With the dramatic increase in cyber threats over recent years, the demand for experienced cyber security professionals is rising. Being a successful cyber security professional requires more than just exceptional technical abilities, it demands a number of soft skills, like being a strong communicator, as well. If you have asked yourself, ‘Can I do cyber security’ and are considering this profession as a career option, here are some of the most needed traits you will have to master in order to achieve success.
People come into the cyber security profession from all angles and different backgrounds, including computer science, math or even philosophy. The common denominator is peoples’ deep interest in how the technology works and their desire to know what exactly they are protecting and why systems and devices are insecure.
Starting with an apprenticeship or internship is a great way to learn the ropes for a variety of tasks such as configuring systems and networks, learning database administration and management as well as coding. This type of experience is a fantastic way to get a solid sense of business IT procedures in a real-world environment.
As IT has such a wide scope, it can be almost impossible to be an expert in all categories but there are some common areas that all cyber security experts should understand. These include knowing the administration, architecture, and management of common operating systems like Windows and Linux as well as other networking software. Essentially, you need to know firewalls and networks inside out and there is a growing need for cyber security professionals to be well versed in common programming languages like PHP, Python and Java.
Most industry professionals recommend picking a specialty developing the right skills from beginning in a starter role and developing along your career path.
Some common cyber security career options include:
In addition to having amazing technical skills, soft skills are essential for cyber security professionals to succeed. Being able to communicate complicated subjects to people that may not have much of a technical background is critical. To flourish in your cyber security career, excellent communication and presentation skills are a must as well as being able to clearly articulate both written and verbally complex subjects. Having great active listening skills and being able to understand what people are trying to explain is also necessary.
Developing your soft skills will also help you connect and build a rapport with staff and position you to deliver security training that resonates with everyone.
Along with technical and soft skills, solid work habits are essential. There are a number of abilities that are very useful to the cyber security role, including being enthusiastic, having a high degree of adaptability, an eagerness to explore technical questions and a willingness to learn.
To become a cybersecurity specialist, typically employers will want to see a mixture of education and experience to find the specific skill set that they are looking for. It’s never too late to start a career in cyber security and if you think you possess the traits and abilities mentioned, it will no doubt be a rewarding experience.