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The past few years have seen a tremendous growth in modern businesses. From ordering your favourite ice cream to booking your dream house, everything is undergoing a transformation from traditional to online platforms. With great power comes greater responsibility. While these discoveries have made the modern man more powerful than ever, they have also provided a window of threats and malpractices that lead to undesired outcomes. Yes, we’re talking about cyber attacks and the dire need for Cyber Security in every field. A recent statement from NASSCOM suggested that India alone will need 1 million Cyber Security professionals by 2020 to meet the demands of its rapidly growing economy. If you are in IT and are looking to specialise in a particular field, then Cyber Security is undoubtedly your best bet! Cyber Security careers are booming and this is probably the best time for you to explore Cyber Security job openings.
A career in IT benefits any business by enabling them to be more efficient and to maximise productivity. With it comes better security, faster communication and electronic storage at economical costs. A career that brings benefits to any business is more than likely to be a good choice.
Cyber Security in India is becoming a fast priority investment today. Take the retail business. There are hundreds of thousands of websites that are in operation. Storing and transferring sensitive data is a regular occurrence. Without the right type of Cyber Security protection, a lot of valuable data could be compromised. Breach of this data puts the company at a loss of more than money. Their entire reputation is at risk as well. Customers are not likely to hold hands with a brand that cannot secure their information.
Privacy is a right and customers take it very seriously. When so much as an email or a phone number is given away to the wrong party, the customer demands an explanation. When data such as license numbers and bank account details are provided to the company, it becomes their responsibility to the public to protect that sensitive data. Thus, businesses are desperate to hire Cyber Security professionals to not just protect confidential information of customers, but also to ensure that their business always remains secure and alert.
As the demand increases, so should the supply.
Cyber Security as a career
Cyber Security is needed in every business industry. It is not a requirement only for financial sectors but startups and corporations as well. The career options expand across a wide variety of industries when you are proficient in this skill.
- Chief Information Officer: mid executive level position, responsible for security related to computer, data and network
- Forensic Computer Analyst: The HiFi detective to solve crimes related to Cyber Security
- Information Security Analyst: responsible for the protection of the systems and the network
- Security Architect: Responsible for establishing and maintaining security for the organization
- Penetration Tester: Responsible to identify threats to the security by looking out for vulnerabilities
- Security Systems Administrator: Responsible for the daily operations, monitoring and running backups
- IT Security Engineer: Designing and maintaining security systems
Well, we’ve most definitely established the demand and need for Cyber Security officers in India. But the question still remains - How do you get an entry into Cyber Security from general IT?
Transition from General IT to Cyber Security
Since you are already armed with a technical background, the shift to Cyber Security is only but natural. Infact, it would be beneficial to leverage your current skills and utilize them to build a career in security.
There is no one true path to this field. People from Non-IT background try to add this skill to their resume. Transitioning from general IT to Cyber Security is a piece of cake in comparison. All it requires is a passion and a deep and abiding interest in how the technology works.
In general IT, you are trained in the basics such as administering & configuring systems, networks, database management and coding. You are also exposed to various IT procedures and real-world business operations.
Security has a big role to play in the future. That is why the gradual shift from general IT to Cyber Security takes place so predominantly. The specialization does not have to change either. While people come towards the area of Cyber Security from all walks of life - computer science, math and others - the main goal is to know what you want to protect and why.
The best part of this transition is that you do not have to let go of your passion; the reason that brought you into the IT field in the first place. If website was always your first love, you can now indulge in a bit of website security. It has a broader scope and it does not take you away from your passion.
IT jobs that could lead you to Cyber Security include programmers, technical support, administrators and engineers. The ideal Cyber Security candidate would have a blend of both technical as well as soft skills. Having some experience in networking, admin and applications can help you dabble around with physical security.
The transition process -
Identify your specialisation area
Cyber Security is a vast field, and it is practically impossible to excel in each of the sub-fields. Being jack of all trades is probably not the best way to approach this industry. Thus, you ought to be extremely critical in choosing your specialisation area. You may want to consider your interest, job opportunities, pay packages, job security etc. while making this selection. For example, cyber insurance is one such field that is being eyed by many Cyber Security aspirants as a promising sub-field.
Learn the subject
Technology is advancing faster than ever. It is almost mandatory for you to stay ahead of the competition by staying updated with trends ruling your industry. The best way to earn is to learn. Gather as much knowledge in your area of choice and inch towards becoming an expert in your field. Various online platforms offer a variety of Cyber Security courses that can help you gain expertise and make you industry-ready.
The most crucial step that would take you from general IT towards Cyber Security comes in the form of a reputed and standardised Cyber Security certification. It is the best way to get your foot in the door. This validation implies expertise on your part to take on some of the biggest challenges with respect to Cyber Security. A certificate is what you need to give you a solid grounding for the future
Build a strong resume
With the certificate, you can arm your resume and look for a specialized job that offers more prominence as well as rewards. As stated earlier, there are plenty of job opportunities in Cyber Security and if you have followed the previous steps diligently, then it is only a matter of time until you land yourself a lucrative job in Cyber Security.
Cyber Security involves equipping the business with the right technology. It involves educating the employees on how to avoid various traps set up by hackers. It includes investing in the appropriate training to train the employees on protecting the information about the company and its customers. IT security is a specialist field and it is imperative for every company to have a team that specializes in it.
Cyber Security is a top priority for protecting and retaining the trust of B2B and B2C relationships. The explosion in its demand combined with a short supply of certified experts has led to Cyber Security becoming a promising career for the next generation. What are you waiting for? Ready, Set, GO!
Global Head - TCS Cyber Security
Over 25 years of experience across industries and IT involving consulting, business analysis, process re-engineering, concurrent multi-project delivery management in Application support, Infrastructure management, Enterprise Security and Testing, Currently Head Cyber Security and Risk Management Unit – Responsible for service strategy, GTM, delivery strategy, competency development and partner development.