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Essential Skills for a Successful Cybersecurity Career

Staff @InterCoast

Staff @InterCoast

Editorial Team

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With threats such as ransomware costing organizations millions of dollars, there’s never been a higher demand for cybersecurity professionals. If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding job, you may want to consider a career in cybersecurity.

With that said, working in this field isn’t for everyone. You’ll need to have specific skills if you want to be successful. You are exposed to some skill-building in your coursework but will undoubtedly learn so much as you begin your career after graduation. So, what skills will help you make it in this exciting field? This article lists some of the essential qualities of cyber professionals.  

Become Comfortable With New Technology

One of the key features of cyber security is that technology is constantly changing. The cybersecurity career path is not a career where you can learn a few skills and use them for the rest of your professional life.

When you choose a career in cyber security, you’ll need to get used to adapting to the latest technological developments. For example, AI text generation software such as ChatGPT will greatly impact the cybersecurity industry. Cybercriminals could use this kind of AI to quickly generate convincing phishing emails.

If you want to have a fulfilling career in cyber security, you’ll likely need continuous learning about new technology and software and will need to have an understanding of the impact this type of technology could have on security.

Think in Terms of Risk Management

Another crucial skill you’ll need to succeed in cybersecurity career paths is the ability to think in risk management. Risk Management involves thinking about the probability that a security breach could happen.

As a cyber security professional, you can’t afford to be optimistic about security breaches. You’ll need to consider every possible security threat and take the steps necessary to mitigate the risk. If you think about risk, you will be apt to identify potential security threats.

Build Good Critical Thinking Skills

The cyber security industry is where you’ll find yourself facing off against criminals and scammers. You’ll also be working with cutting-edge technology. This means you’ll need to have strong critical thinking skills.

Cybersecurity incidents can develop within a very short time, so critical thinking skills are essential. You’ll need to be able to evaluate threats and formulate a response quickly. Since a lot of hacking is based around social engineering, you’ll also need to identify various scams and tricks that hackers might use quickly.

Understand Geopolitical Knowledge

While cyber security is a technical field, geopolitical knowledge can also be helpful. Many cyber security threats are political. This means geopolitical knowledge could help you to understand various cyber threats.

For example, some malicious cyber actors are known as advanced persistent threats (APTs). Quite often, these APTs are working on behalf of a government or are sanctioned by a government, targeting specific computers and networks. Understanding the political motives of these APTs can help you to do a more accurate risk assessment of threats like malware, ransomware, and network intrusion.

Build Knowledge of Coding Languages

If you want to get into a cyber security career, it also helps to know coding languages. Not only will understanding a few coding languages help you to tackle technical issues, but it can also help you to understand how computer systems work.

Understanding the logic of how computers function and communicate can help you to gain new insight into security issues. Coding knowledge may also help you to communicate with your more technical co-workers, such as programmers and developers.

Understand Networks

Many of the threats a company could face will come through computer networks. This means that an understanding of how computer networks work is a crucial skill you’ll need.

You’ll need to understand how things like TCP/IP protocols, firewalls, routing, and switching work. By understanding how these computer networks function, you can protect the network from threats and make sure the network functions correctly.

Build Project Management Skills

Generally, you won’t be working alone in this field. To succeed, you’ll need to be comfortable working with other people on complex, long-term projects.

You’ll need the skills to plan a long-term project by defining goals, setting tasks, and keeping stakeholders informed. You could struggle to deliver results on time and within budget without good project management skills.

Gain Knowledge of Compliance

You’ll also need to have good knowledge of compliance laws and regulations. Various laws, standards, and regulations are associated with cyberspace. If your company doesn’t follow these, it could result in legal trouble or reputational damage.

For example, if your company operates in California, you must know about the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Build Attention to Detail

In cybersecurity, the smallest detail could reveal a security breach. You could miss out on critical clues if you don’t have good attention to detail. For example, you might find inconsistencies in the network logs that reveal an intruder.

You’ll also need to review configurations to ensure things are set right. For example, you’ll need to review firewall settings and ensure they’ve been set correctly and in accordance with rules and regulations.

In a cybersecurity incident, you’ll need to evaluate the case carefully. Often, it’s the small details that will help you to identify the threat.

Start Your Cybersecurity Career Today

As you can see, there are many essential skills you’ll need to have if you want to follow a cybersecurity career. The best way to learn the basic skills to give you a jumpstart into this career is to take a course in cyber security.  Some skills you will learn in this course, while other skills will be learned as you are working in the field. 

Taking a cyber security course at InterCoast could be your first step in a rewarding career in this field. Contact us today to learn more about this growing field and see if it suits you.



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