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Thinking Of A Career in Cybersecurity? Here is what you need to know.

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

While people are enjoying the convenience of using the Internet, they are also worrying that their privacy is not being properly protected--a reasonable concern in this day and age. The Internet tracks and memorizes all of our online activities. Some individuals and companies take advantage of that and invade our privacy by using our personal data without our consent. In 2018, Facebook violated the law by mishandling users’ information, and the data of nearly 50 million users was illegally harvested. Not only people are concerned about information leaking, but also companies are starting to recognize the importance of cyber and information security, especially in a new era where millions of remote employees rely heavily on the Internet working from home.

This unprecedented pandemic, which started in March of this year, has been negatively impacting the economy for more than 6 months now and has cost over 22 million people to lose their jobs within the United States. Even though the economy has started to reopen and create millions of jobs over the past few months, there is still an 11.5 million job deficit. While the labor market is suffering from the recession, the cybersecurity job market stays incredibly strong. The high demand for cyber security jobs is attributed to the sudden shift to remote work, which puts companies in a position where they are vulnerable to data breaches more than ever before. Based on data from Indeed, there was a 6% increase in cybersecurity-related job postings by employers from February to May 2020, and there were more than 260 thousand unfilled cybersecurity jobs. In order to protect companies from cyber attacks, cybersecurity talents play a crucial role in creating a secure working environment for the entire organization.

Compared to the general job market, chances to get a cybersecurity-based job are higher. However, it’s still challenging with the ongoing impact of coronavirus. Besides polishing your resume and preparing before your interview, what else can you do to impress the recruiting manager? Sedna has composed three pieces of advice to help you land your dream job and start your career in the cybersecurity industry.

1. Get certified.

During the hiring process, recruiters want to see candidates who have previous work or professional experience. In this field, a certification is a form of proof that strongly validates that a potential employee has the knowledge and skills they need to be qualified for the position. There are different types of certifications, and each one provides different skills for its specialization. Provided with various options, it is vital to understand which ones your future career will benefit from most. A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, the most popular one, allows security professionals to acquire penetration skills for accessing computer and network systems for security issues. A Certified Information Security System Professional (CISSP) certification, which is relevant to CEH, enables information security professionals to gain deep technical and managerial knowledge and gain experience to design, engineer, and manage the security posture of an organization effectively. Last but not least, GIAC Security Essentials certification (GSEC) demonstrates the competence of a professional in cryptography, password management, access control, network mapping and network control, DNS, public key infrastructure, and detecting and preventing cybersecurity incidents, among others.. Job seekers with the certification will have more career opportunities and higher chances to receive a job offer for a hands-on security role.

2. Think like a hacker.

Based on a 2018 report on cyber security conducted by the Ponemon Institution, a research center dedicated to data protection and privacy, 57% of small and medium businesses who were attacked by cyber criminals stated that they could have taken proactive measures to prevent the attacks, and 34% of these victims said that they have detected existing vulnerabilities before the attacks. Many companies deploy protections from the angel of the defender, but what they should do instead is have the mindset of a hacker. Be anticipatory, not reactionary. By adapting to the mindset of a cyber attacker, you will have the ability to detect vulnerabilities more easily and predict potential threats. Showing your unconventional way of thinking during the interview will differentiate you from other applicants and prove that you are a real expert.

3. Hone your soft skills.

If you have equipped yourself with cyber security knowledge, certifications, and a hacker’s mindset, congratulations! You are only one step away from starting a career in cyber security. In addition to improving your hard skills, you will need to gain essential soft skills to work harmoniously with peers. Fixing security issues isn’t an individual task, but a team effort.. Professionals need to understand the importance of collaboration and how to be a team player, so that they can work together and build a safe and secure work environment. In addition to that, paying attention to detail is also a prominent soft skill to help you succeed in cyber security. You need to be detail-oriented when you dig deep to find the root of a data breach, analyze logs after your company’s system has been attacked, or conduct digital forensics. Carelessness could cause vulnerabilities in systems, networks, or data centers, which might ruin both your company’s reputation and your career.

With sufficient hard skills, an innovative way of thinking, and the right soft skills, you will stand out among hundreds and thousands of applicants and get your dream job in the cybersecurity industry. Sedna wishes you lots of success and happiness for your future career.

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