What is the Scope of Cybersecurity as a Career Option?

With the global business environment shifting gears to online and cloud data storage and maintenance, the demand for cybersecurity is at its peak. This has amplified the need for cybersecurity experts, who are adept at and savvy with the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. The scope of cybersecurity has widened significantly in terms of skill sets and jobs.

What is Cybersecurity?

Simply put, if you want to protect your online data from cyber-attacks, you need to call cybersecurity experts. The process of cybersecurity is to help you with protecting and recovering networks, devices, and programs from any kind of cyber-attacks.

With increasing exposure to the internet, not just business data, but personal data is also at the risk of being manipulated. The danger of cyber-attacks is true for companies, governments, and individuals. Basically, the danger lurks for anyone who uses the internet. 

When you think of strong cybersecurity, it implies that there are multiple layers of protection to your data, sealed with encryption. Before a hacker or anyone else can get to it, the latter calls for significant expertise. The scope of cybersecurity also involves, apart from the technology, your smartness in making the right cyber defense choices.

Checkout: Career in Cyber Security in India

What Types of Cybersecurity Can You Choose From?

To make a sound judgment about which cybersecurity package to choose, it is important to familiarise yourself with the different types that are available at your disposal. Here is a list of the types of cybersecurity to consider:

Critical Infrastructure Security

You will find this type in applications such as electricity grid or water purification systems that contain cyber-physical systems.

Network Security

This one is designed to protect internal networks like a two-factor authentication process from intruders. This is done by securing the infrastructure behind the design.

Application Security

During the development stage of an application, it may be exposed to external threats. As found in an antivirus program or a firewall, this cybersecurity type uses both hardware and software to fight the threats.

Information Security

This is used to protect any kind of data, whether online or offline. Also known as InfoSec, this cybersecurity type protects data from unauthorized access, deletion, disclosure, or any other form of malintent.

Cloud Security

Your data stored on the cloud is always at risk of on-premise threats. You can use cloud security, which is a software-based tool, to prevent data corruption.

Data Loss Prevention

This mainly concerns itself with the processes and policies for preventing loss of data. This includes network permissions and data storage policies.

End-user Education

This involves educating the end-users or the general masses to follow best practices while using the cyberworld.

What are the Different Types of Cyber Threats?

While there are millions of cyber threats that can put your personal information in danger, they can be narrowed down to three categories:

Attacks on Confidentiality

These attacks are targeted toward stealing your personal identification information like your bank account or credit card details. Once transferred to the dark web, these data will forever be lost.

Attacks on Integrity

The popular name for this is leaks. They are designed to sabotage your personal identity or that of your business. Leaking involves releasing sensitive information that is not meant to be shared and driven to build mistrust in you.

Attacks on Availability

You can call this the modern-day kidnapping or extortion. These attacks will block you from accessing your own data until you pay the price or a ransom.

These three categories of cyber threats encompass various types of cyber-attacks. Here are some of the most common ones:

Social Engineering

This involves manipulating individuals psychologically and coercing them into giving away information. Phishing attacks are the most common example of social engineering, where you might receive an email from a legitimate-looking sender, asking for personal information.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

APTs plague high-value networks like the defense system, or the manufacturing industry, or the finance sector. The intent here is not to corrupt the system per se, but to steal valuable information that is confidential and whose misplacement might amount to war or extreme outcomes.

Malware

Malicious software, in other words, a malware will damage your computer without you having the slightest knowledge of it. The intent is to steal any available information on your computer or crash your system completely. Spyware, true viruses, and worms are the most common types of malware.

Ransomware

You can call this a variant of malware that is intended to extort ransom from you in exchange for stolen personal information. And that is where it gets its name from common examples of ransomware include crypto-malware and scareware.

What are the Eligibility Criteria to Become a Cybersecurity Professional?

The first thing to understand here is that there is no specific degree handed out to cybersecurity professionals. This means that your degree in any of the IT, software, data science, or machine learning domains is good enough as the first step.

Most cybersecurity domain jobs will look for a minimum graduation degree in any of the related IT fields like computer engineering or data science. The scope of cybersecurity is such that even a diploma in IT will suffice to get started.

What Skills are Required to Become a Cybersecurity Professional?

Every role in the cybersecurity profile has different demands. But there are some basic skills that you must possess or hone to pursue a career in this domain.

Technical Skills

In India, most firms look for cybersecurity professionals who are adept in one or more of these technical skills:

1. Python.

2. Android.

3. IoT.

4. Cryptography.

5. Virtualisation Network Services and Security.

6. Windows Server.

Soft Skills

Although not as important as your domain knowledge, with the widening scope of cybersecurity, businesses are looking for dynamic individuals who can combine their product knowledge with a learning orientation. Some of these basic soft skills can come in handy if you are looking to build a cybersecurity career.

Read: Cyber Security Salary in India

What is the Scope of Cybersecurity as a Career?

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has estimated that India alone will need about 1 million cybersecurity professionals by the end of 2020 to tackle cybercrime dangers. This has serious implications for the economy at large.

You can start with an IT degree and diploma and enroll in any of the flagship cybersecurity programs offered by some of India’s premier institutes.

If the statistics are not enough, here is a list of the top jobs in the market available for a cybersecurity professional:

Cybersecurity Analyst

This role entails planning, implementing, and designing security measures and controls. You will be responsible for monitoring security access and will also conduct internal and external audits to ensure there are no potential threats to network securities.

Other job responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst include:

o Vulnerability testing.

o Risk analysis.

o Security assessments.

o Network management.

o Employee capacity building.

o Building awareness on best practices.

A cybersecurity analyst starts earning at INR 6 lakhs per annum, which can go up to a few crores subject to performance and outcome delivery. 

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

There is a growing trend in businesses to appoint a Chief Information Security Officer. It is but natural to designate a CISO given the increasing threats to cybersecurity in a rapidly growing global economy.

CISO’s main job is to align the cybersecurity plan with the business’s vision, operations, and technology. The CISO follows a standard process of identifying, developing, implementing, and maintaining organization processes to ensure the prevention of security breaches of any kind.

The CISO is also responsible for drafting and reviewing a company’s security policies and risk mitigation plans. A CISO earns a whopping average salary ranging between INR 2 Cr to 4 Cr.

Network Security Engineer

The main job of this cybersecurity professional is to ensure operational smoothness. The main responsibilities of this job profile include:

o System maintenance.

o Identifying vulnerabilities.

o Improving automation.

o Oversee maintenance of firewalls, routers, switches, network monitoring tools, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

A network security engineer earns anything between INR 4 lakhs to 8 lakhs in India. 

Cybersecurity Manager

An organisation’s security protocols are managed by this cybersecurity professional. They concern themselves with strategizing processes to improve network and data security. Being a manager, they have an entire team of IT professionals at their disposal, working round the clock to improve data management and security protocols and systems.

A cybersecurity manager is entrusted with an extremely important research role in relation to the latest trends in cyber threats. This knowledge is what drives the drafting of security policies in a company.

This role’s average compensation package starts at INR 12 lakhs a year and can rise exponentially depending on performance.

Security Architect

As the name suggests, this person designs the entire architecture of the network and computer security. You can very well understand the importance of this role from this. The security architect plans and designs the different elements of security.

They are also instrumental in recommending changes and inputs into company security policies and protocols. Their average annual salary starts at INR 17 lakhs per annum.

Must Read: Top 6 Highest Paying IT Skills

Where Can You Learn Cybersecurity?

There are thousands of options available today for you to pick up a course in cybersecurity. But be wise while choosing the right course. Invest time to do due diligence and check for recommendations, accreditations, placement history, and training modules.

You can also check out platforms like upGrad that offer a myriad course in Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and IT and Software. upGrad has successfully secured affiliations with Indian universities like IIIT Bangalore and IIT Madras and tied up with premier universities overseas like Liverpool John Moores University.

This increases the weightage of your degree or diploma and opens doors to hands-on mentoring from experts, live classes with Q&A sessions, most advanced and research-based curriculum, and meticulously curated course modules and materials.

Gone are the days when only traditional learning institutions could offer the necessary skills and certifications. With such a wide scope of cybersecurity in front of you and such interactive, state-of-the-art learning modules from platforms like upGrad, your big career in cybersecurity is no longer a distant dream. 

With a significantly soaring demand for cybersecurity professionals coupled with the lucrative salaries they offer, a cybersecurity career is becoming one of the most sought-after career options now. If you want to pursue this profession, upGrad and IIIT-B can help you with a PG Diploma in Software Development Specialization in Cyber Security. The course offers specialization in application security, cryptography, data secrecy, and network security.

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