The demand for cybersecurity professionals is on the rise. According to a report by Indeed, the searches for cybersecurity-related roles grew by 30% from February to May 2020. During the pandemic, the number of cyberattacks on organizations and individuals increased substantially, due to which the demand for skilled professionals in this field has increased considerably.
To become a cybersecurity professional, you’ll need to develop several skills. Figuring out which skills you should learn can be confusing so we have prepared the following article, which covers the necessary skills for cybersecurity professionals.
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Top Cyber Security Skills
1. Programming Skills
First, you should be familiar with multiple programming languages. Some of the prominent programming languages include Python, Java, PHP, and .NET. Every programming language has its specific applications and advantages. For example, PHP will help you work with servers and analyze their security requirements. On the other hand, Python has many libraries for numerous applications which it’s a must-have for any cybersecurity professional.
By learning multiple programming languages, you’d get to develop coding skills at the same time. Good coders focus on reducing the lines of code they write for performing an action to reduce potential errors.
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2. Operating Systems
An operating system (OS) is a software solution that communicates with the hardware. It also allows other software programs to run on the device. Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux are some of the most prominent operating systems. An operating system would allow the user to manage input and output, and manage the memory, process, and files of the device.
You should know how to work with operating systems and their ins and outs. Understanding the basic components of an operating system helps you understand the weaknesses and potential exploits of the solution. Many hackers and malware focus on identifying the weaknesses of these operating systems so you should be familiar with them. It’s among the most important cybersecurity skills.
3. Networking and Virtualization
A network allows multiple computer devices to share information and data through digital interconnections. Networking is a vital skill for cybersecurity because, like operating systems, malicious elements try to find weaknesses in a network to breach the same.
Understanding how a network works and what are its components will help you learn about network security, a prominent branch of cybersecurity. Network security refers to the specific configurations and rules which safeguard a computer network and its data through hardware and software solutions.
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Another related skill is virtualization which is the process of creating a virtual software machine within a device. A virtual machine has its particular RAM, CPU, and memory capabilities and is separate from the software of the physical device it resides on. By learning virtualization, you can create multiple virtual machines within one computer.
Virtualization is one of the most important skills for cybersecurity professionals because it allows them to run tests without requiring additional hardware or resources.
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4. Analytics and Intelligence
Analytics is the process of analyzing data and generating insights from it. You should know how to perform analytics and find out the areas you need to work the most on. Being familiar with the basic concept of analytics and intelligence will help you in learning cybersecurity analytics, which focuses on using data attribution, analysis, and aggregation to get the required information to plan out future implementations.
To understand the basics of analytics, you can brush up on your knowledge of statistics. Learning statistics will provide you with a solid foundation to study the advanced concepts of cybersecurity analytics.
5. Intrusion Detection
Cybersecurity professionals must know how to detect an intrusion event and act accordingly. You should be familiar with IDS (Intrusion Detection System) and know how to use them.
An IDS is a software solution or a device that monitors a system for policy violations or malicious activity. There are multiple types of intrusion detection systems:
- Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS)
- Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)
- Host-based Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)
An IDS would identify the malicious event and report it to the network or system administrator. It might also record the event and store it in the Security Information and Event Management System.
Companies expect you to be familiar with the functions of an IDS and all kinds of this technology. You would be using it all the time as a cybersecurity professional that’s why it’s among the most important cybersecurity skills.
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6. Digital Forensics
Digital forensics refers to the processes which help you analyze a cyber attack or security breach and identify the probable culprit. You should be familiar with the various digital forensics tools used in the industry and how to use them. They will help you find anomalies, data, malicious activities on the network and act accordingly.
7. Application Security Development
Apart from working with existing systems and devices, you might also have to work with in-development solutions. In application security development, a cybersecurity professional has to test the application and identify the potential weaknesses which might get exploited. They find, fix, and prevent vulnerabilities.
As more and more companies are focused on released applications, the demand for application security development is also increasing. That’s why you should add this skill to your arsenal. You should know how to test an application and analyze its performance to find its weaknesses.
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8. SIEM Management
SIEM stands for Security Incident and Event Management. It’s a security management method where you combine a Security Information Management System with a Security Event Management System. A SIEM solution would collect data in real-time and analyze the security threats and identify the related events. The solution would also identify patterns of suspicious behaviour to help you identify probable threats and sources of danger for your system.
It’s one of the strongest tools in a cybersecurity professional arsenal. You’d know how to generate insights from its analytics, that’s why we added it as one of the most important cybersecurity skills.
With a SIEM, you can expose potential unknown and known threats, get reports, back up the incident response, and monitor the regulated activity.
9. Threat Intelligence Analysis
It is referred to as the analysis of data using tools and techniques which help to generate meaningful information about existing and emerging threats.
Threat intelligence helps organisations with valuable knowledge, helps in building effective defense mechanisms, and mitigates the possible risks that could threaten the finance, privacy, and data of the organisation.
A cyber intelligence threat analyst is responsible for monitoring and analysing the cyber threat data to provide actionable intelligence.
There are various types of threat intelligence, such as-
The cyber security analyst skills are technical expertise, communication, problem-solving, etc.
10. Cloud Security
Cloud Security is a responsibility shared between the cloud provider and the customer. It is useful in protecting the cloud service environments, data held in the cloud, applications running in the cloud, etc.
There are two main points attached to cloud security, such as the cloud service types and the cloud environments. Third-party providers usually provide cloud service types. Some of those are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
On the other hand, Cloud environments are the deployment models in which one or more cloud services create a system for the end users. Some cloud environments are public, private third-party cloud environments, private in-house cloud environments, multi-cloud environments, hybrid cloud environments, etc.
Some top cyber security skills required from cloud security professionals are DevOps, Information Security, Python and Ruby, and Network and Application Security.
11. Risk Management
It is one of the most valuable processes as it helps in identifying, assessing, and controlling financial, legal and strategic risks of the organisation. These risks could stem from various sources, such as financial and legal liabilities, management errors, etc.
There are various processes in place to carry forward the risk management process, such as-
- Risk identification,
- Risks analysis,
- Risk assessment,
- Risk mitigation,
- Risk monitoring
Some of the common responses which work toward risk mitigation are-
- Risk avoidance
- Risk acceptance
- Risk sharing
- Risk transfer
Some of the top skills required for cyber security for risk management are-
- People Management
- Relationship building
- Regulation knowledge
- Risk quantification
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How to Learn The Necessary Skills for Cyber Security
As you must have seen by now, there are multiple skills you must learn to become a cybersecurity professional. We know it can be pretty challenging to learn all of these skills at once without a proper structure or guidance. That’s why we recommend taking a cybersecurity course.
upGrad’s PG Certification in Cybersecurity and PG Diploma in Cybersecurity will teach you all the necessary skills and subjects you need to become a professional. You’ll get to learn directly from industry experts through live video sessions. The course gives you IIIT Bangalore alumni status and access to work class faculty members.
Some of the prominent skills our course covers include:
- Data secrecy
- Network security
- Application security
You only need to have a bachelor’s degree with 50% or more marks to be eligible for this program. It doesn’t require you to have any coding experience. By the end of this course, you’d be familiar with many cybersecurity technologies including Git, Python, Java, and Amazon Web Service (AWS).
Cybersecurity professionals are like the security force of an organization. They stave off all unwanted and malicious parties through their implemented technologies. By learning the cybersecurity skills we discussed in this article, you can easily become an in-demand professional.
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How do you respond to security breaches?
A security breach occurs when unauthorized individuals gain access to or steal sensitive, confidential, or private data. Hacking, malware, and social engineering are all tactics that can lead to security breaches. It is critical to respond swiftly and effectively when a security incident occurs. This includes securing the damaged region, determining the source of the breach, and taking preventative measures to avoid future violations. It is critical to build a plan for the future after the breach has been assessed. Steps to improve security and prevent future intrusions should be included in this plan.
How do you set up basic security for your operating system?
You may set up security for your operating system in a few different ways. Create a password for your user account as one option. Other users will not be able to log into your account without your consent. Enabling a firewall is another technique to increase security. Unauthorized individuals will be unable to access your computer if you employ a firewall. Antivirus software can also be installed to safeguard your computer against malware and other viruses.
How do you detect the breach in your security?
There are several methods for detecting a security breach, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Network traffic is being monitored for evidence of unauthorized access. This can be done with the help of a network intrusion detection system (NIDS), which monitors traffic patterns for signs of an assault. Keep an eye on system logs for any indications of unauthorized activity. System logs can reveal which users have signed in to the system, which files they've accessed, and what actions they've taken—conducting security audits to identify system vulnerabilities. Security audits can reveal system flaws that attackers could take advantage of—detecting unusual activity with security monitoring technologies. Security monitoring technologies can spot conduct out of the ordinary for a user, which could indicate a security breach.
Will cybersecurity be in demand in 2023?
In today’s digital world, the cybersecurity industry will be in demand. Cybersecurity is going to help protect `organisations from data breaches, company sustainability, growth strategy, etc.
Which top companies hire for cybersecurity roles?
The top companies hiring for cybersecurity roles are KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, EY, and Jacobs.
What are the job roles available in the field of cybersecurity?
The available job roles in the field of cybersecurity are Malware analyst, Penetration Tester, Computer Forensics Analyst, Cloud Security Specialist, Cybersecurity Engineer, and Security Architect.
How well paying the cybersecurity industry?
Although the salary for the different roles differs, as a whole the salary in cybersecurity is 5 lakhs per annum.