get trained properly and get started. In this article, we have discussed everything that you need to know about cyber security training. 

A Cyber Security Career

If predictions by Cybersecurity Ventures are anything to go by, there will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs in cyber security by 2021. Professionals, apart from the cyber security team, are also expected to be involved in protecting and defending data, applications, and devices. However, the supply of the right cyber security talent isn’t keeping pace with the growing demand. The issue is professionals do not have the skills that are required to perform the responsibilities of a cyber security role. 

Cyber security encompasses a variety of job roles like:

  • Information security analyst
  • Ethical hacker
  • Penetration tester
  • Network administrator
  • Security auditor
  • Security consultant
  • Security architect
  • Incident responder/Intrusion analyst 
  • Forensic expert

Many professionals have questions regarding the educational background required while applying for the above roles. Well, there isn’t a specific degree dedicated to cyber security; however, graduation in computer science, information technology, or related fields makes it easier to switch into such roles. Professionals also work on some open-source projects and participate in online hackathons to solve challenges and gain some practical knowledge.  

The field has become so crucial that some organizations have proactively stepped up to empower professionals to touch every aspect of information security and inspire a safe and secure cyber world. Such organizations have created information security training and certification programs to train professionals regarding the highest ethical standards and best practices in cyber security. Following are some of the renowned certification bodies in this field:

  • International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council)
  • The International Information System Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)²
  • Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
  • Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)   

Certifications offered by these organizations are recognized globally and also improve the career prospects of professionals. 

Getting Trained in Cyber Security

There are different career paths you can choose in the vast field of cyber security. The job roles are already mentioned above. All you need to do is map your skills and find out which role best matches your interests. Once you have decided, try enhancing your skills, get certified, and land a desired job. You can start with the security basics like network defense tactics, security and networking fundamentals, web application security techniques, logging and monitoring procedures, and cryptography and access management practices.

Some industry-acknowledged certifications that can help you demonstrate your security skills include:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) by the EC-Council
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) by (ISC)²
  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) by (ISC)²
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) by ISACA

Each of the above certifications has an associated exam and eligibility criteria. While qualifying for them have loads of career benefits, the exams are quite difficult. Professionals who are passionate about achieving them often turn to online training programs and get proper guidance to pass the exam in a single attempt. Such online courses offer blended learning options and their syllabus is aligned with the test domains asked in the exam. 

Another benefit of taking online courses is you get to become well-versed in using different security tools like Bettercap, Wireshark, Sqlmap, Netstumbler, Aircrack-ng, and more. You will also get access to integrated labs where you can work on industry projects in real-time and get valuable feedback from the subject matter experts. Overall, it all comes to how much interest you have in going into the details, finding vulnerabilities in a system, and dealing with any possible intrusion. So, why not hone your skills today and prepare yourself to smartly deal with malicious hackers out there.  

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.