What skills do you need for a job in Cybersecurity?

Post by Open Colleges on May 6th, 2020

Are you thinking about a career in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is an expanding industry that can currently boast 0% unemployment.¹

Demand has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and a skill shortage has now emerged in the industry. The skill shortage exists not just in Australia but overseas, too.

Now is the perfect time to get your foot in the door by studying an online Cybersecurity course that will help you land a job in this growing technology industry.

What technical skills do you need to work in Cybersecurity?

It goes without saying that working in the technology sector will require you to have an understanding of foundational IT skills.

This goes beyond knowing what RAM stands for and the difference between an HDD and an SSD.

These are the must-have technical skills you will need to begin a successful career in Cybersecurity.

  • Identify different types of cyber threats

Today, large and small businesses face a slew of different cyber threats, such as malware, ransomware and phishing. As a Cybersecurity Professional, it will be your responsibility to identify these threats accurately and efficiently.

This can also include the use of data forensic tools to investigate anomalies.

  • Perform penetration testing and vulnerability scanning

First and foremost, to be able to effectively protect against hacking attacks and create a resilient network, you need to think like a black hat hacker.

A black hat hacker is another term for a cybercriminal, while a white hat hacker is the name given to ethical hackers.

Ethical hackers working in the cybersecurity industry perform penetration testing to seek out weaknesses in a network to ensure that it is strong enough to resist attack. While you are utilising the same techniques a cybercriminal would to infiltrate a network, you, as an ethical hacker, are using your powers for good instead of evil.

  • Improve a system to make it more resilient against cyber-attacks

The best offense is a good defence. As a Cybersecurity Professional, you will need the skills and knowledge to make constant improvements and updates to system networks to ensure that they are strong, resilient, and able to withstand malicious cyber-attacks.

You will need to combine your IT skills and knowledge with analytical thinking and a little imagination to ensure that the systems you are upgrading can resist a variety of attacks.

  • Incident handling and response

If a cyber-attack should be successful in its goal and security is compromised, then you need to have the skills and knowledge to be able to mitigate the damage and then report on the outcome of the attack.

You don’t need to learn code to work in cybersecurity

You can get a job in Cybersecurity without learning code. That said, it is the kind of skill you might need for future roles if you wish to progress to a more senior level.

Once you begin your career in cybersecurity, you can then determine how you want your career to progress. If coding is a necessary part of the career path you see yourself on, you can then choose pursue further education.

What soft skills do you need to work in Cybersecurity?

Working in Cybersecurity isn’t just about learning the necessary technical skills to identify and prevent cyber-attacks. There are also a range of necessary soft skills that will come in handy.

  • Problem solving and root cause analysis

As a Cybersecurity Professional, you will need to be able to identify and analyse potential threats and in order to figure out the best way to deal with them. This involves utilising critical thinking skills, and being able to ascertain the root cause of a problem.

  • Collaboration

Often, you will find yourself working as part of a team of other Cybersecurity Professionals and co-ordinating with an organisation’s IT department. This requires you to have strong communication skills and be ready to step up as an active team player.

  • Strong communication

In the same vein as collaborating with your colleagues, it’s important for you to possess strong communication skills as you will probably be interacting with other members of the company outside of the technology department. You should be able to communicate openly and effectively with your colleagues and managers, as there can be no room for miscommunication when it comes to security. 

  • Working within agile projects

You may also have heard of ‘agile projects’. An agile project is one that is built in incremental stages, so that as it is developed, it remains flexible. An agile approach is often used for software development, so that the project in question can be adjusted in incremental stages as work progresses, rather than following a straight line to completion.

This will also utilise those collaboration soft skills we mentioned earlier.

  • Research

As a Cybersecurity Professional, your job will involve staying one step ahead of cybercriminals. Cybercrime is a constant threat to large and small business alike, as well as individuals. To outsmart the hackers, you need to keep up to date with malware trends, industry news and data, and you will need to be able to identify and assess threats.

You will also need to explore how technology is being used within the company to be able to execute security policy creation.

Do you have the right personality traits to work in cybersecurity?

As well as having the right kind of qualifications and soft skills, you’ll also need to possess certain traits to follow a successful career in cybersecurity.

Employees will be looking for people who have integrity and a strong work ethic. Why? Because as a Cybersecurity analyst, the chances are you’ll be working with confidential information about companies and people that they want to keep secure from hackers.

You will also need to have strong critical thinking skills coupled with a good imagination. Remember, your job will involve always staying one step ahead of cyber criminals. This will also mean you need to be flexible enough to adapt to a situation when the parameters change (which is also important to remember when working in agile projects).

Personality traits employers will be looking for:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytically minded
  • Adaptable
  • Naturally inquisitive
  • Responsive
  • Meticulous

Ready to start a career in Cybersecurity?

Enrol in our partnership Certified Security Professional course and gain the qualifications you need to begin an exciting career in Cybersecurity.

While this is an online cybersecurity course, there are set start dates. This is because you will be studying alongside a cohort of other students. You can track your progress compared to your cohort, and discuss ideas and challenges with them as you progress through the course.

Make sure you don’t miss out on our next intake date!

1. Source: https://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-unemployment-rate/

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