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Building a career in Cybersecurity is no longer a challenge but an opportunity

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By Arjun Mohan, CEO-India, upGrad

The pandemic has pushed and increased the adoption of technology and the digital footprint of organisations. Due to the increased hybrid work and digital business processes in the cloud, new risks have emerged and the existing centralised cybersecurity control has become obsolete. While ransomware attacks have become more frequent and sophisticated, the rise in cryptocurrency usage has also led to the current spike – suggests an industry report.

Industry experts have indicated a rise in the use of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), a SaaS-based attack vector. Cyber offenders can purchase them on the dark web and needn’t know how to code to use them. According to the Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), ransomware is considered to be the most significant threat organisations face today. Such attacks have been on an incline, with a near 13% increase in the last year, which is as large as the combined spike of the past five years.

The increasing number of similar ransomware attacks has exposed the technology gaps and skills shortages. As we move into web 3.0, where newer technologies are being introduced, the need for cybersecurity is going to increase at a rapid speed.. There can be no better time than now for professionals who plan to make their career in cybersecurity.

A career in cybersecurity is as rewarding as it is equally demanding. These dedicated professionals are wanted in large numbers worldwide because of the vast gap between the number of existing cybersecurity professionals as compared to the domain challenges which are faced daily. This demand has been confirmed by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics which projects a 31% impact on employment rates of cybersecurity professionals by 2029. Comparatively, the average growth rate for all sectors is merely 4%. This demand for data security specialists is anticipated to expand by 33% between the years 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Irrespective of the sectors all businesses have cybersecurity concerns, and a responsibility to safeguard their business, employee and consumer data. Therefore, organisations are eager to hire skilled specialists, who are equipped to analyse and identify network and software vulnerabilities prior to any exploitation. Therefore, learners who choose to become cybersecurity professionals can consider different roles to build a high-growth career in cybersecurity, through up-skilling efforts across disciplines like Application Security, Data Secrecy, Cryptography and Network Security.

Some of the popular roles to consider in the domain of Cybersecurity include:
1) Security Architect: A Security Architect takes care of planning, implementing, and testing security systems. They are responsible for protecting the data from hackers, malware, and DDoS attacks
2) Security Consultant:  A Security Consultant is a flexible and tech-savvy professional who protects the organisation’s data and capital. They analyse various security systems, across all fields
3) Penetration Tester: A Penetration Tester finds the weaknesses and loopholes in the system that hackers can use. They are also called Ethical Hackers
4) Cryptographer:  They are security system professionals who are responsible for writing code that hackers can’t crack. It is a mid-senior-level job that you will enjoy if you enjoy coding
5) Security Analyst:  As a Security Analyst, you will be required to plan and execute various security measures. You analyse and document the security of the system and find the areas that are prone to attacks
6) Security Engineer:  A Security Engineer is responsible for rebuilding the security system for the organisation. They build the necessary arrangements to safeguard the system
7) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): As a CISO, you will have the power to create security measures. You will also be required to collaborate with other stakeholders in determining the security of the system since this is an advanced role
8) Computer Forensics Analyst: A Computer Forensics Analyst works on cyberattack cases to gather digital evidence and to retrieve encrypted, deleted, manipulated, or stolen data.

There are several other roles that learners can choose to pursue. However, in this pursuit, the critical part is to choose the right UG or PG courses that will equip one with the requisite subject foundations and industry skills.

Therefore, it is important to assess the quality of learning offered by new age EdTech platforms, wherein learners are taught directly by industry experts, who are aware of the realities of the world of cybersecurity. It also comes with outcome-driven bootcamps, projects, masterclasses, and Live training for enabling skill applications during an on-field job. Furthermore, having access to a global peer-to-peer network enables learners to get a comprehensive understanding of the overall landscape of privacy and security.

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