Cybersecurity is a booming industry that has grown rapidly in the past decade, and security engineers play an essential role in the tech world, with many companies scrambling to find the right fit for their organization. Since the last decade, the rise in the number of cyber-attacks has made hiring cybersecurity experts a necessity. Today from Big corporations, SMEs, to even data centers are looking for better ways to protect their data.
In cybersecurity, there are many different paths one can take to become a cybersecurity engineer. Pursuing a career in the cybersecurity realm can be lucrative and satisfying. However, it is essential to learn and ace the skills. Read ahead to learn how to become a cyber security engineer.
What is cybersecurity?
To become a cyber security engineer, one must first understand what cyber security is. Cyber security is the practice of protecting electronic information by mitigating computer, network, and data vulnerabilities. This field encompasses a variety of specialties, including but not limited to the following:
Network security engineers work to protect an organization’s data and infrastructure from external threats. This can involve designing and implementing firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and secure protocols.
Application security focuses on securing the software that makes up an organization’s applications and systems. This includes everything from code review and vulnerability assessment to ensure coding practices and application hardening.
Data security covers all aspects of protecting an organization’s data at rest and in transit. This can include encryption, access control, data leakage prevention, and more.
Endpoint security protects an organization’s devices (laptops, servers, mobile devices, etc.) from malware and other threats. This can involve deploying anti-virus/anti-malware solutions, configuring host-based firewall rules, and more.
Why become a cybersecurity engineer?
There are many reasons to become a cybersecurity engineer. The need for experienced and qualified cybersecurity professionals will only grow as the world becomes increasingly digital. Here are some of the top reasons to consider a career in cybersecurity engineering:
Job stability and growth potential
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of information security analysts will grow by 35% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Cybersecurity engineers typically earn high salaries. According to Payscale.com, the median salary for a cybersecurity engineer is $99,302 per year.
Help protect people and organizations
A cybersecurity engineer helps protect individuals and organizations from online threats such as hackers, viruses, and malware. This is a gratifying career path for those who want to make a difference in the world.
Interesting and challenging work
Cybersecurity engineering is a dynamic and ever-changing field with plenty of challenges and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
How to become a cyber security engineer?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to become a cyber security engineer will vary depending on the background and experience. However, there are some general steps one can take to increase their chances of success in this field.
Firstly, it is crucial to have a strong foundation in computer science and engineering. This will foster the technical skills and knowledge necessary to understand and solve complex security problems.
Secondly, having experience working in IT or information security is helpful. This will provide an ecosystem to understand the threats and vulnerabilities that exist in computer systems and how to best protect against them. Thirdly, it is also beneficial to have formal training in cyber security.
This can be obtained through a degree program or professional certification course. Finally, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends and developments in the field of cyber security. This means reading industry publications, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals in the field.
What do experts say about cyber security?
A cyber security engineer’s salary can vary depending on their level of experience, education, and location. The median salary for a cyber security engineer is $92,000 per year. However, salaries can range from $85,000 to $140,000 per year. The median wage reflects the area, nation, and companies one is applying to.
To further break down this path, let’s see some essentials required to become a cybersecurity engineer. A degree in computer science or a related field is the first step to becoming a cybersecurity engineer. This will provide the technical knowledge and skills one needs to succeed in this field. Many types of cybersecurity degrees are available, so choose one that fits your interests and goals.
The next step is getting experience working in information security. This can be done by interning at a company or working as a contractor for an agency. Like wine, which gets better as it ages, one should get as much experience as possible to learn all the different aspects of cybersecurity engineering.
Finally, a valid certificate from a registered organization should do the job! This will show potential employers that the applicant has the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in this field.
How long does it take to become a cyber security engineer?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of time it takes to become a cyber security engineer depends on various factors, including prior experience and education, the specific position one is aiming for, and the company. However, it generally takes several years of experience in the field to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be a successful cybersecurity engineer.
If someone is starting from scratch — with no prior experience in the field of information security, then it will likely take longer to become a cyber security engineer. In those cases, one can pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field and then complete a professional certification program in cyber security. After that, go to several years of experience before jumping into the position of a cyber security engineer.
For those already working, IT could make the transition faster, allowing them to grab security concepts faster and position themselves as cybersecurity engineers more quickly.
To sum up, becoming a cyber security engineer is not easy, but it is achievable if one has the right skills and qualifications.