6 Trending Cybersecurity Careers
Given the increasing complexity of today’s technologically connected business world, the need for highly skilled and qualified IT personnel capable of addressing cybersecurity concerns has reached an all-time high. This growing demand for cybersecurity expertise presents opportunities for professionals both within the field and those looking to enter the profession, particularly in the following six careers paths where job growth rates are projected to increase over thirty percent over the next five to ten years. Preparation for any one of these six challenging careers requires the proper experience and educational background, and earning a Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree can help with gaining the advanced skills and leadership competencies needed to address the cybersecurity challenges organizations face.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts play a key role in establishing secure networks in an organization by having a deep understanding of which software security packages are most appropriate for protecting their particular organization’s data infrastructure. They are also experts at installing and maintaining this software and ensuring that programs designed to thwart viruses, ransomware, phishing software and other malicious programs are current and functioning properly.
Additionally, as developments in internet technology move at a rapid pace and new cybersecurity threats emerge, information security analysts must constantly research emerging trends in cybersecurity to keep up with industry changes to help lead their organizations in updating its capabilities in response to the changes. This can be especially true for organizations experiencing growth, particularly on a global scale. As their systems become larger and more complex, requiring more data storage and more servers for network communication, IT security analysts help leaders decide when a current security setup is adequate and when it is time to adjust or even overhaul their security network in order to accommodate larger operations.
Security architects have one of the most critical, and challenging, jobs in developing and implementing cybersecurity programs. These IT professionals are responsible for conceptualizing, building, modifying and maintaining the security systems of their respective organizations, a task that requires advanced programming skills and cybersecurity knowledge. This includes a thorough understanding of the infrastructure and operations of entire networks of systems that will utilize the security software. In order keep systems secure and operating efficiently, security architects must continually analyze current security systems for potential points of vulnerability and anticipate ways that outside cyber threats might attempt to compromise the organization’s systems. As cyber threats grow rapidly in number and complexity, the need for new IT security developments from security architects grows even faster.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Chief information security officers are tasked with devising plans and strategies for securing valuable and sensitive information for their organization. The CISO oversees all functions and operations of the cybersecurity team, working closely with leaders in all divisions to ensure strategies are implemented properly throughout the organization. As a key aspect of a robust cybersecurity infrastructure is aligning data management and information sharing procedures across the organization, a CISO plays a central role in holding employees on all levels accountable for handling information responsibly. In this capacity, educating directors, department heads and management personnel about security risks and training them to adopt and implement IT security strategies is central to the role of CISO.
In order to ensure protocols are adhered to, CISOs are responsible for monitoring information sharing practices to discover potential data breaches and cyber threats. They must also lead the development of strategies that will help the company effectively and properly react in the event of a breach, as well as institute corrective measures where needed.
In this career, penetration testers, also known as ethical hackers, are constantly working to help organizations strengthen the defensive capabilities of their software. They do this by attempting to hack the systems and networks of the organization in order to uncover potential flaws or holes in these entities. Similar to security architects, by constantly testing the fortitude of security networks, penetration testers also help anticipate ways that systems could be breached by malicious cyber activity. With the increase of cyber threats and the advancements of technology, public and private organizations around the world are looking to build teams of penetration testers to help give them an upper hand in securing their information systems.
Forensic Computer Analyst
Forensic computer analysts most commonly work in conjunction with law enforcement agencies to assist with criminal investigations. A key duty of the position is to retrieve data and digital information that can be used as potential evidence to solve crimes. This can include tracking or locating online or mobile communications (even after deletion), retrieving information stored on hard drives, or locating other online activity, such as posts on social media sites or monetary transactions. Law firms might also hire forensic computer analysts to conduct similar digital investigations to help build prosecution or defense cases. To succeed in this career path, individuals need to have an expansive knowledge of information systems, extensive experience in a cybersecurity-related field, ethical hacking capabilities similar to those of penetration testers, and strong collaborative skills.
IT Security Consultant
The IT security consultant serves in an advisory role to government entities and public and private organizations. The essential job function is similar to that of the CISO, in that they are called upon (usually on a contractual basis) to assess an organization’s security capabilities, vulnerabilities and potential threats, as well as to make recommendations on how to address cybersecurity issues or on the purchase of appropriate security software packages. As more companies are also seeking to incorporate cloud-based services into their information infrastructure and strengthen their security to protect increasingly valuable information, they are turning to professional consulting firms or private, qualified consultants to help them address potential cybersecurity threats and enhance their security capabilities.
These exciting careers in cybersecurity offer the opportunity for individuals to work for almost any type of organization. As companies rely more on digital networks to store, transfer and analyze their assets, they will need cybersecurity experts to help mitigate the threats of data loss and cyber attacks. Individuals with the proper professional background and adequate educational training are at a significant advantage as they look to obtain key positions in this rapidly growing field.
As the nation’s oldest private military college, Norwich University has been a leader in innovative education since 1819. Through its online programs, Norwich delivers relevant and applicable curricula that allow its students to make a positive impact on their places of work and their communities.
At Norwich University, we extend a tradition of values-based education, where structured, disciplined, and rigorous studies create a challenging and rewarding experience. Online programs, such as the Master of Science in Cybersecurity, have made our comprehensive curriculum available to more students than ever before.
Norwich University has been designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Through your program, you can choose from five concentrations that are uniquely designed to provide an in-depth examination of policies, procedures, and overall structure of an information assurance program.
Summary Report for: 15-1122.00 - Information Security Analysts, O NET OnLine
Chief Information Security Officer, EC-Council.org
Workforce Development, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies
The Fast-Growing Job with a Huge Skills Gap: Cyber Security, Forbes
Information Security Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Cybersecurity Has a Serious Talent Shortage. Here’s How to Fix It, Harvard Business Review
One Million Cybersecurity Job Openings In 2016, Forbes