How to Become a Successful Cybersecurity Engineer? [2023]

The cybersecurity profession is one of the most sought-after careers in the country. India is a vast country that has the majority of internet users in it. Unfortunately, there are only very few cybersecurity professionals who can handle the cybercrime issue. Every day, the rate of cybersecurity breaches is too high.

Cybersecurity professionals are wanted in all types of the organization as they generate and maintain massive data. However, as there are so many different roles from entry to advanced levels, a cybersecurity engineer in high demand.

Cybersecurity engineers are responsible for developing and maintaining high-level security systems that prevent breaches or leaks in the system. Some organizations combine the responsibilities of a security analyst and security engineer as one. Security analysts find the weakness while a security engineer builds a robust security system to avoid breaches.

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This article is a detailed guide on how to become a cybersecurity engineer.

What is the Role of a Cybersecurity Engineer?

Kudos to you if you are ready to take up a role as a security engineer. It is because a security engineer will maintain the entire security architecture of the organization. Not only implementing and maintaining the security systems but also testing the system for weaknesses and breaches. They take up different roles as data security engineers, network security engineers, and web security engineers. If the company cannot afford all of them, they combine all three in one as a cybersecurity engineer. 

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Here are a few things that you will be doing as a security engineer:

  1. You will be evaluating the security needs of the organization.
  2. Depending on the security needs, you implement the standard operating procedures and best practices.
  3. The responsibility of protecting all the organization’s data and networks by implementing, maintaining, and upgrading the security systems is also on you.
  4.  Be alert and respond to all the security breaches in the network.
  5. Troubleshoot network security and issues routinely to find security compromises.
  6. Conduct penetration testing in a scheduled manner to find breaches
  7. Test for vulnerabilities in the system through scans
  8. Be an active participant in the change management processes.
  9. Investigate or assist in investigating the security breaches
  10. Routine administrative reporting
  11. Communicate with the responsible departments regularly

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We could always see an overlap in the security engineer and security analyst positions in the job listings because then security engineers also routinely conduct a stress test. Hence the organizations usually squeeze the responsibilities of an analyst and security engineer into one position.

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The Constantly Changing Cybersecurity Environment

Threat actors continually adapt their strategies and exploit vulnerabilities, creating an environment where cybersecurity constantly changes. Cybersecurity engineers must constantly refresh their skills and expertise to counter these attacks properly. This entails keeping up with new technological developments, attack vectors, and industry best practices as they develop. This continuing learning process requires regular training, attendance at industry conferences, and participation in professional development initiatives.

Qualifications of a Security Engineer and Their Pay

An essential requirement to become a security engineer is to acquire a degree in computer science and engineering, information technology, or Systems Engineering. Other equivalent degree holders can also apply for the security engineer positions.

Besides a college degree, proficiency in programming languages like ++, Java, Node, Python, Ruby, Go, or PowerShell will be preferred. Relevant experiences in incident management and forensics will also be considered. Added to the above, a knowledge of hacker tactics and trends in cybersecurity will be preferred. 

Security engineers get paid around ₹525,000 annually. The jobs are rewarding and high paid outside the country. For instance, in the US, a security engineer will be paid around $59K, even at the beginner’s level. The salary will rise by about $100K for senior levels. Regardless of where they are and what their position is, cybersecurity engineers get paid well.

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The Function of Certifications

Although mentioned, certifications play a crucial role in lifelong learning. Certifications not only confirm knowledge but also give professionals the chance to learn more. Many certification programs demand continuous education and recertification for qualified individuals to stay current with the most recent industry standards and practices. A commitment to professional development and specialized knowledge can be shown by pursuing certifications above the fundamental level, such as Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) concentrations.

Why is There a Demand for Cybersecurity Engineers?

One main reason for such a huge demand for cybersecurity engineers is the growing cybercrimes. Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that in the year 2021, the damages due to cybercrimes would cost around $6 trillion. The expenditure for securing the network itself will cost about $1 trillion in the year 2021. 

At the same time, the expanse in the business world is also huge. New businesses in different domains are coming up that use network and cloud storage mostly. This has created still more demand for cybersecurity engineers. The current pandemic situation and the dependency on cloud computing and network have increased the market exponentially.

The Job Outlook predicted that the demand for cybersecurity engineers would grow by up to 12% by 2021. Also, an article in Forbes reported that in 2021 alone, 40000 cybersecurity engineers are left vacant in the US. Next year, there will be a massive opening for cybersecurity engineers that is 3.5 million positions worldwide, according to Cyber Security Ventures. 

This is the reason for the massive demand for cybersecurity professionals. But the actual filling of these positions will be a doubt as there is a huge skill gap. The skill gap is more comprehensive than before because we have only a few cybersecurity professionals.

Some of the leading companies hiring cybersecurity professionals are Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Symantec, Google, and Cisco. If you are wise, you will make hay while the sun shines brightly (that is happening now!).

Participating Actively in Cybersecurity Communities

This is another excellent way to learn new things constantly. Collaboration with peers can be facilitated by joining industry forums, online discussion groups, and social media networks devoted to cybersecurity. Participating in these communities gives you access to real-world knowledge, industry best practices, and expert advice. Cybersecurity engineers can broaden their expertise and get different viewpoints by actively participating and asking for guidance from the community.

Experimentation and Practical Application

Continuous learning in cybersecurity engineering also entails experimenting and using what is learned in real-world situations. Professionals can test and assess various security products, approaches, and procedures by setting up a home lab environment or by employing virtualization platforms. Engineers can generate insightful ideas, polish their abilities, and create cutting-edge strategies to counter emerging risks by investigating real-world circumstances and conducting security experiments.

Keeping up with Regulatory and Compliance Changes

Just as the cybersecurity world changes, so do the laws and procedures that must be followed. The most recent updates to privacy legislation, data protection rules, and industry-specific compliance standards must be kept in mind by cybersecurity engineers. Professionals can connect their security practices with statutory and regulatory frameworks, lowering risks to organizations and guaranteeing compliance by regularly updating their knowledge in these areas.

Necessary Skills in a Cybersecurity Engineer

Having a college degree is an excellent way of starting a career as a cybersecurity engineer; a few skills are also expected in a security engineer to make them stand out in the crowd. The following listed are some of the necessary skills that will be expected from an entry-level cybersecurity engineer:

  1. Solid understanding of how a computer works 
  2. Proficient in the fundamentals of networking
  3. High-grade coding skills
  4. A strong foundation on operating systems
  5. Understanding of cloud security
  6. Knowledge of malware

Here are a few pro tips for contrasting you from the crowd:

  1. Become an ethical hacker, and so you will understand how hackers work. This will help you significantly simulate the cyberattacks as a criminal who tried to breach your security protocols.
  2. Be a pro in understanding how operating systems work. Not only windows, but you should also be able to handle Linux and Unix too. Handling databases is yet another challenge for cybersecurity engineers, so be proficient in MySQL and MSSQL.
  3. You should be shrewd enough to investigate cybercrimes, and hence you need to have a piece of very good knowledge of cyber forensics.
  4. Above all, a strong understanding of the network architecture must be a good cybersecurity engineer. 

Along with the above said hard skills, the following are some of the soft skill that will be expected from a cybersecurity engineer:

  1. A good leadership quality
  2. Excellent project management skills
  3. Communicates openly and clearly
  4. Quick problem-solving ability

Learn more: Software Engineer / Developer Salary in India

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Career Path to Become a Good Cybersecurity Engineer

The following is a step by step guide to achieving your goal as a cybersecurity engineer:

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, focusing on cybersecurity with a high GPA. Get an internship as a security professional in a reputed organization.

Step 2: Get an entry-level job as a network administrator or related and gain five or more years of experience.

Step 3: Become certified cybersecurity professional. The following are some of the certifications that are offered to cybersecurity professionals

Step 4: earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity.

Step 5: Land on your first job as a cybersecurity engineer

Choice of Domains in Cybersecurity that You can Choose as a Security Engineer

As a cybersecurity professional, you can develop your skill in a particular domain. The following are a few of the fields that you can choose from as a cybersecurity engineer:

  1. Access control and security that deals with controlling unauthorized modification to the resources.
  2. Telecommunication and security that focuses on vulnerabilities related to communications.
  3. Security management deals with managing security during catastrophic events.

Must Read: Highest Paying IT Skills

PG Diploma Courses to Become an Outstanding Cybersecurity Engineer 

If you are interested to know more about Big Data, check out our Advanced Certificate Programme in Big Data from IIIT Bangalore.

You can take up the course even without any prior coding skills. The course is focused on adding skills to professionals like IT and Technology Professionals; Project Leads/Managers in IT/Tech Companies, Data Professionals, Java & Other Coding Professionals, and Testing Professionals.

Some of the coding languages and tools that you will master at the end of the course are Python, Java, AWS, etc. Besides, you receive a degree from IIIT Bangalore and its alumni status.  

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Continuous learning is not a luxury but a requirement in the rapidly evolving field of cybersecurity engineering. By adopting lifelong learning, professionals may keep up with new trends, gain new skills, and adjust to altering dangers. The key components of this learning process include continuing education, certification pursuit, involvement in cybersecurity communities, practical experimentation, and keeping up with legislative changes. Cybersecurity engineers may improve their knowledge, contribute to a safer digital environment, and advance their careers by prioritizing continuous learning.

Why is ethical hacking in demand?

There are several reasons why ethical hacking is so widespread. For starters, businesses are recognizing the importance of safeguarding their systems and data from unwanted access and misuse. Ethical hackers can also assist firms in identifying and repairing vulnerabilities before they are exploited by criminal hackers. Ethical hacking is a rapidly expanding industry with a scarcity of skilled individuals. Similarly, employees with cybersecurity expertise are in high demand. However, because ethical hacking is a specialist subject, finding qualified applicants might be challenging. Finally, ethical hackers might expect to make a lot of money.

What are some job rules for ethical hacking?

To maintain an ethical level, there are a few job standards for hacking that should be observed. The first guideline is that you must always get permission from the owner of the system or network you're hacking. The second criterion is that any vulnerabilities uncovered throughout the hacking process should always be reported. Finally, never utilize hacking techniques for personal benefit as a fourth rule.

What are some of the ethical hacking tools?

Penetration testers and security experts can use ethical hacking methods to assess the security of their networks. Nmap, Metasploit, Wireshark, and Kali Linux are among the most popular tools. Nmap is a network exploration and security auditing program that may be used to find hosts, services, and security vulnerabilities on a network. Metasploit is a penetration testing application that allows security experts to simulate attacks and assess the security of their networks. Wireshark is a network analysis tool for capturing and analysing packets on a network. It is a tool for detecting security flaws and vulnerabilities. Kali Linux is a Linux distribution based on Debian that includes a huge variety of security and penetration testing tools. Kali Linux can be used to assess network and system security.

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