If you plan to plunge into a career in cyber security software development, then your preparation starts with understanding three key aspects. Above all, you need to know whether cyber security is the right career choice or not. Next, learn about the skills that you need to nurture for this career. And your end goal is to understand how you can get picked for a promising job in this field?
First of all, there should be no reason why it won’t be a good career choice. Secondly, for learning the requisite technical skills, you can pursue a degree in software development with a specialization in cybersecurity. However, the most challenging part is the job competition. Do you know, an employer scans a resume in 6 seconds! So, you have very limited time to impress him.
Mentioning your independent cyber security projects in the resume is one way to have the edge over others. Your projects are like testimonies that justify your technical skills, and this can make your profile stand out in the competition. So, this article will also explain six cyber security project ideas that you can try.
Must Read: Cyber Security Salary in India
Is Cyber security the Right Career Choice?
Many who are already into the software development or IT sector aim to leap into a career in internet security, considering that it is a lucrative job and day-by-day becoming more relevant as everything, especially businesses, shifts to the digital space and becoming data-driven. The urgent need for robust cyber security software programs can be rightly perceived by referring to the findings of the National Computer Security Survey (NCSS) conducted by the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics.
The grave reality is that while businesses are advancing banking on newer technologies, there even the cybercriminals are constantly finding new technologies to target their victims; they adapt at a fast pace. Internet security reports from different companies like Macfee, Symantec, Cisco, Varonis, and others, reflect frightening statistics on how cybercriminals target victims through lifestyle apps, emails, smart home device apps, etc.
As per the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report by Herjavec Group, cybercrime is the greatest threat to the companies. As per the sources, the report predicts that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2022.
These statistics clearly define why businesses are becoming increasingly aware and serious about cybersecurity. They acknowledge that one of the effective ways to combat cybercriminals is to develop robust security infrastructure for the digital space. This is where businesses need competent cyber security software developers. Thus, from a career perspective, cyber security software developers can definitely hope for a bright future with sustainable career growth opportunities.
What skills do you need to nurture for a career in cyber security software development?
- A software developer working for cyber security projects has the responsibility to develop and integrate security tools like malware detectors, spyware, intrusion detection, and more at each stage of software development.
- He/she is also accountable for integrating the other necessary cyber security technologies and components to ensure the entire organization’s network’s overall safety so that the business data can’t be breached.
- He/she is expected to be proactive and prompt in detecting any kind of malicious behavior and fix it before it becomes too unruly, leading to some sort of security breach.
- As far as technical knowledge is considered, it is good to know about computer science engineering for an aspiring cyber security software developer. Above that, he/she requires to garner theoretical plus practical knowledge about application security, data secrecy, cryptography, network security, and much more.
For professionals, who are already working in IT companies as data professionals, coding professionals, software test engineers, IT project leads, etc., leaping into a career of cyber security software development is not at all challenging. Without taking a break from their existing jobs, they can enroll in online diploma programs that offer cybersecurity specialization.
Usually, the minimum eligibility criteria for such programs are graduation degrees; however, candidates with a computer science engineering degree are likely to adapt to cyber security concepts more proficiently.
How can you get picked for a promising job in the field of cybersecurity?
Enrolling in a well-structured diploma program, wherein world-class faculty members & industry experts offer lessons, can sufficiently help you garner the technical knowledge and skills required for handling real-world job responsibilities. However, before you lend into a job, you have the colossal task of surpassing the job competition.
According to research studies conducted by business.time.com and linkedin.com in 2012 and 2017, respectively, an employer looks over an applicant’s resume for roughly around six seconds. So, you are competing in a condensed space, wherein you have approximately 6 seconds to make yourself stand out among other applicants eyeing the same job. You may have the best of technical expertise, but how will you convey that to your HR or the employer in 6 seconds?
- One of the most effective ways to stand out in the competition is to make your resume eye-catchy by mentioning your mini projects in it.
- Taking up cyber security projects not just gives you hands-on-experience of technologies related to internet security but also enhances your soft skills in handling real-world job responsibilities.
- Taking up such projects and mentioning them in your resume makes your employer interested in you. He gets something concrete to judge your competency and relevancy to his company’s requirements.
Top 6 Cyber Security Project Ideas
As cyber security projects may lend you a good job, so you must do it. If you are looking for cyber security project ideas, then here are six ideas explained for you:
1. Keylogger projects
You must be aware of keylogger, which is a surveillance software installed on a system to record the keystroke made on that system. So, as part of your project, you can develop your own keylogger if you are good at coding. Another project idea can be developing a process to detect and delete keyloggers or develop a process to capture the system’s keystrokes.
2. Network traffic analysis
This can be a great choice for your cyber security project as Network traffic analysis, also known as Packet sniffing, is a popular internet security concept. This project will be an analysis-based project wherein you can learn how to use a packet sniffer software to monitor and capture data packets passing through a computer network, such as the network of your office, or your training center, or your college.
Here you might require taking prior permission of the administrator. Packet sniffing is important for cyber security as data packets are targeted by cybercriminals to steal information like passwords, credit card details, etc.
3. Caesar Cipher Decoder
If cryptography interests you, then one of the great cyber security project ideas for you is to build an app to break a caesar cipher. Now, what is a caesar cipher? It is a type of encryption method wherein the letters of a given text are replaced by other letters that come after several other alphabets.
For example, if you encrypt the word ‘Software’ by shifting 3 alphabets, then the Caesar chipper for it will be ‘VRIWZDUH.’ So, you can start by building a web app to break such simple encryption; later on, move on to complex concepts. Your software interface should have a space for the input text, a drop option to choose the ‘Shift,’ and a space for the output text, which will be the cipher decoded text. The example is shown below:
If you have good programming skills and are ready to take up a complex project, then you can even try your hands on creating your own antivirus. To start the projects, first, you need to define the methods of protection that you’re going to develop, and select platforms that your software will support. For instance, macro-protection for Windows can be written in VBScript. You can get sufficient coding reference from a platform like GitHub. Then, you need to design a user interface.
5. Build your own encryption software
Data encryption is a big part of cybersecurity. So, one of the widely appreciated cyber security project ideas is that of encryption software. You can try taking up a project to develop your own encryption software. First, you need to do your project scoping, like you want to build an app to encrypt files using existing algorithms. To implement encryption easily in your app, you can use Amazon Web Services” (AWS) encryption “Software Development Kit” (SDK).
6. Bug Bounties and Hackathons
Another good project is to find bugs in websites. On the internet, there are many bug bounty programs; you can participate in such programs and gain hands-on experience in finding bugs. Some of the programs even pay if you can find relevant bugs.
Hackathons, a portmanteau of hacking marathons, is also gaining popularity, as many companies or platforms are organizing hackathons for aspiring cyber security professionals. If you get the chance, you must participate in hackathons. Here you can intensively collaborate with graphic designers, project managers, interface designers, and domain experts from the cyber security field. Taking part in hackathons is a good way to put your skills into work and also garner more in-depth knowledge about internet security.
Read: Career in Cyber Security
Are you interested in making a leap into a cyber security career?
For those you are interested in building a career in cybersecurity, upGrad is offering a PG diploma in software development, with a specialization in Cyber security, wherein 7+ case studies and capstone cyber security projects are integrated into the course.
upGrad is also offering a certification program in cyber security, specially designed for working professionals. These courses cover the intricacies of internet security, application security, data secrecy, cryptography, and network security.
It also facilitates learning of programming languages & tools such as python, Java, Git, Github, Amazon Web Services, etc. The lessons are imparted through best-in-class content, online sessions, and live lectures.
upGrad, in association with leading universities, has designed its online programs to understand the career objectives and limitations of working professionals. These programs are especially for IT professionals, project leads, managers in IT/tech companies, data professionals, coders, testers, who strive to continue their academic learning without taking a break from their jobs.upGrad also provides 360-degree career support to the students.
As discussed in the article, cyber security projects are crucial for gaining hands-on experience and increasing a candidate’s credibility for a job opportunity. Since cyber security is a vast field, you can think of numerous cyber security project ideas. There is no shortage of ideas, but what is essential is to take up and finish a project successfully. The efforts and expertise required for these projects depend on the scope of work and your project’s objective.
To gain adequate knowledge in the field of cybersecurity, one can opt for PG level courses in cybersecurity. upGrad, in collaboration with IIIT Bangalore, offers a PG course named, PG Diploma in Software Development Specialisation in Cyber Security for aspiring cybersecurity professionals.
What is the need for networking skills in cyber security?
Cyber security workers need networking skills to understand how networks work and how to protect them from breaches. Professionals with networking skills can also identify potential network vulnerabilities and address those flaws. Professionals with networking expertise can also better grasp how malware acts on networks and how to prevent it from spreading. Finally, networking skills enable professionals to collaborate with other security team members to defend an organization's networks.
How should I apply digital forensics in my project?
When using digital forensics in a project, the type of data that has to be evaluated is a crucial issue. Text files, photos, and videos are all examples of data that can be assessed. The goal of the analysis can also play a role in deciding which tools are required. A tool like Foremost, for example, may be required if the purpose is to recover erased files. A tool like Wireshark may be more appropriate if the goal is to investigate cybercrime. Another critical factor to consider when using digital forensics in a project is the availability of tools. Not all tools are free, and some may require special training or certification before they may be used. It is critical to investigate the available tools and ensure that they are suitable for the project at hand.
How good do my programming skills need to be for cyber security?
Cyber security does not necessitate any specific programming abilities. General programming abilities and knowledge, on the other hand, are advantageous. Understanding how programming code works and being able to write code can aid in the detection of vulnerabilities and the development of patches. Furthermore, many cyber security tools and programs are written in code; thus, knowing how to read and understand code might help you use these products more effectively. You could also find having a working knowledge of scripting languages like Python or Perl useful. Similarly, knowing the inner workings of networks and their vulnerabilities can be aided by having a foundation in network protocols. Finally, having a basic understanding of computer systems and how they can help you spot and mitigate cyber security dangers.