As the world of information and technology advances and keeps turning the wide world into a global village, it is impacting our day-to-day lives and tasks more than ever before. It is crucial to have a sense of privacy and the security of our data, social platforms, networks, and devices. With all our personal information being uploaded on the internet continuously through our devices, it is vitally important to have deep knowledge about the steps we should take to keep us safe or effectively execute a plan if things go wrong or not in our favour.
With almost all of the data of government organisations and private sectors being stored online, the need for cybersecurity arises. Cybersecurity careers allow the officials to secure the data and help public and private organisations to prevent cyberattacks and cyber theft.
There are several types of cyber-attacks and thefts which we need to watch out for. Some of them are as following;
- Malware: The victim can be targeted by installing malicious software on the device, such as viruses and worms.
- Ransomware: The theft of victim’s data and files through an insecure network connection.
- Phishing: Getting victim’s personal and sensitive information through fraudulent emails and demanding a ransom.
- Social Engineering: Tricking victims and breaking security policies to get access to sensitive information.
While these attacks are on the rise, every major public and private organisation needs a trained team of specialists who can recognise the threats and attacks and prevent cases of cybercrimes. As a result, there is a significant market demand for these specially trained officials, and salary potential is higher in comparison.
Below we will discuss the job outlook and the estimated salary for these specialists and officials working as cybersecurity agents, and the practicality for a successful career in this industry.
The importance of cybersecurity
Before we dive into it, let’s examine why cybersecurity is critical in today’s world. For example, suppose an organisation is attacked and loses the client’s information or personal data is leaked, the clients may sue the company and claim damages. In that case, the organisation may have to pay hefty fines, and the executives lose their jobs resulting in a loss of customers and a stain on the brand image. The position of cybersecurity experts is to recognise and analyse the threat and negate the chances of attack to avoid the consequences.
For example, in 2020, the Solarwinds attack leaked confidential information about 100s of companies and several government organisations. In addition, in 2020, we lost $3.8 billion to hackers through cryptocurrency. The largest gas pipeline in the United States was recently shut down after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack .100 G.B.s of data was stolen. The demand put forward for ransom was $5 million.
Sadly, the threat does not only come from external sources, i.e., hackers but from internal factors as well. For example, they might be in the form of data leaks or employee sabotage. The cybersecurity experts are responsible for protecting the organisation from data breaches and safeguarding the valuable information, customers, and reputation of the business.
But the consequences go well beyond that. It not only immensely impact the GDP of a country but also the global economy. Research conducted at The Center for Strategic and International Studies showed that approximately $ 600 billion is lost to cybercrime each year, making it nearly 1% of the global GDP. Moreover, the number of crimes is rapidly rising as new innovative technologies and digital currencies are being introduced.
The number of these crimes are swiftly increasing as cybercriminals adopt new methods and tactics to thread and loot organisations. This calls for cybersecurity professionals to constantly search for novel ways to anticipate and respond to these crimes.
Skills required for the Jobs
A cybersecurity job comes with a lot of responsibility, as it requires identifying a threat and safeguarding the company’s confidential information and databases. You should have a keen knowledge of information and technology, and security to start your career as a professional. Basic knowledge of data analysis and experience with multiple programming languages is a bonus point that will take you closer to success in this industry.
Some of the required skills for cybersecurity professionals are as follows;
- (SIEM) Security Information and Event Management.
- Programing skills
- Coding skills
- Data management
- Mobile and application security
- Security incident handling
- Threat identification
- Communication skills
- Analytical skills
If you are a Cybersecurity professional, you need to keep updating your skills to stay on top of industry trends.
Experience and education required for cybersecurity personals
To get a job in the field, one should have a minimum bachelor’s degree in information and technology or computer science. But if you are a Masters’s graduate of science in cybersecurity, your chances of getting a job in the industry is way higher. In addition, advanced degrees can help you get more specialised training in planning security strategy, vulnerability analysis, and criminology. Advanced knowledge and better training can be beneficial for anyone looking for management or other executive positions in the field of cybersecurity.
15 high-paying jobs in the cybersecurity industry
A cybersecurity employee has to take the responsibility to defend the organisation against cyber-attacks. For putting themself under this burden, they get paid almost 16% more than other I.T. workers and developers. The most impressive feat for this particular industry is that the unemployment rate stands at 0%.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that cybersecurity personnel can earn up to $50/hour. Depending on the experience and specialisation, the average salary accumulates from $103,000 to $380,000 per anum.
Now, let’s look at the job specifications and the related salary packages of cybersecurity professionals.
1. Security Architect
Average Salary: $122,500/anum
The job of a security architect is to build and maintain the desktop and network security systems of the organisation. It’s a job for someone with experience and extensive knowledge of security networks. You can get the understanding through different certified study programs, online sessions, and other professional development projects. A security architect can easily earn up to $165,000 depending on their education and experience and the company they are serving.
2. Cyber Security Analyst
Average Salary: $79,000/annum
Based on the data gathered from past and future growth and potential threats, the cybersecurity analyst protects the organisation against various cyber-attacks. A higher salary is offered to a senior position which involves multiple tasks such as strategic planning. Experienced professionals even make $120,000 in this industry due to their skills and education level.
3. Cyber Security Consultant
Average Salary: $80,000/annum
Another career choice in this particular industry can be a cybersecurity consultant. The organisations hire them to help them develop security strategies and implement them. This work can be done remotely or on a part-time basis. The salary of these consultants varies from $650,000 to $150,000 according to the pay scale and the set of skills required.
4. Network Security Analyst
Average Salary: $72,000/annum
The job of a Network Security Analyst is to manage and secure the company’s network and information system. The organisations that rely on their computers’ security and safety or order devices connected through the internet hire experienced professionals only. Depending on their experience in the field, the network security analyst can earn up to $110,000 annually.
5. Malware Analyst
Average Salary: $100,000/annum
Malware Analysts help organisations to avoid and negate malicious software threats that might damage the system. They identify software, applications, and other services to prevent the intrusion and take immediate actions to mitigate it as soon as an intrusion is detected. The salaries for this job can increase up to $160,000 depending on the experience level and education.
6. Application Security Engineer
Average Salary: $90,000/annum
An Application Security Engineers inspect all the applications used by the organisation for network and development tasks. They make sure that privacy is not jeopardised and the policies are up to date. An application security engineer is hired in an organisation that uses automation for operations and analytics. Other organisations that use software hosted on cloud servers or store their data on cloud serves also look for more experienced experts in the industry. Based on their knowledge and experience, an engineer in this field can make approximately $150,000 per year.
7. Chief Information Security Officer
Average Salary: $170,000/annum
The Security Officer watches over the security department. The CISO should have a background in I.T. strategy, management, and communication. Though the basic salary for this role is around $165,000, the CISO can make up to $250,000. The salary depends on the officer’s experience, the firm’s size, and the team he would have to manage. Plus, the executive bonuses and profit-sharing structure are some of the perks the officer gets to enjoy.
8. Information Systems Security Manager
Average Salary: $115,000/annum
The role of the information systems security manager is to manage and secure the organisation’s database and devices that contain confidential, exclusive information of the organisation. This information is of particular interest to hackers and remains under threat constantly. To tackle the threats and secure the system, this role commands a high salary. Depending on their experience, Information Systems Security Managers can earn up to $160,000.
9. Information Systems Security Engineer
Average Salary: $130,000/annum
These engineers assess the security system of an organisation. Their job is to keep the networks and devices virus and malware free and set security system protocols. They can make up to $150,000 depending on the education, experience and firm they are working for.
10. Penetration Tester
Average Salary: $85,000/annum
The penetration tester designs and tests the security systems and networks to identify the loopholes and evaluate the system’s overall effectiveness. There is a high market demand for penetration testers, and the average salary is expected to rise over time. A penetration tester can earn up to $140,000 annually, depending on experience level.
11. Forensic Engineer
Average Salary: $ 85,000/annum
A forensic engineer must collaborate with law enforcement agencies after analysing the information stolen from an organisation’s computers, information networks, databases, and other devices after an intrusion is detected. Therefore, this professional should have an in-depth knowledge of cryptography. Forensic Engineers usually make approximately $120,000 annually, depending on their field experience and education/ skills.
12. Security Director
Average Salary: $130,000/ annum
Employees implement network security protocols. In addition, they handle the allocation of resources of the security department and assist lay enforcing agencies in case of an external investigation. Depending on their experience and skills, security directors earn up to $ 180,000 per year.
13. Big Data Engineer
Average Salary: $105,000/annum
Organisations in the modern era need professionals who can convert large quantities of raw data into actionable information and develop a strategy accordingly. These engineers create software and hardware architecture for the company to work with the sorted data. They are willing to pay a handsome amount for these skills. The basic salary midpoint for big data engineers is $166,500.
14. DevOps Engineer
Average Salary: $110,000/annum
They are the bridge between coding and engineering. These professionals have to deal with both departments to increase the productivity of other employees by developing multiple I.T. systems. A DevOps engineer must have in-depth knowledge of coding, programming, security systems. A degree in software engineering and strong analytical and problem-solving skills can get you the job with a salary midpoint of $120,000.
15. Network and cloud architect
Average salary: $90,000/annum
A cloud/network architect should have excellent technical problem-solving skills for his job is to plan, design and upgrade projects related to networking and cloud computing. They have to organise and solve network architecture problems and provide recommendations to enhance the network’s security system. An experience of several years and knowledge of cloud technologies can secure you this position with an average salary of $90,000 to $150,000 depending on the firm you are working for and your skills.