Cybersecurity Career Roadmap: The scope and opportunities in the cybersecurity recruitment landscape during COVID-19
The current remote working landscape is geared up for more cybersecurity recruitments. As the sudden demand has made cybersecurity jobs easier to crack, the burning questions are- how to build a career in cybersecurity? What is a suitable cybersecurity career roadmap?
Amid the pandemic-hit economy, every industry and business has taken a hit. Every day organizations are shutting down, halting operations, and millions of people are losing their jobs. Strikingly, there’s one sector standing strong despite all the adversities. The cybersecurity industry is booming. Which has made crackingcybersecurity jobseasier than ever.
The demand for cybersecurity professionals has increased since businesses have shifted to working from home with social distancing becoming the norm. The vulnerable environment has provided malicious hackers with ample opportunities for breaching organizational databases through ransomware, phishing emails, and malware.
Barracuda Sentinel has reported an increase of 667% in COVID-19 relatedspear-phishing attackssince the end of February 2020.
The pandemic is here to stay. There are cybersecurity risks associated with maintaining a remote workforce for a longer span. The need of the hour for organizations is to strengthen their security infrastructure by recruiting cybersecurity professionals. As a result, cybersecurity hiring is becoming a top priority for companies in comparison to other tech roles.
Let’s explore thecybersecurity career lifecycleduring COVID-19 in detail.
What are the various cybersecurity career options?
Remote workforce and lockdown are the two key driving forces that have caused an increase in the demand for cybersecurity professionals. Organizations need to safeguard their data along with maintaining their bottom lines.
Moreover, the dramatic increase in cybersecurity hiring is acting as a motivational boost for professionals working in traditional IT departments to consider relevant roles in the cybersecurity landscape.
According to a report by the job searching portal Indeed, Gen Z, millennials, and entry-level talent are showing keen interest in cybersecurity roles. Job seekers in the age range of 25-29 accounting for most searches for cybersecurity jobs. As employers have started creating a more secure environment to guard against data breaches, the IT spending assigned to cybersecurity is increasing.
To answer the question of how to start a cybersecurity career with no experience, here are the cybersecurity job options you can consider.
#1. Network Security Engineer
This is an entry-level role. The individuals are responsible for safeguarding organizations’ computer systems and networks from threats and bugs that could attack and breach the database. The starting salary can range from 6 lakhs and can go up to 8 lakhs for the network security engineers.
#2. Cybersecurity Analyst
The cybersecurity analyst is responsible for maintaining the digital security of an organization by analyzing the security protocols and policies through running audits and identifying loopholes. This career path is a lucrative career option in cybersecurity as the average salary in India is 6-10 lakhs.
#3. Security Architect
The job of security architects is to think like hackers and anticipate all the possible malicious ways in which they can gain unauthorized access to the organization’s computer system. The average salary of a security architect is approximately 17 lakhs in India.
#4. Cybersecurity Manager
Cybersecurity managers primarily oversee security systems and manage teams by spotting potential network vulnerabilities and formulating strategies to fix them. Their average remuneration per annum in India varies from 12-24 lakhs.
#5. Chief Information Security Officer
This is a C-level role and the chief information security officer is responsible for establishing and maintaining the organization’s information and security by supervising security policies and implementing the best practices. The annual salary for the CISO starts from 1 crore.
What aspiring cybersecurity professionals should know about getting hiring during COVID-19?
Thecybersecurity landscape is the easiest to crackfor job seekers due to the surge in demand against the backdrop of the pandemic. As an increasing number of organizations and individuals are becoming victims of cyber attacks, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high. Indeed reported a 13% increase in the cyber-security-based job postings from February to May. They found a 30% increase in the job searches related to cybersecurity roles.
Another report by(ISC)2revealed that although there are 2.8 million cybersecurity professionals, the cybersecurity workforce needs to increase by 147% to close the skill gap. Despite the need and shortage of talent in the cybersecurity landscape, the three important points to keep in mind before entering the job market are:
#1. To take a leap towards a career in cybersecurity, you can have a background in technology and IT. There was a time when a bachelor’s degree in IT was a pre-requisite. Nowadays, it is not necessary to have a formal college degree in the cybersecurity field. You can even get a certificate course to kick-start your career. The majority of the employers are open to accommodating entry-level talent with verifiablecybersecurity certificationfor a lucrative job offer.
You need to have in-depth knowledge of the industry trends in cybersecurity. Stay abreast of the tools in the market. Be updated about the hacks and breaches happening and have knowledge about the loopholes that caused the breach in the first place.
#2. There are many resources available on the internet that you can refer to, to expand your knowledge. You can explore the list of GreyCampus cyber security-based courses to upskill yourself. Ensure that you have sound knowledge about data networks, operating systems, and scripting languages such as Python and Java.
#3. If you are already working in the IT industry that involves programming, data and networks, make the most of that knowledge to brush up your skills. Making a transition to the cybersecurity job is easier when you have technical knowledge of related fields.
To focus on one domain, you can take up a cybersecurity training course. They include both full-time and part-time formats in segments such as ethical hacking and cybersecurity.
GreyCampus’scybersecurity training courseis considered to be the best one to enter into the cybersecurity domain. You can access audio and video lectures on cybersecurity fundamentals, types of cybersecurity attacks and breaches, and their implementation in an organization.
Now when you are working from home and have enough time on hand, make the most of this by taking up online certification courses to enter into the cybersecurity job market.
What would be the role of a cybersecurity engineer in a post-COVID-19 world?
Worldwide adoption of remote work culture has put a lot of pressure on security teams to safeguard the databases without making it tedious for their employees to work.
Moreover, the surge in COVID-19 related cyberattacks has been a cause of concern for companies of all sizes.
Considering the increase in cyber threats and the paradigm shift in how we will work, here’s a glimpse ofcybersecurity career outlook. In a post-COVID-19 world, the role of cybersecurity engineers could look like this:
#1. Striking a critical balance between privacy and security by moving beyond compliance monitors and managing information risks more cautiously. This will help cybersecurity professionals to align business operations with a culture of shared cyber-risk ownership throughout the enterprise.
#2.Keeping the digital infrastructure of organizations intact while ensuring the seamless functioning of the remote workforce and fostering a culture of cyber resilience. This would require cybersecurity professionals to adjust risk management practices and security programs to cope up with the massive shift to remote work culture and the adoption of cloud tools.
#3. Keep upgrading the organization’s response and business continuity strategies as the landscape will gear up to thrive in the next normal.
Which are the top skills required to succeed in the cybersecurity industry?
Keeping in mind the vulnerable business economy and surge in the demand for security professionals consideringcybersecurity career pathwayswouldn’t be a bad idea at all! However, before diving into the job market it’s extremely important to keep up with thelatest cybersecurity trendsand the top skills in demand. They are divided into three key categories as listed below.
A.Technical/Hard skills – They include knowledge of a major programming language like Java, Python, PHP, Shell, C/C++, etc. Also, expertise in network or system architecture, management, and administration skills are in demand.
B.Cybersecurity certifications– Along with the hard skills, cybersecurity certifications are becoming employers’ top choice when it comes to hiring cybersecurity professionals. A couple of the in-demand certifications in the cybersecurity niche are:
C. Soft skills – Lastly, soft skills are also in great demand in the cybersecurity industry. This includes analytical skills and communication expertise along with a curiosity to learn new things and adapt to different environments. Also, the knack of team leadership is quite an important part of the soft skills pack!
Who are the companies still hiring cybersecurity engineers?
The increase in cyber threats and a shortage of security professionals have forced tech giants to start the hunt for the best professionals. As per LinkedIn, here are some of the biggest Indian brands that are hiring for relevant cybersecurity professionals during COVID-19. They will reinforce the fact that cybersecurity is a good career path.
I. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have openings for cybersecurity threat specialists for various locations in India.
II. Wipro is looking for cloud security professionals for its Bangalore location.
III. Softline Services India Pvt Ltd is seeking Microsoft security professionals in Mumbai.
IV. Jio has a vacancy for cybersecurity architects for its Navi Mumbai office.
V. Infosys is looking to hire cybersecurity architects in Bangalore.
The list isn’t limited to the bigger organizations. A quick search on LinkedIn shows you the companies actively hiring cybersecurity professionals.
How to find cybersecurity jobs during COVID-19 and beyond?
Even bigger organizations such as Cognizant and Zoom have been victims of cybersecurity attacks. While this is one of the top careers during this pandemic that is fool-proof, here are some ways to find a job in cybersecurity as a fresher and beyond.
Let your network know that you have completed a course in cybersecurity and are looking for a job in the industry. Touch base with your colleagues and even batch mates. You could go a step ahead and find out recruiters who are hiring cybersecurity candidates.
Find out the peers in this industry, get in touch with them. Most of them are active on Twitter and/or LinkedIn. In this age of social media, people have been much more approachable. Drop them a message asking for their assistance. Ensure that you keep your emails/write-up brief.
#2. Industry webinars and virtual events
There is a massive surge in online events and webinars right from the onset of COVID-19. Most of them are free to attend. Participate in them, get to know the speakers and people who are a part of the industry. They are in the industry and are well-equipped to help you.
#3. Use LinkedIn
With over 600 million professionals, LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms while searching for cybersecurity jobs. A simple search on LinkedIn shows the companies that have listed cybersecurity job postings. Apply there as well as find out the C-level executive at those organizations and get in touch with them.
The final say on choosing a career in cybersecurity during COVID-19
Regardless of the challenges the economy is witnessing due to the pandemic, cybersecurity jobs remain the top choice amongst employers. The future looks bright. By keeping abreast of the industry trends and learning the in-demand cybersecurity skills, cracking the best cybersecurity job offer in the niche wouldn’t be difficult!