It’s the 21st century, and our interaction and exposure to technology is more than ever. From waking up to checking mails to the habitual mid-day scrolling through Instagram. We’re chest-deep in the sea of information available online. Indulging in the world online has a basic practice of exchange of information, and this is just an ordinary person in case.
Now imagine an established corporate firm. From the company’s financial results and confidential business plans to the trade secrets and research which gives them a competitive edge, each piece of sensitive information is stored online or offline in a networking system. With this plethora of our information exposed to the cyber world, how does one ensure security? Well, by hiring a cyber security engineer, simple!
Who is a Cyber Security Engineer ?
A Cyber security engineer is a professional who works for the protection of computers and other networking systems from cyber attacks, threats, and potential hackers. Security engineers develop, implement, and upgrade security measures regularly to ensure the protection of their client’s data and information.
What does a Cyber Security Engineer do?
A cyber security engineer helps businesses keep their sensitive data safe. This data may include trade secrets, confidential client reports, and other potential targets. The engineer plays an important role in guarding the government, businesses, and individuals against cyber criminals and hackers who try to infiltrate sensitive databases. Other functions of the engineer include performing assessments and penetration testing, development and implementation of secure network solution, and others.
Cyber Security Engineer as a career choice
With unemployment in the field hovering around zero, the job opportunities in the cyber security engineering field are abundant. The year 2014 saw 1 million unfilled cyber security jobs globally, according to Cisco. And it’s expected that by the year 2021 that number will grow to 3.5 million openings.
Thus, as a career choice, being a cyber security engineer seems rewarding. Cyber security engineers may also be known as IT security engineer, application security engineer, web security engineer, or data security engineer. Other common job titles in the industry are:
- Security engineer
- Information security engineer
- Senior security engineer
- Network security engineer
Certification programs that help you to become a Cyber Security Engineer
Due to the highly technical nature of the job, employers will expect you to have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Cyber Security or any related field. This qualification can be further supplemented with work experience, training tools and certifications.
The more tools you have in your arsenal, the more potential you’ll show as a candidate. So you may wish to get familiar with:
- Virtualization technologies
- MySQL/MSSQL database platforms
- Identity and access management principles
- Application security and encryption technologies
- Network architectures securely
- IDS/IPS, vulnerability and penetration testing
- Firewall and intrusion detection/prevention protocols
- Ethical hacking, secure coding practices, and threat modeling
- Windows, Linux and UNIX operating systems
- Network and web related protocols (e.g., TCP/IP, HTTP, HTTPS, UDP, IPSEC, routing protocols, etc.)
- Phishing and social engineering, Advanced Persistent Threats (APT network access controllers (NAC), gateway anti-malware and enhanced authentication
- DNS,sub-netting, encryption technologies and standards, VPNs, VLANs, VoIP and other network routing method.
Also listed below are a variety of cyber security certification courses you may wish to consider as you build your career. None of these are necessarily mandatory but are definitely preferred:
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- CCNP Security: Cisco Certified Network Professional Security
- GCIH /GSEC / GCIA: GIAC Security Certifications
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
Salary prospects of a Cyber Security Engineer
According to Payscale, the median salary for a Security Engineer is $93,428 (2019 figures). After including your base annual salary, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings you can expect to take home a total pay of $57,137 – $135,568.The salaries are good and they are only getting better.
The strong demand for engineers and the deficit in the qualified professionals make job opportunities in this field great. Therefore, if you have a background in engineering and are interested in this promising field, a job as a cyber security engineer can be an appealing and lucrative career move.