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What is Cybersecurity? Definition, Types, Career, Job Roles & Salary

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31st Mar, 2023
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What is Cybersecurity? Definition, Types, Career, Job Roles & Salary

The digital landscape worldwide is changing rapidly, and with it, there has been a concomitant rise in online threats. The Internet of Things (IoT) and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have increased our reliance on digital tools; no doubt, technology has proved to be a boon to us, but at the same time, it has fuelled incidences of cyber crimes, threats, risks, frauds, and vulnerabilities that have necessitated the need to adopt concrete cybersecurity measures. In fact, the global cybersecurity market is expected to see a CAGR of 10.9% during 2021-2028. 

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Read on to know what is cybersecurity and if a career in cybersecurity is worth it.

What is Cybersecurity?

Just like physical security refers to protecting valuables in the real world, cybersecurity is the practice of protecting devices, data, and networks from unauthorised access and subsequent misuse.

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Corporate, government, military, health, and financial organisations store significant amounts of data on computers and other electronic devices, which can have negative consequences if exposed to unauthorized elements. In addition, organisations transmit sensitive data across networks to other devices that put the information at increased risks of online threats.

In a nutshell, cybersecurity refers to the technologies, methods, and processes aimed at protecting the integrity and confidentiality of networks, data, and computer systems of organizations from internal and external threats. As the intensity, frequency, and sophistication of cybercrimes and scams grow, businesses and organizations incur huge losses. Consequently, they are compelled to channel their resources on sophisticated information security technologies to reinforce the security infrastructure.

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Types of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a generalised term that incorporates several specific practice areas to defend IT assets from attack. While there are different ways to break down the types of cybersecurity, here are the most common types that you are more than likely to encounter in the field:

1. Information security

Also referred to as data security, it is a set of practices to secure data from unauthorised access while it is being stored or transmitted from one device or physical location to another.

2. Application security

Application security refers to using hardware and software methods to address threats that may arise during the development stage of applications. In other words, it looks for defects and breaches in the application code to enhance the security of apps. Firewalls, antivirus programs, and encryption programs are examples of application security.

3. Critical infrastructure security

 Modern society relies on critical infrastructural facilities such as water purification, electricity grid, hospitals, traffic lights, etc., that are equally vulnerable to cyber attacks. The security of such vital infrastructure is essential for the well-being and safety of society and the businesses concerned with them.

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4. Network security 

Network security ensures that internal networks are secured from unauthorised intrusion, exploitation, modification, and other malicious intent. New passwords, extra logins, anti-spyware software, antivirus programs, and firewalls are examples of network security implementation.

5. Cloud security 

Data stored in cloud resources are at an equal risk of cyber threats. Consequently, cloud security is a software-based security tool aimed at protecting and monitoring data in the cloud. Cloud security offers similar perks as the traditional on-premises data centres with the added advantages of minimal security breaches and reduced time and costs involved in maintaining huge data facilities.

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Cyber Security Career Scope 

The volume and sophistication of cyber threats have led to the unprecedented popularity of a career in cybersecurity. Protecting data from cybercriminals by encapsulating it in multiple layers of security requires significant expertise. Hence, a career in cybersecurity looks highly promising and is in vogue.

Both government and private enterprises demand professionals who have the knowledge and skills to protect sensitive organisational information from hackers and other cybercriminals. Along with investing in the right security tools, organisations hire motivated and talented cybersecurity professionals to plug all possible security gaps. 

The need for cybersecurity professionals will only increase in the coming days. The Bureau of Labour Statistics forecasts that information security jobs will grow by 37% during 2012-2022, a significantly higher rate than the average for most other occupations. While the importance of computer science roles in IT jobs is a given, the added element of security has further made the cybersecurity job roles more sought after and critical than ever.  

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Job Roles

If you are interested in a career in cybersecurity, it is imperative to know that the cybersecurity domain is continuously expanding, with new roles and job titles emerging almost every other day. Further, the roles and responsibilities attributed to the current titles are more than likely to evolve. You may even find variations on some common job titles with overlapping roles. However, it is important to remember that those job roles are bound to vary from company to company. 

Here is a brief description of the various security job roles and titles you will come across in the public and private sectors:

1. Security Architect

This job role involves designing a security system or its major components and heading the security design team to build the new security system.

2. Security Engineer

This role is all about enhancing security capabilities and implementing improvements through security monitoring, security analysis, and forensic analysis.

3. Security Analyst

Also known as an IT security analyst, this job role has multifaceted responsibilities such as planning, implementing, and upgrading security measures and controls, protecting digital files against unauthorised access and modification, conducting external and internal security audits, analysing security breaches, defining, implementing, and maintaining corporate security policies, and much more.

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4. Security Software Developer

Such professionals are given the task of developing security software such as tools for traffic analysis, monitoring, intrusion detection, malware/spyware/virus detection, and implementing security into applications software.

5. Security Administrator

These professionals are responsible for installing and managing organisation-wide security systems. They install, administer, and troubleshoot the security solutions of the company. 

6. Chief Information Security Officer 

It is a management executive position for supervising the operations of an organisation’s entire information security division. The Chief Information Security Officer protects the organisation’s IT assets by directing and managing strategy, processes, and budget.

7. Cryptographer

A cryptographer or cryptologist uses encryption technology to build security applications and software for securing sensitive information. They also contribute to research in developing robust encryption algorithms.

8. Cryptanalyst 

While a cryptographer builds security software, a cryptanalyst analyses encrypted information and understands the code to identify the purpose of malicious software.

9. Security Specialist/Consultant 

This job role encompasses one or all of the job titles discussed above. Overall, such professionals are tasked with the job of protecting networks, computers, software, data, and information systems from unauthorised access, spyware, malware, viruses, denial-of-service attacks, and a host of other cyber threats from organised crime groups and foreign elements.

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Cyber Security Salary Range

Besides an increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, there is an acute shortage of proficient and trained individuals who can fill in the various cybersecurity job roles. Despite having a sizeable IT talent pool, India’s lack of skilled cybersecurity professionals is not out of the ordinary. Companies are willing to offer premium salary packages to cybersecurity professionals who are adequately trained and qualified to fulfil their current job roles. 

Here are some of the popular cybersecurity jobs and their salary ranges in India:

Job RoleAverage base salary in India (per annum)
IT Security ArchitectINR 2,180,428
Security EngineerINR 601,329
Security AnalystINR 488,723
IT Security AdministratorINR 498,879
Chief Information Security OfficerINR 2,222,845
CryptographerINR 900,000   

Read more on cybersecurity salary in India.

How to Become a Cybersecurity Engineer?

As the world is moving towards online and cloud data storage, the need for cybersecurity is at its peak. As a result, there is an amplified need for trained professionals in the field. 

If you ask what the best way to start a career in cybersecurity is, we would say that there is no one true path to begin your journey in the discipline. While getting a relevant degree is the first step, it is not the only eligibility criterion to kickstart your cybersecurity career path. 

If you are looking for an online course to become a certified Cyber Security Engineer, you can go for the Advanced Certificate Programme in Cyber Security . The UGC-approved course is intended to help IT professionals and engineering graduates hone their soft skills and practical competencies required to excel in the field of cybersecurity. 

Course Highlights:

  • Course Duration: 13 months with 400+ hours of content, 7+ case studies and projects, 10+ live sessions focused on industry-relevant skills.
  • Eligibility criteria: A relevant Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 50% marks (with or without coding experience).
  • Pocket-friendly payment options to suit your needs.
  • Choose between the Fresher course (0 to 1 year of experience) or the Mid-Senior level course (6+ years of experience) based on your career goals.
  • Earn a certification in cybersecurity from IIITB.
  • Face the industry with tailor-made career services, including one-on-one mentorship, career coaching, interviews, and job portals.
  • Increase your chances of landing job roles in six specialised fields: Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Big Data, Full Stack, and DevOps.

How To Apply?

The enrollment process for the cybersecurity programme is quite simple and hassle-free!

Step 1: Fill out an application and take the 20-minute online eligibility test. This part of the admission process is designed to test your aptitude in coding and mathematics.

Step 2: Candidates will be shortlisted for the admission process based on their test scores and educational and professional background.

Step 3: Make your payment and begin the course with full access to the study content.

What is threat in cyber security?

Phishing attacks

These types of cyber-attacks involve tricking users into clicking malicious links, which can lead to the theft of sensitive data and information.

Malware attacks

They are malicious software that can negatively affect the software and computer devices. They can also steal the information, hijack devices, or launch attacks.


As the name suggests, this type of attack prevents the users from accessing the system or service. 

Ransomware attacks

It encrypts the file or systems and demands ransoms to decrypt them.

Man-in-the-middle attacks

These are a type of attacks which intercepts the communications between two parties. 

SQL injection

These types of cyber attacks exploit the vulnerabilities in web applications. This code can be useful for viewing, deleting, or modifying the data in a database.

This is what cybersecurity protects.


The widespread use of the internet, social media and digital tools/domains have put both individuals and organisations at an increased risk of cyber threats. In other words, anyone using the internet runs the risk of being exposed to cybercrimes, and there seems to be no escape.

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However, companies are leaving no stone unturned to tackle the menace. The scope of cybersecurity has increased manifold in recent years and is likely to remain that way for as long as cyber crimes exist. Given the times, a career in cybersecurity is not only flourishing but extremely rewarding in terms of job satisfaction as well as salary.

The demand for trained cybersecurity professionals is on the rise, and one of the best ways to learn the necessary skills is to sign up for a genuine certification programme.

So, what are you waiting for? Find the best cybersecurity certification on upGrad with the Executive PG Programme in Software Development – Specialisation in Cyber Security and learn from the best instructors and industry mentors!


Rohan Vats

Blog Author
Software Engineering Manager @ upGrad. Passionate about building large scale web apps with delightful experiences. In pursuit of transforming engineers into leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


21. What is ethical hacking?

Hacking into a computer system or network to uncover security weaknesses that a hostile hacker could exploit is known as ethical hacking. Ethical hackers employ the same tactics and tools as malevolent hackers, but with the approval of the system owner and with the goal of enhancing security. Identifying and fixing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious hackers, improving the security of a system or network, testing the security of a system or network, educating users about the risks of online security threats, and detecting and deterring cybercrime are just a few of the various reasons for ethical hacking.

32. Why should I learn Ethical hacking?

It would help if you learned ethical hacking for a variety of reasons. The first is that it is a highly sought-after ability. As more firms move their operations online, ethical hackers will be needed to help safeguard them against cyberattacks. The second reason is that ethical hacking might assist you in preserving your personal computer and internet accounts. You can find flaws in your systems and patch them before thieves exploit them if you understand how to hack. Finally, ethical hacking can be a fascinating and enjoyable pastime. It's a means to learn about computer systems' inner workings and to delve into the world of cybercrime.

43. Why is hacking illegal and harmful?

Illegal hacking operations often violate one or more of the laws listed below. When a hacker gains unauthorized access to a system or network without the system or network owner's express authorization, this is known as hacking. This involves accessing material that isn't meant for public consumption, such as user passwords, credit card details, and other private data. Hacking can also entail tampering with or altering data that was not meant to be changed. This could entail removing or corrupting files, as well as fabricating data. It also includes the theft of services, such as sending spam emails or launching a denial-of-service attack without permission on someone's computer. Finally, it involves the destruction of data, which can cause significant financial damage or disrupt critical business operations.

5What are the top skills required in the field of cyber security?

The top skills required in cyber security are Problem-solving, Technical aptitude, Knowledge of security systems, Attention to detail, and Communication skills.

6Who are the top recruiters for cyber security?

The top recruiters are Nexus IT Group, Alta Associates, Redbud, and Michael Page.

7What is the average salary for a cyber security professional?

The average salary for a cyber security professional is 11.1 lakhs per annum.

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