Cybersecurity, a term that was not even on most people's radar ten years ago, is now nearing a common household phrase. This is a good thing, as everybody in this technology era is impacted by it in some way. All you have to do is google 'cybersecurity news,' and you will see the growing prominence of it in this modern world. Cybersecurity is urgently racing to keep up with our ever-connected world, and the demand for new information security professionals is going through the roof. The New York Times reports that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally in 2021. Cybersecurity is an exhilarating field, but what can somebody who is hoping to start a career in this field expect?
LEARNING. LEARNING. LEARNING.
One more time for people in the back: LEARNING! Technology advances fast (duh… that goes without saying these days) just look at how far computers and phones have come in the last five years. Well, cybersecurity must keep up with new trends to have a shot at remaining effective. Just like your iPhone sitting in your drawer from four years ago is outdated, security practices and know-how can age just as quickly. That requires security professionals to be lifetime learners if they want to remain proficient in the information security field. I have yet to graduate college, but even some of the technology and tools taught to me as a Freshman are now old news. Coupled with how technical and vast this field is, if you do not remain agile with your learning, it will move on without you.
Communication is more important than you probably think
Years of portraying black hoodie-wearing hackers hiding in a dark basement (the original form of social distancing, I suppose) has formed unrealistic expectations for many of what cybersecurity is. For this industry, it is much like any other professional job in that effective communication is required. Not only do security pros have to communicate technically with their team to ensure company-wide security, but they also have to communicate effectively with leadership and perhaps less cybersecurity savvy employees. That is all to ensure that they, too, are doing what is required to keep the organization secure. Furthermore, in a broader sense, knowledge sharing and communication between security professionals across the world is a must so that collectively, the good side can keep the bad side at bay.
It Is Rewarding
There may be some individuals who are attracted to this industry for the lucrative pay, but I am here to say it is much more than that. The idea that your work can have a positive impact on many people’s lives is what makes it easy to keep going. As cybersecurity professionals, we help defend individuals and corporations against the action of criminals, so it really does feel like you are the good guy fighting the bad guys.
I may still be green in terms of cybersecurity, but I am ecstatic about the future opportunities that lay ahead of everyone in this field. If you are new to cybersecurity or thinking about getting into it, I encourage you to dive headfirst into studying it. Much of what you need to know is available for free on the internet, so all you need is the motivation to learn, and I assure you that it will be worth it!