Cybersecurity is one of the most important and challenging skills in the tech industry. A cybersecurity expert is someone who protects information systems and networks from cyber threats such as hackers, malware, ransomware, phishing, denial-of-service attacks, etc. Cybersecurity experts can work in various roles such as security analysts, security engineers, security architects, security consultants, penetration testers, ethical hackers, etc.
Cybersecurity is also one of the most in-demand skills in the tech industry. According to CyberSeek, there are over 500,000 open positions for cybersecurity professionals in the US alone, and the demand is expected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a cybersecurity expert in the US is $120,000 per year.
So how can you become a cybersecurity expert and land your dream job in the tech industry? Here are some steps to help you get started:
Before you dive into cybersecurity, you need to learn the basics of cybersecurity. This means understanding what cybersecurity is, why it matters, and what are its principles and practices.
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting information systems and networks from cyber threats such as hackers, malware, ransomware, phishing, denial-of-service attacks, etc. Cybersecurity matters because cyber threats can cause serious damage to individuals, organizations, and society such as data breaches, identity theft, financial losses, reputational harm, operational disruption, physical harm, etc.
Cybersecurity is based on some principles and practices such as confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, authorization, accountability, non-repudiation, risk management, threat modeling, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, incident response, etc.
You can learn the basics of cybersecurity online through various courses, tutorials, and resources. Some popular platforms for learning cybersecurity are:
Once you have learned the basics of cybersecurity, you can move on to choosing a cybersecurity domain. A cybersecurity domain is a specific area or field of cybersecurity that focuses on a particular aspect or function of cybersecurity. A cybersecurity domain can also correspond to a specific role or career path in cybersecurity.
There are many cybersecurity domains to choose from, but some of the most common ones are:
Each domain has its own challenges and opportunities, so you need to do some research and find out which one suits your interests and goals.
You can learn about different cybersecurity domains online through various courses, tutorials, and resources. Some popular platforms for learning about cybersecurity domains are:
The best way to learn cybersecurity is by building projects. Projects allow you to apply what you have learned and showcase your skills and creativity.
You can start by building simple projects that use basic cybersecurity concepts such as encrypting and decrypting data, cracking passwords, scanning ports, or sniffing packets. Then, you can gradually move on to more complex projects that use advanced cybersecurity techniques such as exploiting vulnerabilities, bypassing defenses, hacking systems, or defending networks.
Some examples of projects you can build are:
You can find inspiration and ideas for projects online through various platforms such as Hack The Box, TryHackMe, Cybrary, PentesterLab, and HackThisSite.
You can also use platforms such as GitHub, Kali Linux, Metasploit Framework, or Burp Suite to host your projects online and share them with others.
Another way to become a cybersecurity expert is to get certified. Getting certified means obtaining a credential or certificate that validates your knowledge and skills in a specific cybersecurity domain or role. Getting certified can help you boost your credibility and confidence, stand out from the crowd, and advance your career.
There are many certifications to choose from, but some of the most popular ones are:
Each certification has its own requirements and benefits, so you need to do some research and find out which one suits your needs and preferences.
You can prepare for different certifications online through various courses, tutorials, and resources. Some popular platforms for preparing for certifications are:
Cybersecurity is an ever-changing field that requires constant learning and updating. New threats, technologies, tools, and trends emerge every day that can affect your work and career. Therefore, you need to keep learning new skills and improving your existing ones.
You can keep learning by following online courses, tutorials, and resources that cover the latest developments in cybersecurity. Some popular platforms for keeping up with new skills are:
You can also keep learning by reading blogs, articles, books, podcasts, and newsletters that cover the latest news and insights on cybersecurity. Some popular sources for keeping up with new trends are:
Cybersecurity is an important and challenging skill in the tech industry. By following these steps and tips you can become a cybersecurity expert in 2023 and beyond!