Are you thinking about becoming a cybersecurity professional? It’s a great career choice to make.
The median salary is more than $100,000 a year. The demand for cybersecurity specialists is expected to grow by 33% by 2030.
While the money and job security are among the best you can get, you have to understand what a cybersecurity professional does all day.
They don’t just sit around until a cyberattack happens. It’s a high-stress job that many people don’t realize until it’s too late.
What does a day in the life of a cybersecurity professional look like? Read this guide to find out how you can step into a career as a cybersecurity specialist.
What Does a Cybersecurity Professional Do?
The business world relies on technology. They use the internet to communicate, pay bills, receive payments, connect with customers, and run internal operations.
If there’s a business function, there’s a piece of technology that makes it happen. The IT department manages these systems.
They create the infrastructure to make sure these functions run efficiently as possible.
Unfortunately, there are people in the world who understand that there is a lot of value in business data. Customers’ personal information can get used to creating false identities.
These false identities take out credit cards or make charges using customers’ payment information. They may hijack accounts or disrupt your business.
It’s up to cybersecurity professionals within the IT department to prevent these attacks. They continuously implement measures to prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks.
This is an important job because cyberattacks are one of the top business risks today. A cybersecurity professional’s job is to minimize the risk as much as possible.
An Average Day of a Cybersecurity Professional
A cybersecurity professional’s job can get broken down into different areas. Every day is different for cybersecurity analysts.
For instance, a day might start with a cybersecurity audit.
This is one of the main tools a cybersecurity expert uses to analyze risk. This gives the analyst a chance to assess the vulnerabilities within the organization.
They’ll conduct audits regularly to ensure the organization adapts to evolving threats. They’ll then prioritize projects to patch vulnerabilities.
Regulatory compliance ensures that data gets stored and protected so the organization doesn’t come under fire from regulatory authorities.
There’s a movement to protect customer data. Legislators around the world are passing data privacy laws such as CCPA and GDPR.
There are industry-specific regulations that govern the healthcare and financial industries.
It’s up to the cybersecurity professional that the organization meets the standards of the regulatory agency.
If the organization doesn’t meet these standards, they face heavy fines and penalties.
During the course of the day, a cybersecurity professional runs a lot of tests on the organization’s systems.
They’ll try to breach the systems to exploit potential issues.
Cybersecurity professionals spend time in high-level meetings. They report on the latest threats and work with management to reduce the level of risk.
Training and Education
You might not consider yourself to be a teacher, but it’s one of the hallmarks of your work. That’s because employees are responsible for the majority of cyberattacks.
They don’t realize that an email attachment contains malware. You need to make sure employees can identify and prevent cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity professionals get paid well, so they must work 80 hours a week, right? You’d be surprised to learn that cybersecurity professionals work about 40 hours each week.
There are some exceptions that require longer hours. An IT migration, software update, or cyberattack are the main exceptions.
The Future of Cybersecurity Work
The cybersecurity professional’s job is to stay on top of these threats. Some cyberthreats gain traction, while others become obsolete.
No one could have predicted ransomware attacks a few years ago. Today, they’re among the costliest types of cyberattacks.
There will be an increased reliance on artificial intelligence to detect attacks. Hackers also use AI to create attacks.
Expect to see a political component of cybersecurity. This is due to state-sponsored attacks, which will increase.
You’ll need continuous training to grow as an IT professional and be ready for these challenges. Your knowledge and skills will be in high demand.
How to Become a Cybersecurity Professional
Does this type of work excite you? Then let’s look at what it takes to work in cybersecurity.
Think about the type of cybersecurity work you want to do. You can be a penetration tester, where you try to hack systems.
Forensic analysts look at data after a cyberattack happened. They gather evidence and determine how a breach occurred. They’ll also work with law enforcement agencies.
You need to have a mix of soft are hard skills. For instance, creative problem solving, communication, and attention to detail are soft skills to develop.
Hard skills are related to your knowledge and experience with technology. You’ll need experience in computer science and information technology.
The good news is that you don’t have to get a four-year degree. There are plenty of jobs that you can get with a cybersecurity associate’s degree.
As you go through the program, develop your professional networks. Connect with other IT professionals and get a cybersecurity mentor.
Work with your school’s career services department. They may have job placement programs or can help you land an internship.
Start Your New Career as a Cybersecurity Professional
Are you ready to dive into a new career? Becoming a cybersecurity professional is an exciting option. It’s a career that has a lot of upside in terms of money, benefits, and balance.
Do you want more tech tips? Check out the Technology section of the blog.