Cybersecurity Specialist Career Guide

According to a Burning Glass Technologies report, 46% of cybersecurity jobs require 3-5 years of experience. To become a cybersecurity specialist, you should complete a formal education—like a degree or a cybersecurity bootcamp—in information security or a related subject. The following section explores the requirements for becoming a cybersecurity analyst. Network security professionals work within a narrower scope than cybersecurity workers. Cybersecurity defends against attacks on hardware, software, networks and users. In contrast, network security focuses on vulnerabilities in the connections between devices.

Since most employers expect certification, the first step involves experience. Some positions may accept bootcamp graduates or self-taught workers with drive and certifications. If you are part of an existing IT team, make sure you’re aware of the internal recruitment process and any openings for security specialist roles. However, check beforehand whether an employer does want you to have a cyber security certificate, and which specific one they have in mind.

How to Become an IT Security Specialist

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Starting as early as the 1990s, simple antivirus software like the Reaper, created by Ray Tomlinson, became necessary to protect user’s online activity. CyberDegrees.org is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers. Discover whether the security specialist profession fits your strengths and interests by exploring daily tasks and responsibilities.

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Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) applies behavioral analytics to the IT security field to improve the overall state of IT security. Certifications like ITF+, CompTIA A+ and Network+ give you the background you need if you don’t already have it, and CompTIA Security+ is recommended to begin your career as a Cybersecurity Professional. Find out how different WGU is about personalizing and supporting your education. You protect your home with locks or alarm systems; you protect your car with insurance, and you protect your health by going to the doctor.

Though certification is not required to work in this role, formal credentials can boost your job opportunities and cybersecurity specialist salary. Certifications demonstrate expertise in cybersecurity how to become a security specialist to potential employers, and they indicate a dedication to the field. Keep in mind that most certification exams require significant preparation, and some include experience requirements.

How To Become A Cybersecurity Specialist

As a security specialist, you will spend your days studying the devices in use and testing security measures like firewalls and other software. This role also involves reporting to more senior members of the IT team and presenting any findings and recommendations. Security specialists also collaborate with other departments to ensure that colleagues are aware of how to practice good IT security. Adding certifications like CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) can validate your skills in the cybersecurity field and prepare you for a more advanced role within your organization. The demand for security specialists who can develop effective cybersecurity solutions continues to grow. According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), ransomware attacks occur about every 11 seconds in 2021, up from every 39 seconds in 2019.

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They are also responsible for anticipating future threats and advising on how to deal with them. This page provides detailed information about how to become a cybersecurity specialist. Read on to learn more about cybersecurity job descriptions and how to launch your security specialist career. Cybersecurity workers and information security specialists both protect valuable information and data. However, cybersecurity prevents access by bad actors, and information security considers aspects like the availability and confidentiality of data.

How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist

Keep in mind that certificate programs and technology bootcamps do not provide certification. Individuals must apply for certification through organizations like (ISC)², Cisco, and CompTIA. Staying up-to-date on current virus reports and protecting networks from these viruses is a major aspect of a cybersecurity specialist’s job duties. They often train users, promote security awareness, develop policies and procedures, and provide updates and reports to management and executive staff.

  • Networking, internships, and certifications can help individuals land entry-level security positions.
  • In terms of skills, experience, and general mindset, a cybersecurity specialist needs to be like a Swiss Army knife of the digital world.
  • After all, you don’t want to waste your time, effort, and money on a qualification you don’t need or that won’t come in handy for your chosen career path.
  • Others consider these cybersecurity careers to exist under the same umbrella of computer security.