How To Become a Cybersecurity Specialist Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity specialists are also known as information technology specialists, operations specialists, information security specialists and security specialists. The term applies to a skill set that a variety of cybersecurity professionals use to prevent cyberattacks and mitigate data breaches. Some of these roles include but are not limited to security administrator, systems administrator and security analyst. Sometimes both a degree and cybersecurity certifications are required for cybersecurity specialists – but that’s not always the case. Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand right now and employers are realizing that they need to be open to alternative paths to knowledge and experience in order to fill these positions. Relevant certifications can give job seekers a competitive advantage and help them prove to employers that they have in-demand information security skills.

what is a cyber security specialist

Having said that, it’s completely possible to gain the required knowledge and learn the right skills with some time and dedication. The field of cybersecurity has its own set of jargon, tools, and best practices. It can help to get an overview of it all by taking some introductory courses in cybersecurity. While it’s totally possible to teach yourself through books, blogs, podcasts, and other resources, you may find a course helpful in giving structure and context to what you’re learning. Infrastructure security covers the protection of physical and digital assets through the architecture itself. This specialty may focus on safeguarding sensitive items using structures like generators, security systems and locks.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Cybersecurity Specialist?

A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for data security for any data stored on computers, hard drives, or the internet. An information security analyst would also consider the security of data stored elsewhere, like documents in a filing cabinet or insider knowledge possessed by some employees. In addition to creating structures to protect interconnected devices, professionals in this sector safeguard sensitive assets for applications and data. At the app level, infrastructure security professionals develop and deploy effective databases to prevent access by bad actors. For data, this field protects information by building structures for backups and encryption.

what is a cyber security specialist

A cybersecurity specialist works on the front lines and behind the scenes to protect digital systems and assets from hackers, threats and vulnerabilities. The Microsoft Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate is designed to introduce the skills and knowledge you’ll need for an entry-level role as a cybersecurity analyst. To become a cybersecurity specialist, you should complete a formal education—like a degree or a cybersecurity bootcamp—in information security or a related subject. The following section explores the requirements for becoming a cybersecurity analyst. There are numerous opportunities for highly technical roles, like cybersecurity specialists and developers, at cybersecurity companies. Many large corporations are also setting up their own cybersecurity taskforces and are increasingly hiring cybersecurity specialists.

Cybersecurity Specialist Employment Outlook

Many cybersecurity professionals start out as junior cybersecurity analysts before advancing to more specialized positions. Depending on your interests, you’ll find a variety of cybersecurity career paths you can take. Many early-career cybersecurity specialist roles can advance to senior roles in a matter of years, as IT professionals gain more experience and certifications. For example, network administrators are often promoted to a network engineer role once they have sufficient experience. Cybersecurity specialists of various types could also choose to become cybersecurity managers. This role requires technicians to ensure security compliance and manage entire security teams.

what is a cyber security specialist

Earning CompTIA Network+ in combination with two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus ensures candidates are prepared to earn CompTIA Security+. Use this Cyber Security Specialist job description to advertise your vacancies and find qualified candidates. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Is a Certification or a Degree Required to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist?

An advisory board of educators and other subject matter experts reviews and verifies our content to bring you trustworthy, up-to-date information. That often means that continuing education is required — both in the form of formal, industry-recognized certifications —  and the form of informal learning and tracking industry developments. Cybersecurity specialists are also responsible for continually monitoring security systems and networks for anomalies and tracking those activities in documents and reports. This list of the top 50 cybersecurity networking groups and professional organizations from Digital Guardian is a good place to start.

Digitally, infrastructure security refers to creating and maintaining protected systems from breaches. Forbes Advisor’s education editors are committed to producing unbiased rankings and informative articles covering online colleges, tech bootcamps and career paths. Our ranking methodologies use data from the National Center for Education Statistics, education providers, and reputable educational and professional organizations.

Four key steps to becoming a cybersecurity specialist

Ask a cybersecurity professional why they chose this as a career, and you might get a variety of answers. You can have an impact on your organization by keeping valuable data protected. With new threats and sophisticated attacks emerging all the time, there’s always something new to learn. Staying one step ahead of cybercriminals can be an exciting job where no two days are the same. Information security and cybersecurity overlap, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. While cybersecurity analysts and information security analysts might perform similar tasks, their roles are somewhat different.

CompTIA Security+ is the first security-focused certification cybersecurity professionals should earn, but it shouldn’t be the last. Hiring managers will also be looking for advanced certifications such as CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). To lessen the devastation cybercrime causes, organizations employ cybersecurity specialists. PenTest+ is cybersecurity specialist program for intermediate level cybersecurity professionals who are tasked with penetration testing to manage vulnerabilities on a network. If you want to become a cybersecurity specialist, you need industry-recognized certifications. Two of the best cybersecurity certifications you can get are CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+).

Before you apply for your first cybersecurity role, take some time to develop core IT skills, including programming, networks and systems administration, and cloud computing. While you don’t necessarily need a degree to get a job in cybersecurity, having some form of structured training might accelerate your path toward a job. Cybersecurity specialists handle a broad set of technical responsibilities related to safeguarding sensitive digital information and data.

  • IBM’s Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks course describes key cybersecurity concepts, best practices, and tools.
  • Starting a career in cybersecurity—or switching from another field—typically involves developing the right skills for the job.
  • Many IT professionals have an IT degree of some sort and experience working at the help desk.
  • Network security professionals use firewalls, physical hardware and education efforts to safeguard against intrusions and retain lost data.
  • A cybersecurity specialist is a professional who is responsible for protecting computer systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access, theft, or damage.
  • It can help to get an overview of it all by taking some introductory courses in cybersecurity.

Payscale also reports that in 2024, cybersecurity specialists will be compensated across a wide range, depending on experience, responsibilities, and geography. According to a recent PayScale questionnaire, most employees with the job title cybersecurity specialists responded that they have a high level of job satisfaction. They are responsible for making sure that networks and computer systems are up-to-date and not vulnerable to software bugs. If you are starting from scratch, becoming a cybersecurity specialist will take longer.

Cybersecurity specialists are IT professionals that are responsible for protecting the data and complete IT infrastructure of organizations. They are experts at detecting cyber threats and implementing data-saving security measures. These technicians also create and enforce security policies, carry out threat and risk analyses and perform vulnerability assessments.

what is a cyber security specialist

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