10 Tips Every Cybersecurity Aspirant Should Know

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With multiple attractive verticals, the market for cybersecurity services is estimated to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion in 2020. [1] This can be seen in action as small- to large-scale organizations turn to cybersecurity as a solution. Due to this invested interest, the cybersecurity industry has witnessed many job vacancies for IT security professionals to protect their network infrastructure and maintain customer trust. But Kaspersky Labs 2016 report mentions that half of the businesses admit to facing a significant talent shortage. [2] Understanding the reasons behind this talent shortage will help you secure a cybersecurity job.

Impressive Tips to Kick-Start Your Cybersecurity Career

If you are looking to get into cybersecurity, then this is a must read. The listed tips will help you get entry-level cybersecurity jobs.

1. Pick a Domain to Start With

Cybersecurity is a vast industry with multiple domains falling under it. Few of the major ones are as follows: digital forensics, application security, network security, information security, and many more. Researching on the different domains before you choose to kick-start your career in cybersecurity will help you define your path.

While it is uncommon for employers to find a cybersecurity aspirant who is well aware of his choice of the domain at an entry-level stage, organizations also want their entry-level candidates to have proper knowledge about all the verticals of cybersecurity. This first tip will help you to set both short-term and long-term goals. It will also narrow down your job-search process.

2. Remember, It’s an Ever-Evolving Industry

With the increase in cybercrime, it is important for cybersecurity experts to evolve with upcoming challenges and technologies. You are always required to update your existing knowledge and skills with the changing cybersecurity trends. Employers look for candidates with updated knowledge. So stay aware of what is trending in the industry.

3. Professional Credibility—Internships and Certifications

This is one of those industries which picks candidates with accredited certifications and professional skills over the ones with no background knowledge at all. Look for the skills demanded by your employers so that you can work to acquire them. This will add value to your résumé. You should have an appropriate plan to enhance your existing cybersecurity knowledge. Your plans make you ambitious and passionate about what you are seeking for. But also remember, your certifications won’t be of any use if you don’t have the relevant practical skills.

So, go for certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker which is ANSI accredited, DoD recognized, and designed in accordance with the current job market. Other additional certifications like EC-Council Certified Security Analyst, Certified Application Security Engineer, Licensed Penetration Tester, Advanced Penetration Tester, and a few more will make you more desirable for the job role. Most of these certifications come with hands-on lab sessions which help you to be aware of the practical use of your theoretical knowledge.

4. Your Basic Cybersecurity Knowledge Should be On-Point

Candidates should have a strong elementary knowledge of the following questions:

  • How do servers and client work?
  • How do network and cloud services work?
  • What is the functionality and workflow of/for firewalls?
  • What are the different types of firewalls? How do they work?
  • What are the operations of IPS/IDS systems?
  • How exploits harm systems and networks?
  • How to combat different types of malware?

With that, having reverse-engineering skills and practical skills help a lot in getting a job.

5. Brush Your Technical Skills

Keep practicing what you already know. If you have the knowledge base and skill set of an ethical hacker, then you should have the associated technical and practical knowledge too. Practicing on your existing technical knowledge gives you the upper hand over those who possess just the theoretical knowledge and completely lack the practical aspect of it.

6. Networking

This is one of the most important steps to achieve your dream role. Knowing and interacting with professionals from the industry will guide you through a complete professional journey. Ask cybersecurity professionals for their advice and you’ll notice that you have a lot to gain from them. Building professional relationships in cybersecurity is a time-consuming process but it is one of the most effective methods that can lead you to your first job.

7. Participating in Hackathons

There are a number of companies organizing credible hackathons for candidates to showcase their technical skills. This will give you a better opportunity to demonstrate your skills and compete with others in a real-time world.

8. Communication and Writing Skills

Scoring a job is not limited to your technical background; you also need to have proper communication skills to interact with the management of your company. Not only that, but your writing skills also do matter. In most of the cybersecurity jobs, you will be required to write reports and interact with management level members of the organization. This is possible only when you have strong verbal and written skills.

9. Should be a Team Player

Employers look for hiring those candidates who can work in a team environment. There are times when your personality trumps the strong technical aspects of other competing candidates. This is true because cybersecurity professionals are now associated with various departments of a business. A candidate who can adapt according to the changing work areas will suit the job profile better than someone who likes to work alone.

10. Owning a Positive Mentality

A cybersecurity aspirant should have the mentality to ace any cyber threat. No cyberattack is invincible or untraceable. You should be strong enough to face any challenge that comes your way. This is another personality trait that employers look for when hiring.

With all the above tips, you should be having passion and determination to pursue cybersecurity career. Cybersecurity ventures predicted the skill gap in the industry to reach 3.5 million by 2021; even after such a huge scope for scoring a cybersecurity job, you won’t get through if you lack passion, technical knowledge, and practical aspect of the industry. [3]


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemorgan/2016/01/02/one-million-cybersecurity-job-openings-in-2016/%2331a5b3027ea2
[2] https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/security_risks_report_lack_of_security_talent/
[3] https://cybersecurityventures.com/jobs/

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