Key job responsibilities of cyber security professionals

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Cyber security professionals are incredibly in demand worldwide as their primary job is to protect online data and networks from cyber attackers. Cyber attackers are always on their toes to use malicious software, phishing, malware, ransomware, and other techniques to compromise the huge data of large business enterprises. This data is either available in the cloud, mail accounts, or on shared drives in the network. 

Today, it is increasingly important to step up security and protect an organization’s data from any external or internal breach. Cyber security professionals are one of the most sought-after in the tech industry. Cyber security professionals need to have a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, computer science, or other related engineering degrees. Many organizations prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience, knowledge, professional training, and Cyber Security CertificatesYou can work to protect an organization’s information and security system or work as a consultant by providing advisory services to existing clients. 

 Cyber Security Job Roles

Cyber security professionals are part of a domain that expands and develops by leaps and bounds. Below are some of the roles that you can explore in this fast-growing cyber career space are:

●    Security Analyst: Analyses to gauge the IT Infrastructure space, including networks, hardware, and software for possible vulnerabilities.

●    Security Administrator: The one to set up and manage the security system of the entire organizations

●    Chief Information Security Officer: A high-level leadership role, responsible for the information security of a business unit or an organization and its resources

●    Security Engineer: Detects security incidents by continuously performing security monitoring, data analysis, investigations to implement the new process, tools, and technology to improve the security capabilities of an organization

●    Incident Responder: The one to provide quick responses to security attacks and threats like viruses etc

●    Vulnerability Assessor: Is the one to scan, assess and identify vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure system

●    Cryptographer: Is the one to build security software, use encryption methods to secure an organization’s information system

●    Security Architect:  Head the security team and design the security system. Also designs the chief components of the security system.

●    Source Code Auditor: Is the one to ensure the accuracy of the code, reviews them, and ensure it is safe to deploy before the release of the code. 

●    Security Consultant: is the one to implement and advise on security solutions. It is a broad title that can have one or a few of the roles mentioned above and tasks involved in safeguarding the network, computer, data, software, information system from attacks, viruses, any form intrusion, and its detection, blocking hackers. 

●    Cryptanalyst: This role primarily analyses the encrypted information and needs to be deciphered to understand the actual purpose of the malicious software and how it can pose a risk and threat to the organization.

The above job titles are a few examples and may vary. However, new roles and titles are likely to emerge as this career space evolves rapidly. 

Key job responsibilities of cyber security professionals

Cyber security professionals need to use different technologies, techniques, and resources to safeguard sensitive data in the organization. Track for any potential vulnerabilities. They need to be aware of the latest trends and find ways to outwit the hackers who pose a big risk and threat to an organization’s IT security. Some of the essential job responsibilities of cyber security professionals are as below:

● In an attack in the organization’s network, they need to identify the root cause of the breach, analyze it, and develop mitigation plans to avoid such issues. 

● Once a security alert is raised, an incident response needs to be provided and thoroughly investigated.

● Engage in ethical hacking to find out an organization’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities by running simulated sessions of security breaches

● Perform penetration testing to scan and identify vulnerabilities and get the evidence to ensure them. Penetration testing is carried out in large infrastructure systems, power grids, nuclear facilities, and other utility systems. 

● Use firewalls, new software, data encryption programs, and methods to avoid any breach in the network and avoid any possible attack

● Protect the security system by defining and implementing access control and identity management, privilege methods to be followed by the resources.

● The professionals need always to keep themselves updated with technological advancements and the latest security measures.

● Upgrade the existing security systems and continuously develop and implement new ones for the prevention of attacks

● Test and evaluate security products to know their effectiveness in strengthening the security system of the organization

● Conduct periodical internal and external audits on information security, maintain risk registers.

● Conduct cyber security awareness campaigns and training sessions in the organization to emphasize the relevance of cyber security and sensitize the employees

● Work with the IT Operations team to keep business contingency plans and disaster recovery methods to minimize risk in a major security attack or breach.

● Deploy analytical tools to gauge the emerging trends of threat patterns and take pre-emptive actions to mitigate risks

● Continuously monitor phishing emails, pharming activities and respond to them immediately.

● Provide leadership guidance and work with the HR team to advise the employees on how to react and tackle any spam or malicious email they receive in the inbox.

● Setting up necessary and timely patch upgrades and updating the application automatically. 

Qualification and Skills for a cyber security professional

The roles and responsibilities tend to overlap and vary according to the organization’s size and IT security requirements. The right skills with a passion for cyber security are essential. Apart from IT skills, teamwork, collaboration, communication skills, presentation skills, time management, written communication, problem-solving, analytical skills, organizational skills are equally important to prosper in the career. The requirements can vary from one employer to another. The general notion is that recruiters look for a degree in science, mathematics, technology, or engineering subjects. Subjects should typically comprise information security/ network security, cyber security, physics, computer science, computing and information systems, electrical, software, or network engineering. 

One can enter this profession without a technical or an unrelated degree; for example, graduates from other disciplines, however with time, the professional expertise gained will interest the employers. Many employers look for graduates with a master’s degree, particularly in cyber security, or with a recognized certification in Cybersecurity Courses that have a large and advantageous job market available to them compared to others. People with experience in a general IT role can also become cyber security professionals by taking cyber security certifications and honing their skills. 

The Bottom-line: 

To conclude, all companies thrive in a dynamic business environment based on the internet in some shape and form. They need expert cyber security professionals. Pretty much every company is always at risk of getting cyberattacks. Cyber security professionals can be hired by Internet and Technology companies, defence organizations, IT Companies, the e-commerce industry, transport companies like airlines, Banks, financial institutions, schools, colleges, universities, government departments, intelligence agencies, and many more. Hence, IT security becomes the highest priority for an organization, and thus, the need to hire skilled cyber security professionals is high. 

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