Savitha K R heads the Talent Acquisition function at Colortokens. She holds 20+ years of experience with focus on talent strategy for start-ups & well-established multinational organizations. She has extensively worked on Volume & Niche IT & Non- IT hiring. Savitha has handled Pan India & APAC extensively & managed end to end recruitment and team across locations in India and other geographies. She has worked on multiple tools and platforms for leadership hiring.
A couple of years ago, little did we know that we could build a career in Cybersecurity. But today we live in a digital world, with smart gadgets connected to the internet for even the most basic needs of ours, making us more susceptible to malicious attacks, invasion of privacy and fraud. And with the whole shift to the remote working model, there is a surge in cyber threats making cybersecurity a real business challenge for companies, big or small. It has now become a quintessential part of the overall company strategy, making it a lucrative career path.
As attacks become sophisticated across the globe, companies are forced to adopt new approaches to secure their network and defend their infrastructures from both external and internal threats. This brought forward the concept of the Zero Trust Model. An evolved holistic security approach that will define the security strategies in the future. This advanced model shifts focus from various types of authentication and access controls, including the misconception of single security perimeters, to tailored controls around sensitive data stores, applications, systems and networks. The big differentiator of the Zero Trust model is its high security framework that allows only trusted identities within an organization access networks, systems, and data based on their role to perform their jobs.
This brings us to an important question. Is there a demand for cybersecurity jobs and if yes, what are the skills required? But first let’s understand what does a Cybersecurity Professional actually do.
Cybersecurity professionals are skilled to identify weaknesses in networks, hardware, databases, and firewalls. The most important priority of a cybersecurity professional is none other than preventing attacks by fixing potential issues even before they are exploited by malicious users or attackers. In simple terms, we can refer them as ‘unsung heroes of the Internet’. Hence, cybersecurity is one of the most important and sort after skills any professional can acquire.
So, is a career in cybersecurity a good fit for you?
Well, a job in cybersecurity can be highly lucrative and rewarding, it can also be a very challenging path to tread on. So, understanding the nuances of the job is very important and it will also help you decide if a career in cybersecurity is the right choice for you. There are many different levels of experience and qualification that one can choose from such as:
Entry-level: It is always better to get your foot in first and learn on the job. Opportunities here include roles like web developers, network engineers, security specialists etc.
Mid-level: For those who have gained a bit of experience, more job opportunities open up that may include security analysts, cybersecurity consultants, incident responders, etc.
Advanced level: This is for those who come with a good amount of experience and are equipped to explore opportunities that may include cybersecurity managers, cybersecurity engineers, Chief operating security officers and cybersecurity architects.
Whatever role you choose, there’s no better time than now to join the ranks of cybersecurity experts.
Need of the Hour
While there are a lot of certifications now available and some institutions have also introduced courses around programming and ethical hacking, having a structured curriculum and industry specialized courses is of utmost importance as the whole cybersecurity space is evolving and maturing. We see a growing professionalization in this market as it moves from hackers to professionals who can shape the fundamental building blocks of respective industries. But having said that, there is a huge gap in technical talent that companies are looking out for. According to industry reports, against an estimated demand for a million cybersecurity experts, India has less than 10,000 professionals. And this gap only seems to be widening. As companies struggle with an array of internal and external threats, skills like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Automation are playing large roles in bridging that gap by correlating threat intelligence and coordinating responses at machine speed. Knowledge about the latest technologies and techniques have become even more crucial to stay in the game. They play an important role in powering the skills required by businesses to protect the sophistication of the threats of tomorrow.
During this time, when our economy is struggling and many careers are taking a hit, cybersecurity jobs are most likely to stay in demand as data safety is a common and important concern. Our advice would only be to never stop learning, regardless of the challenges. Cybersecurity career will only continue to grow and it’s important to stay motivated, stay educated and stay secure.