The world of cybersecurity is rapidly evolving and becoming of great importance. As we dive deep into a world where technology controls everything through the IoT, and with massive amounts of data collected and stored to be processed when needed, cybersecurity becomes more of a necessity than it already is. It was reported that during the last year, 54% of companies experienced at the very least one single successful attack that actually managed to compromise data or/and IT infrastructure. The technology that attackers are using is also rapidly evolving, and they are migrating from using the good-old-fashioned file-based attacks to using fileless attacks. Moreover, experts are quite concerned that attackers might start using AI and ML to automate some of their tasks like data collection and create even more threatening and powerful attacks. So what if you want to break into the cyber warfare fortitude and become a cybersecurity specialist, what skill set do you need? Well, today we’ll cover the skills needed to dive into the cybersecurity world.
There are two types of skills that comprise any type of career in the world. So we’ll break cybersecurity into its technical and soft-skills components that really make up the career.
- Analytical skills: It goes without saying that analytical skills are very crucial to the job. You need to be able to make sense of any information and be able to see beyond the naked eye could see. As experts say, you have to be able to think like the bad guy. Get into his shoes and search where there might be a vulnerability. You’ll most likely be getting a streamline of information and data that you’ll have to utilize and make sense of. This is why sharpening your analytical skills is a must in this field.
- Teamwork and collaboration: It’s an important skill set in the tech world, however, this is extremely important in the case of cybersecurity. No matter how good you are at a career like cybersecurity, certain attacks will elude you or leave you confused. This is why you need more than a pair of eyes in a team.
- Time management: Time management is important in cybersecurity as you have to meet the deadlines of your clients and also quickly respond to any change in the field. If a certain vulnerability was found somewhere in a technology your company is using. If something like the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities arises, how rapidly are you going to respond to that change?
- Project management: Project management is the last skill we’ll cover on the soft skills part. Project management in cybersecurity is different. As the project takes on months or years of development, you’ll need to integrate your solutions and manage maintenance and upgrades. Cybersecurity managers are quite in demand as the standards of security rise up. Some people predict that it will get really hard to companies to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) so managers who can successfully plan and manage their projects are quite needed in the field.
- Understanding the tools: There are many tools in the field, however, most companies have a set-it and forget-it approach towards security. Which is by no mean is a sane approach for today’s evolving threats. The tools provide you with a 50-thousand-foot view of everything on your network, allowing you to be the master of your entire communications and foreseeing any coming threat. Not all vulnerabilities come from the end user side, and so, the company’s side has to be well secured using the valuable tools at hand.
- Understanding the technology: A great cybersecurity specialist will have a firm understanding of the technology he’s using, its components, and even how it came to be. This deep understanding of technology allows you to see how these components can formulate a threat, which parts of your solutions or services are exposed to the current technology and might need some covering. This deep understanding of technology is what allowed air gap vulnerabilities to exist. Can you imagine that a computer that is not connected to any network could still be hacked? It’s quite counter-intuitive and defies our logic. But understanding how computers work, how the binary ones and zeros emit different electromagnetic levels, and how these readings could be taken 6 meters away created a vulnerability that defies logic.
- Data science and data engineering: This is sort of the technical side of the analytical skill we talked about earlier. Many experts today are using machine learning algorithms and AI, leveraging the power of the tools at hand to collect as much data as possible and utilize it. What’s the use of having that mass amount of data without using it? Automation is certainly a feature of the industry, but it won’t be as much if you can’t keep up with it. This is why data science, AI, and cybersecurity are closely intertwined fields.
- Scripting: This is probably the first thing that jumped into your mind when you heard the world skills. And yes, it is a requirement of the field. Scripting allows you to interface with many of the tools you’re using in the field. Most cybersecurity specialists prefer to use Python, but there are many alternatives out there. Young developers also tend to nodejs tutorials these days in order to outbeat their competition. Scripting languages are usually easier to write code with as they provide an easier syntax and faster development time, although that separating line is dimming and the word scripting often refers to what the language does and not how it’s written. You don’t want to spend time trying to understand why the code’s not running or trying to get doing a simple thing in several lines of code.
Cybersecurity careers are going to be needed everywhere, not only in the tech industry. Banks, hospitals, schools, governmental entities. Almost every industry is going to need a cybersecurity specialist in a few years from now. The field is currently lacking enough talents, and there will be even more openings in the future. If you’re looking for a career shift, this might be where you want to head, moreover if you’re passionate about the idea of cyber warfare and security.
Read About: Biggest Myths About Your First Job