5 Cybersecurity Career Paths and the Extra Push You Need to Get There

Cybersecurity is considered today as an essential skill irrespective of the size of the organization. The crux of information security professionals is to save data from being compromised. Besides this, they also handle a wide range of responsibilities. The industry is dynamic and calls for professionals that possess dynamic skills as well. It requires continuous learning and acquiring new skills to keep up with the industry. Before we talk about the different cybersecurity career paths, let us understand how EC-Council defines them.

EC-Council is the world’s leading credentialing body in cybersecurity which has introduced many programs in the cybersecurity domain. The programs have immense potential to help you become a pro in cybersecurity. With its decades of experience, EC-Council understands that a single certification is not enough to lead the industry. A combination of training programs based on different skill-sets is required to set a career path that aligns with the industry requirement. To make it easy, EC-Council has drafted and introduced five main career tracks that can help you climb the cybersecurity career ladder. The sixth career track, as specified by EC-Council, leads to the ultimate C-Suite certification which is a goal to every career track.

Five cybersecurity career paths from EC-Council and how you can start and pave your career in cybersecurity

Foundation Track

Foundation Track

Information assets carry the most valuable and crucial data of any business, and therefore, their protection becomes a high priority. Businesses are mostly online making them prone to higher risk of cyber breaches. The primary measure could be defending systems from intrusions and educating the staff on cyber etiquettes for safe usage of the system.

  • 95% of the cybersecurity breaches are due to human errors [1]

The foundation tracks of EC-Council educate every individual in the team about the protection of information assets, enhances security-related skills, and introduces them to the concept of cryptography. The track covers three foundational level, EC-Council program—C|SCU, E|CSS, and E|CES—that help strengthen your security fundamentals with reduced human errors.

Program Objective Who can attend? Why it is required?
Certified Secure Computer User (CSCU) Provide individuals with necessary knowledge and skills to protect their information assets Anyone using computer and internet It educates on safe handling of internet, system, and end devices so that breaches can be avoided
EC-Council Certified Security Specialist (E|CSS) Enhances skills in information security, network security, and computer forensics Interested in learning

·  Fundamentals of information security

· Network security

· Computer forensics

It ensures secured exchange of information in the organization
EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist (E|CES) Introduction to the foundation of modern symmetric and key cryptography Involved in selection and implementation of VPN’s or digital certificates Gives hands-on experience on cryptographic algorithms and stenography

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing


Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing


The vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) track of EC-Council is one of the most recognized tracks as it encompasses all the major disciplines of cybersecurity that revolve around ethical hacking and penetration testing. In the first phase, the VAPT track has three certifications—C|ND, C|EH, and C|EH (Practical). In the second phase, you can either venture into threat intelligence with the C|TIA or continue to become a penetration tester with E|CSA, followed by E|CSA (Practical). The third phase represents L|PT (Master) which is the most robust of penetration testing credentials. The main features of this VAPT track are:

  • Programs mapped to NICE (National Investigation Cybersecurity Education)
  • C|EH is 100% mapped to NICE Framework’s Protect and Defend specialty area
  • ECSA version10 maps to NICE Framework’s Analyze and Collect and Operate (CO) specialty area
  • C|ND is mapped to NICE Framework
  • C|EH is American National Standards Institute accredited
  • C|EH serves as a baseline certification on the US Department of Defense Directive 8570
  • C|EH (Practical) is the world’s first live proctored exam
  • L|PT (Master) is a three-level progressive challenge that is backed by an advanced penetration testing course, based on the backbone of EC-Council’s Advanced Penetration Testing Cyber Range. Follow the L|PT (Master) brochure for more information.
Program Objective Who can attend? Why it is required?
Certified Network Defender (C|ND) Detailed understanding and hands-on ability to function in real life situations involving network defense · Network administrator

· Network engineer

· CND analyst

· Security analyst

To secure the networks, the systems attached to the network as well as other digital devices attached to the network at the primary and secondary levels
Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) Comprehensive hands-on program that masters you on the methodologies of ethical hacking and penetration testing

It includes the five phases of ethical hacking—reconnaissance, gaining access, enumeration, maintaining access, and covering your tracks

· Security officers

· Auditors

· Security professionals

· Site administrators

· And anyone concerned about the integrity of the IT infrastructure

C|EH is the most popular ethical hacking program among recruiters worldwide. It gives strong foundation to your cybersecurity career
Certified Ethical Hacker (Practical) It is the world’s first ethical hacking industry readiness assessment test that is 100% verified, online, and live proctored

It demonstrates the application of ethical hacking techniques

Ethical hackers willing to test their efficiency It gives a value-added benefit to your ethical hacking career
Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst (C|TIA) A method-driven holistic program that addresses all the stages in threat intelligence life cycle. It covers the concepts that are highly essential from planning the threat intelligence project to building a report to disseminating threat intelligence. ·         Ethical hackers

·         Security practitioners

·         Threat hunters

·         Incident response team members

·         Threat intelligence analyst

·         Digital forensic and malware analyst

·         SOC professionals

·         Anyone interested in threat intelligence

It is the most futuristic and realistic program that increases your employability.
EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) Real-world hands-on penetration testing that covers the testing of modern infrastructure, operating system, and application environment including writing and reporting skills

A desired credential for penetration testing by the employers’ worldwide

Aspiring penetration testers

Ethical hackers

Firewall administrators

Security testers

Network server administrators

System administrators and risk assessment professionals

It is a recognized program for penetration testing. The credential recognizes you having hands-on experience as a penetration tester
EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (Practical) 12-h rigorous practical exam to test your penetration testing skills

World’s first industry readiness assessment that is 100% verified, online, and live proctored

Ethical hackers

Penetration testers

Security testers

Firewall administrators

Network server administrators

System administrators and risk assessment professionals

It gives you value-added benefit of having been qualified the credential which is live proctored
Licensed Penetration Tester (L|PT) 18-h long exhaustive three-level exam that wants you to demonstrate mastery of advanced pen testing techniques and tools

It tests your perseverance and focus by serving you to outdo yourself with each new challenge

Any penetration tester who want to challenge self-penetration skills and want to gain the credential of L|PT Master This brings you the ultimate credential of been a great penetration tester. Priority will be given in the suitable job prospects

Cyber Forensics Track

Cyber Forensics Track

Cyber forensics is gaining prominence, thanks to growing cybercrime (global cybercrime damages are predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021 [2]). The cyber forensics track comprises of two phases. The first, like VAPT, has C|ND, C|EH, and C|EH Practical. In this first path, the student can learn hacking methodologies and network defense with more practical challenges. The second phase has E|CIH and C|HFI which makes the candidate an expert in cyber forensics and incident handling to empower the candidate.

*For information on the C|ND, C|EH, and C|EH Practical, take a look at the VAPT track.

Program Objective Who can attend? Why it is required?
EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (E|CIH) A method-driven program with a holistic approach on incident handling response process to recovering organizational assets after a security incident

Most comprehensive program in incident handling that increases your employability

· Penetration testers

· Vulnerability assessment auditors

· Risk assessment administrators

· Network administrators

· Application security engineers

· Cyber forensic investigators/analyst and SOC analyst

· System administrators/engineers

· Firewall administrators and network managers/IT managers

Global incident response market is expected to grow from $13.38 billion in 2018 to $33.76 billion by 2023 leading to increased requirement of skilled human resource
Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI) Certifies in the discipline of computer forensics from vendor-neutral perspective

Provides firm grasp on the domain of digital forensics

· Police and other law enforcement personnel

· Defense and military personnel

· e-Business security professionals

· System administrators

· Legal professionals

· Banking, insurance, and other professionals

· Government agencies

· IT managers

Bureau of Labor Statistics expected a growth of 28% in computer forensics which is extraordinarily fast which makes an addition of 28,000 jobs to the title [4]

Network Defense and Operations Track


Network Defense and Operations Track


The growing impact of latest technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, endpoint access, and others has created a big threat to the security of any network. Network defense and operations track is a simple career path with three phases. In the first layer, it has the C|ND which covers techniques related to network security. The second has two programs—E|DRP and E|CIH which focus on disaster recovery and incident handling methodologies. The third phase has CAST 614 which is the advanced version of network defense.

*For information on the C|ND, look at the VAPT track, and for E|CIH, the cyber forensic track

Program Objective Who can attend? Why it is required?
EC-Council Disaster Recovery Professional (E|DRP) Aimed to educate and validate the ability to plan, strategize, implement, and maintain a business continuity and recovery plan ·IT professionals in the BC/DR or system administration domain

·Business continuity and disaster recovery consultants

·Individuals wanting to establish themselves in the field of IT business continuity and disaster recovery

· IT risk managers and consultants

· CISOs and IT directors

Disaster recovery is considered as a lifeboat for the business as 96% of companies with recovery plan survived ransomware attack against to 93% of without disaster recovery were out of business [5]
Advanced Network Defense (CAST 614) Covers fundamental areas of fortifying defenses by discovering methods of developing secure baseline and how to harden enterprise architecture from the most advanced attacks · System architects

· Firewall administrators

· System administrators

· Windows admin


A higher level to network defense security, CAST is an ultimate career destination to network defenders

Software Security Track

Software Security Track

Despite the increasing number of new applications being created every day, according to the abandoned web applications—Achilles’ Heel of FT 500 Companies, High-Tech Bridge Security Research—92% of web applications have security flaws or weaknesses that can be exploited. [6] The first phase has the C|SCU, the second, C|ASE Java or C|ASE .NET which covers all things related to application security, especially a secure-Software Development Life Cycle process. The final phase is the C|EH, ECSA, and LPT (Master).

*For information on the C|SCU, look at the foundation track, and for the C|EH, ECSA, and LPT (Master), the VAPT track.

Program Objective Who can attend? Why it is required?
Certified Application Security Engineer (C|ASE)—.Net and Java It provides the critical security and knowledge required throughout the software development life cycle. CASE also applies beyond secure coding and includes secure requirement gathering, robust application design, and handling security issues in the post-deployment phase ·  .Net developer with 2 years of experience

· Java developer with 2 years of experience

On average, it takes 38 days to patch a web application vulnerability irrespective of severity [7]

Governance Track

The five tracks as defined by EC-Council are the unique and rarest career paths that ensure success in a domain of cybersecurity. Every track begins with the basics of cybersecurity career path and helps you in reaching the higher managerial level in the organization. When someone begins the journey in cybersecurity career, he/she determines to reach to the level of C-Suite Certification. EC-Council’s Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO) is an industry-leading program that recognizes the real-world experiences which is necessary to reach the highest executive levels of information security.


Governance Track

C|CISO program covers all the five stages that any C-Suite Information Security certification defines:

  1. Governance
  2. Security risk management controls and audit management
  3. Security program management and operations
  4. Information security core competencies
  5. Strategic planning, finance, and vendor management

C|CISO is mapped to NICE’s specialty areas of Securely Provision, Oversee and Govern, CO. The certification opens your career path from mid-management to an upper, executive managerial role like chief information security officer, chief security officer, information security director, and information assurance program manager. There is a lot of effort that goes to be a CISO including experience, certifications, and master program in cybersecurity. EC-Council believes in reaching the higher peaks by envisioning today, and therefore, completion of every career track defined by EC-Council brings you closer to governance track, which is ultimately the highest grade in cybersecurity, CISO.


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