Businesses have become the custodians of massive amounts of data over the past several decades. Some of it is unstructured and ostensibly useless, but much of it contains valuable, sometimes very personal information. More data, more problems. As information proliferated so has the phenomenon of data breaches. Information leaks cost businesses millions of dollars, months of their time, and a good deal of trust from the consuming public. It is a bad situation but also one that breeds opportunity. Data security jobs serve as a lucrative way to flex your tech skills, earn a good living, and keep people’s personal information safe. In this article, we take a look at a few data protection careers.
Cyber Security Analyst
Cyber Analysts come in and take a close look at a business’s digital operations and data management strategies. While they don’t necessarily design security programs, they do craft strategies with existing tools that are specifically crafted to suit the needs of the business that they are representing. The actual tasks they perform can vary considerably depending on their client. They may monitor security threats, conduct regular system checks, and install firewalls and other resources designed to keep information safe.
Though much of the job is IT-focused, cyber security analysts may also benefit from good communication skills. Because parts of their job may involve explaining complicated programs, threats, and responses to people who don’t have a tech background, it helps to be able to take complex ideas, and present them clearly to laypeople. While there are several ways to enter the field, the majority of cyber analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or cyber security.
Cyber Security Architects
Cyber security architects take the responsibilities of cyber analysts to the next level. They too keep an eye out on the horizon for potential breach threats. However, they take a significantly more active role in developing responses to nip the threats in the bud.
After evaluating an organization’s threats, the cyber security architect develops bespoke IT systems for maintaining the business network. Once systems are operational, the cyber security architect maintains and builds upon them to make sure the network continues to benefit from maximum protection. Most cyber security architects will have a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Many will also have a graduate degree in something like Certified Information Systems Security.
Security administrators see more to the day-to-day maintenance and operations of a business’s IT infrastructure, particularly as it relates to meeting their cyber security needs. Like all of the jobs on this list, threat analysis may factor into the responsibilities of the security administrator.
On a day-to-day level, however, tasks may include updates, repairs, and security performance evaluations. IT infrastructure can take as much effort to maintain as it does to create in the first place. Security administrators are there to keep everything running smoothly in the long run. While a range of different backgrounds may equip a person for this job, education in cyber security or computer science will typically be required.
Cybersecurity Consultants are experienced and specialized professionals hired by organizations to access their expertise in cyber security compliance and regulatory needs of the industry. They are hired by organizations for their advisory services. They assist businesses in developing and implementing strong security measures and policies that facilitate various regulatory and compliance requirements. They help organizations in developing efficient strategies to protect their systems, network, and infrastructure in alignment with the industry regulatory requirement.
Incident Response Analyst
An Incident Response Analyst is an individual appointed in an organization who is responsible for monitoring, detecting, and reporting any threats directed against the organization’s systems and infrastructure. While some Incident Response Analysts work independently as consultants, others work as a part of an organization’s Cyber Security Incident Response Team. The Incident Response Analyst assists the affected business with strategies and responses to address the occurred incidents. They are required to follow and implement certain procedures based on an organization’s pre-approved Cyber Security Incident Response Plan to address the issues accordingly.
Ethical hacker, the darker hero of the preventative cybersecurity industry. Ethical hackers have the skills to penetrate system networks and retrieve data, yet they chose to use their powers for the good. Certified ethical hackers essentially approach a business’s network with the perspective of a hacker. They test for points of vulnerability and see what it would take to access sensitive information. They attempt to get around firewalls and other security measures to determine how effective they are. When weak spots are identified, the ethical hacker fortifies them. It is more like hiring a burglar to test the security measures and make sure no one can break into your house.
Penetration testers operate similarly to an ethical hacker. They run tests on systems to detect points of vulnerability and make fortifications where it is deemed necessary. The work can be very niche with people specializing in specific operating systems. As with all of these jobs, however, the purpose of the work is straightforward. Find risk and eliminate it. Penetration testers are hired to identify security gaps in systems and strengthen the cybersecurity measures in an organization.
Chief Information Security Officer
The Chief Information Security Officer is hired to ensure that a business’s security features are running at peak performance. They make enterprise-level decisions that shape the entire trajectory of how a business’s digital assets are protected. In other words, they are the ones calling the shots. A penetration tester or an ethical hacker might identify threats, but it is the Chief Information Security Officer that approves and ensures the implementation of strategies. It is good to work if you can get it, but these jobs are hard to come by. Most people occupying these positions have significant experience both in business and in IT.
In today’s modern digital world cyber security is the need of the hour for every business. Although the IT industry is flooded with opportunities yet cyber security is a niche that is facing a short supply of security professionals. This is seen especially when there is a growing demand and importance of cyber security professionals in the industry. From specialized consultants, all the way up to C-suite executives, there is a persistent and constant need for such professionals by businesses across different industries. So, cybersecurity professionals looking for a lucrative career in this niche now is the right time to gain a strong foothold in the world of preventative cyber security.