In recent years, the demand for cybersecurity products and services has increased across industries. The latest research study by Ponemon Institute and IBM Security has estimated the global average cost of data breaches to be $3.86 million.
So, it is clear that organizations and individuals want to protect their valuable assets and sensitive data. We have attempted to give you a summary of careers and skill specifications in this domain, including the highest salary cyber security jobs in India enjoy.
Read: Career in Cyber Security
Highest Paying Jobs in Cyber Security
1. Cybersecurity Analyst
Cybersecurity analysts work alongside other IT professionals to keep a tab on the organization’s security measures and controls. They plan, implement, and upgrade solutions by performing the following tasks:
- Identifying vulnerabilities in the security infrastructure before it is compromised
- Monitoring the systems through internal and external audits
- Conducting tests, risk analyses, and security assessments
Therefore, companies hire security analysts to mitigate cyber attacks and breaches, proving detrimental to the financial health and brand image. Since these professionals have a sound grasp of the security procedures and best practices, they keep the company protected from future intrusions and lapses. In India, you can make a yearly salary of Rs 6 lakh as a full-time security analyst.
2. Information Security Manager
Information security managers are instrumental in detecting loopholes in information systems that make them more susceptible to attacks. They look for potential areas of cyber threats within the company’s data, computers, and networks. Their primary duty is to guarantee that the data doesn’t get stolen and the systems/networks are not hacked.
Businesses can end up paying hefty sums as damages and fines if they fail to protect sensitive customer information or violate data protection laws. Therefore, it makes sense for large corporations to employ information security managers and avoid such scenarios. The average pay associated with this position in India ranges from Rs 15 lakh per annum to Rs 16.5 lakh p.a.
3. Cybersecurity Engineer
Cybersecurity engineers are tasked with creating and executing secure network solutions. Security engineering functions are integral to strengthening technology initiatives and taking them to the next level. Due to the stark demand-supply gap in the required workforce capabilities, companies value the in-depth knowledge and experience these IT practitioners bring to the table.
On average, a cybersecurity analyst in India is paid between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 11 lakh p.a. Also, top tech firms in the United States routinely hire well-trained candidates for this engineering occupation and offer them competitive remuneration. Hence, this role joins the bandwagon of the highest salary cyber security jobs in India and the world.
4. Security Architect
Security architects are involved in the research and planning of security elements for their company. They also play a crucial role in need-based designing and work with the programming team to create the final structure. Their responsibilities extend beyond the architecture building stage and include preparing company policies, procedures, and user guides.
Security architects in India make a handsome sum of Rs 17 lakh a year on average.
5. Application Security Engineer
Application security engineers look after the stability of an organization’s internal and external applications. For example, a company using Azure or AWS would benefit from their expertise in dealing with the privacy and compliance aspects.
Any enterprise looking to integrate such software into their day-to-day operations or build their applications would want to hire these cybersecurity professionals. All in all, application security engineers prevent attackers from disrupting the integrity of the entire app infrastructure.
The expected salary for this position in India stands at Rs 9 lakh p.a.
Also Read: Cyber Security Salary in India
6. Network Security Engineer
This role is quite similar to cybersecurity engineers, except that it entails securing the multifaceted components of computer networks. As a network security engineer, your job is to perform the following activities:
- Maintain security systems, LAN, WAN, and server architecture.
- Monitor firewalls, email security, virtual networks, web protocols, programs, etc.
- Find system vulnerabilities and improve automation.
Modern businesses know that attaining the full safety of computer networks is a tricky game. Therefore, network security engineers’ knowledge and experience are highly valuable in addressing any potential security lapses.
This position’s starting annual salary is estimated to be between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 8 lakh, varying based on the organization, location, qualifications, and seniority.
7. Ethical Hackers
Ethical hackers or Penetration Testers bring in their intuitive knowledge and skills to reveal hackers’ logic. Their tasks are critical to cybersecurity as they test and pick apart the vulnerabilities across systems, applications, and networks. Such security tests may be conducted daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Hiring ethical hackers can also prove useful in staying on top of the latest hacking strategies. And the insider information can help protect businesses from high-level cybercrimes and attacks.
Freshers with 0-3 years of experience can make Rs 3.5 lakh per annum in an ethical hacking role. Certified professionals with significant industry experience can earn as high as Rs 15 lakh a year.
8. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Rounding up this list of the highest paying cyber security jobs in India is the CISO designation. These senior executives lead strategies to increase network, internet, and data security within the company.
They also review project managers and team members’ work to uphold the highest standards of security protocols. In other words, the Chief Information Security Officer is responsible for protecting the technologies and assets by establishing the enterprise vision, strategy, and programs.
The average total compensation of a standard CISO role in India would be around Rs 30 lakh a year.
9. Incident Manager
Incident management is concerned with determining the appropriate resources and proficiencies for resolving specific security incidents in an IT organization. Incident managers are tasked with forming teams when something goes wrong, and they take full ownership of the results.
So, it is a C-suite role that requires superior leadership aptitude and problem-solving abilities. Typically, technical staff members advance to this managerial designation after obtaining suitable credentials that demonstrate their skills.
Leading tech firms like Accenture, IBM, HCL Technologies, and Wipro offer an annual salary range of Rs 5 to 8 lakh for this role.
9. Cybersecurity Consultant
You can work as an independent consultant helping businesses with their cybersecurity issues. But before any client hires you for an assignment, they would need to trust you.
For this, you must earn professional certifications and showcase your industry experience to your potential employers. It would be essential to have in-depth knowledge of the latest security features, procedures, and facilities.
Most companies usually hire consultants on a contractual or retainer arrangement. In India, the median compensation of a cybersecurity consultant is approximately Rs 6.5 lakh per year.
Besides the career options mentioned above, cybersecurity professionals can take up jobs as security device developers, information risk auditors, intrusion detection specialists, cryptologists, and computer security incident responders.
The need for Cybersecurity Training
Some recent developments have contributed to companies placing greater emphasis on employing cybersecurity experts. We have compiled the three key factors below.
- The spur in digital finance due to Digital India and demonetization initiatives has opened up a pandora box of potential cyber threats.
- Companies are preparing to comply with the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) and taking steps to safeguard their databases from cybercrimes.
- In the aftermath of the Wannacry ransomware infecting more than two lakh computers worldwide in 2017, organizations and governments are now aware of the perils of future cyber attacks. Industry players realize that such threats can lead to financial damages worth billions of dollars, hence calling for bolstering cyber laws and security systems.
There are diverse opportunities for cybersecurity specialists across different sectors, from BFSI and retail to government. However, the challenge lies in finding adequately skilled candidates for these jobs. The supply gap can be bridged through industry-relevant courses and advanced certifications. Many companies sponsor the education of their talented employees.
You can go for upGrad and IIIT-B’s PG Diploma in Software Development (Cybersecurity Specialization) or the PG Certification in Cyber Security. These courses intend to equip engineering graduates and IT professionals with the required practical competencies and soft skills.
Moreover, any enterprise looking to improve its security posture and mitigate financial losses and brand damages would prefer to hire individuals with demonstrated experience in the field. Therefore, hands-on learning experiences and industry projects are essential elements of the pedagogy.
As for the traditional technical skills, cybersecurity practitioners are expected to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- Architecture and administration of operating systems such as Windows, Linux, etc.
- Networking and virtualization software
- Programming, software development, and analytics
Additionally, you would benefit from honing your grasp of popular programming, assembly, and scripting languages. C/C++, Java, Python, PHP, and Perl are some prominent examples. It would help if you also prioritized practicing with firewalls and network load balancers, among other things.
The share of security spending in the total IT expenditure is witnessing an upward trend in the last few years. The global research agency Gartner forecasts that enterprise products and service in the Indian cybersecurity market are likely to experience growth in the following segments:
- Data security
- Infrastructure protection
- Network security
- Identity and access management
- Integrated risk management
The growing security industry is also expected to attract more investment in the coming years. According to the NASSCOM report on Cybersecurity Task Force, India has the potential to create one million jobs and at least one thousand startups by 2025.
The current sub-sections of this profession span Security Testing, System Integration, Auditing and Compliance, Consulting and Advisory, Business Intelligence, and Analytics. And the scope is likely to expand further with emerging technologies like IoT, Wearables, Cloud Services, Forensics, and e-Discovery.
This article aimed to cover some of the highest paying jobs in cyber security and apprise you of some of the advanced training courses. We described the roles and responsibilities of IT positions like Cybersecurity Analyst, Application Security Engineer, Information Security Manager, Pen Tester, and Chief IS Officer.
Organizations worldwide have a growing need to adopt cybersecurity measures in the current technological landscape. Recruiters would thus look for qualified individuals with the right skill sets to overcome unique security-related challenges. Online courses can offer a flexible way of upskilling and also demonstrate your technical prowess to prospective employers.
Nowadays, several specialized programs promise career advancement opportunities to early and mid-career IT professionals. Moreover, market trends for cybersecurity products and services augur well and point towards increased demand for trained candidates.
We hope that the above insights helped you get the supply gap in the lucrative cybersecurity industry. So, use this information to your advantage and decide your next career move with a renewed focus!