What is it like to work in Cyber Security? | 2018 #Cyber Careers

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In this blog post we list down all the pros, cons and, frank observations that you need to know before you decide to take the plunge.

IT is easily one of the fastest growing industries in the world, but deciding to make it your new cyber security career isn’t easy. Working in cybersecurity may sound thrilling and glamorous on the surface, but there’s a lot more to it. Looking for a job to enter this domain but not sure how it’ll be or if it’s what you’re looking for? In this blog post we list down all the pros, cons and, frank observations that you need to know before you decide to take the plunge.

You are going to need to be proactive, irrespective of the position you wish to work for. This isn’t the type of field where you can just earn a degree, land a job and relax. You’ll need to find ways to stick out in a positive way as technology is a constantly changing field and so are the threats that come with it. Now, this can be a positive or negative aspect depending on personal preference. One needs to stay updated with the latest developments and stay one step ahead of the hackers and malicious users by coming up with innovative solutions to the security vulnerabilities. For most people, this is great as there are new things to learn regularly hence there is never a dull moment. Most goods to excellent cyber security people have fully developed labs at home where they spend a good amount of their time, energy and hard earned cash on playing with new software and generally examining and hacking. In reality, some people do find it tedious and the grind eventually gets to them. The key is to find a specialized area that interests you and dive deep into learning the tactics, tools and specific threats in this domain.

Regardless of the job title of a cyber-security professional, the job can unfortunately just be stressful as it is unlikely to follow a generic 9 to 5 pattern. There is a lot of planning and effort that goes in clearing the hurdles and you constantly have to be on the watch for threats which can sometimes mean longer work hours along with some trial and error. An average workday usually involves just customer interaction and threat monitoring, except problems, don’t follow a schedule and can strike at any minute of the day even when you are on a vacation. Fortunately, companies understand this and they want their employees well rested and rejuvenated which is why you may have the option to pick your own schedule or telecommute(work from home).

Clueless and stubborn users pose a bigger threat than malicious hackers. Ignorant people who don’t want to change their IT behaviour easily fall prey to social engineering attacks. The help desk needs to educate people about the most basic practices too. Today the cyber attacks are automated and intelligent hence the users need to act accordingly too. Figuring out the vulnerability or entry point of the attack becomes wearisome if the end users aren’t honest about how the computer got messed up. This is very common as no human wants to admit their technical shortfalls such as visiting a suspicious website or trying to log into an unauthorised system. In terms of pros, this is what makes this job challenging and fun as the professionals take it up as a challenge to solve the problems. It creates high job satisfaction in the industry and it never gets stale.

Jobs in cyber security typically carry the expectation of confidentiality thus security clearance can be a big deal. This is because most businesses don’t want it made known that they have fallen victim to information theft as it will draw negative publicity and create user distrust. From an infosec professional point of view, the clearance system can be both a blessing and a curse. Having access to and dealing with sensitive information may mean adhering to a rather personal lifestyle depending on the level of security clearance. Nonetheless, it also implies being a high profile executive in most organisations which will act as the key to opening the door to a wide array of exciting jobs and enable you to expand your network to even more industry professionals.

Undoubtedly, Cyber Security jobs come with big rewards in terms of monetary compensation. The pay is usually great as compared to other professions as there is always an unprecedented need for professionals. The average salary for this sector is considerably higher as compared to all other occupations. A person might look at the negative side that a hacker may get rich overnight by just conducting one data breach while a security professional may have to work their entire life to yield the same payoff. However, leading a life of crime is never favourable as compared to being the good guy. Employers also try to coax the top talent by various incentives and perks such as health insurance, flexible working hours and, social events among various other benefits.

Cyber Security Jobs and cyber career definitely have the mysterious appeal as they have always been popularized by the media, but apart from the technical expertise, professionals need to have the drive to keep on innovating ways to deal with security threats as they are on the front lines of defending users from privacy and data violation. Security is a journey, not a destination and one needs to understand the concept of acceptable loss, that security is a continuous game of cat and mouse.

If you are up for a challenging career and eager to join the defence, the first step you need to do is acquire the necessary skills. At Cybervie, we offer  Ethical Hacking and Information Security Analyst courses which will provide you with a professional base to dive into the cyber security field by getting certified and being able to put those skills to practical use.