The cybersecurity profession is one of the most sought-after careers in the country. India is a vast country that has the majority of internet users in it. Unfortunately, there are only very few cybersecurity professionals who can handle the cybercrime issue. Every day, the rate of cybersecurity breaches is too high.
Cybersecurity professionals are wanted in all types of the organization as they generate and maintain massive data. However, as there are so many different roles from entry to advanced levels, a cybersecurity engineer in high demand.
Cybersecurity engineers are responsible for developing and maintaining high-level security systems that prevent breaches or leaks in the system. Some organizations combine the responsibilities of a security analyst and security engineer as one. Security analysts find the weakness while a security engineer builds a robust security system to avoid breaches.
This article is a detailed guide on how to become a cybersecurity engineer.
What is the Role of a Cybersecurity Engineer?
Kudos to you if you are ready to take up a role as a security engineer. It is because a security engineer will maintain the entire security architecture of the organization. Not only implementing and maintaining the security systems but also testing the system for weaknesses and breaches. They take up different roles as data security engineers, network security engineers, and web security engineers. If the company cannot afford all of them, they combine all three in one as a cybersecurity engineer.
Here are a few things that you will be doing as a security engineer:
- You will be evaluating the security needs of the organization.
- Depending on the security needs, you implement the standard operating procedures and best practices.
- The responsibility of protecting all the organization’s data and networks by implementing, maintaining, and upgrading the security systems is also on you.
- Be alert and respond to all the security breaches in the network.
- Troubleshoot network security and issues routinely to find security compromises.
- Conduct penetration testing in a scheduled manner to find breaches
- Test for vulnerabilities in the system through scans
- Be an active participant in the change management processes.
- Investigate or assist in investigating the security breaches
- Routine administrative reporting
- Communicate with the responsible departments regularly
We could always see an overlap in the security engineer and security analyst positions in the job listings because then security engineers also routinely conduct a stress test. Hence the organizations usually squeeze the responsibilities of an analyst and security engineer into one position.
Qualifications of a Security Engineer and Their Pay
An essential requirement to become a security engineer is to acquire a degree in computer science and engineering, information technology, or Systems Engineering. Other equivalent degree holders can also apply for the security engineer positions.
Besides a college degree, proficiency in programming languages like ++, Java, Node, Python, Ruby, Go, or PowerShell will be preferred. Relevant experiences in incident management and forensics will also be considered. Added to the above, a knowledge of hacker tactics and trends in cybersecurity will be preferred.
Security engineers get paid around ₹525,000 annually. The jobs are rewarding and high paid outside the country. For instance, in the US, a security engineer will be paid around $59K, even at the beginner’s level. The salary will rise by about $100K for senior levels. Regardless of where they are and what their position is, cybersecurity engineers get paid well.
Why is There a Demand for Cybersecurity Engineers?
One main reason for such a huge demand for cybersecurity engineers is the growing cybercrimes. Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that in the year 2021, the damages due to cybercrimes would cost around $6 trillion. The expenditure for securing the network itself will cost about $1 trillion in the year 2021.
At the same time, the expanse in the business world is also huge. New businesses in different domains are coming up that use network and cloud storage mostly. This has created still more demand for cybersecurity engineers. The current pandemic situation and the dependency on cloud computing and network have increased the market exponentially.
The Job Outlook predicted that the demand for cybersecurity engineers would grow by up to 12% by 2021. Also, an article in Forbes reported that in 2021 alone, 40000 cybersecurity engineers are left vacant in the US. Next year, there will be a massive opening for cybersecurity engineers that is 3.5 million positions worldwide, according to Cyber Security Ventures.
This is the reason for the massive demand for cybersecurity professionals. But the actual filling of these positions will be a doubt as there is a huge skill gap. The skill gap is more comprehensive than before because we have only a few cybersecurity professionals.
Some of the leading companies hiring cybersecurity professionals are Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Symantec, Google, and Cisco. If you are wise, you will make hay while the sun shines brightly (that is happening now!).
Necessary Skills in a Cybersecurity Engineer
Having a college degree is an excellent way of starting a career as a cybersecurity engineer; a few skills are also expected in a security engineer to make them stand out in the crowd. The following listed are some of the necessary skills that will be expected from an entry-level cybersecurity engineer:
- Solid understanding of how a computer works
- Proficient in the fundamentals of networking
- High-grade coding skills
- A strong foundation on operating systems
- Understanding of cloud security
- Knowledge of malware
Here are a few pro tips for contrasting you from the crowd:
- Become an ethical hacker, and so you will understand how hackers work. This will help you significantly simulate the cyberattacks as a criminal who tried to breach your security protocols.
- Be a pro in understanding how operating systems work. Not only windows, but you should also be able to handle Linux and Unix too. Handling databases is yet another challenge for cybersecurity engineers, so be proficient in MySQL and MSSQL.
- You should be shrewd enough to investigate cybercrimes, and hence you need to have a piece of very good knowledge of cyber forensics.
- Above all, a strong understanding of the network architecture must be a good cybersecurity engineer.
Along with the above said hard skills, the following are some of the soft skill that will be expected from a cybersecurity engineer:
- A good leadership quality
- Excellent project management skills
- Communicates openly and clearly
- Quick problem-solving ability
Learn more: Software Engineer / Developer Salary in India
Career Path to Become a Good Cybersecurity Engineer
The following is a step by step guide to achieving your goal as a cybersecurity engineer:
Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, focusing on cybersecurity with a high GPA. Get an internship as a security professional in a reputed organization.
Step 2: Get an entry-level job as a network administrator or related and gain five or more years of experience.
Step 3: Become certified cybersecurity professional. The following are some of the certifications that are offered to cybersecurity professionals
Step 4: earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Step 5: Land on your first job as a cybersecurity engineer
Choice of Domains in Cybersecurity that You can Choose as a Security Engineer
As a cybersecurity professional, you can develop your skill in a particular domain. The following are a few of the fields that you can choose from as a cybersecurity engineer:
- Access control and security that deals with controlling unauthorized modification to the resources.
- Telecommunication and security that focuses on vulnerabilities related to communications.
- Security management deals with managing security during catastrophic events.
Must Read: Highest Paying IT Skills
PG Diploma Courses to Become an Outstanding Cybersecurity Engineer
Become an outstanding cybersecurity engineer with upGrad. upGrad offers a PG Diploma course on Software Development Specialisation in Cyber Security that focuses on application security, Data secrecy, cryptography, and network security. It is a 12-month online course that is available for everyone.
You can take up the course even without any prior coding skills. The course is focused on adding skills to professionals like IT and Technology Professionals; Project Leads/Managers in IT/Tech Companies, Data Professionals, Java & Other Coding Professionals, and Testing Professionals.
Some of the coding languages and tools that you will master at the end of the course are Python, Java, AWS, etc. Besides, you receive a degree from IIIT Bangalore and its alumni status.
Join upGrad today and start your career as a cybersecurity engineer!