Do you wish to become a cyber-security engineer? Do you know what cyber-security engineering entails? Well, this article highlights what cyber engineering entails, required skills to become a cyber-security engineer, some roles and responsibilities of a cyber-security engineer, and much more.
What is cybersecurity engineering?
The world is currently in a phase of a digital error where companies and organizations are digitizing their operations and uploading their data online.
But despite their increased incorporation of IT services in their operations, such companies keep losing their data. That is why cybersecurity engineers are a hotcake in the current employment sector.
When put in simple terms, cybersecurity engineering involves employing the skills of a cybersecurity engineer to develop and preserve computer systems such that they can survive cyberattacks or any disaster likely to face the IT system.
In cybersecurity engineer, the experts in charge must be extremely skilled in IT skills to fill the role.
Among the skills required for a cybersecurity engineer is; information security, designing skills, developing, and implementing skills, and much more.
These skills aimed to prevent threats such as cyberattacks hacking and much more.
As you can see, this position requires a lot of skills relevant to help the expert implement security solutions and prevent external and internal attacks.
Because of the overwhelming roles of a cybersecurity engineer, they are handsomely paid an annual salary of $120,000.
Career Path to Become a Cybersecurity Engineer
Even though cybersecurity engineering is a lucrative profession, the career path is a bit rough, and you have to endure years of education and training. But once you’ve passed all the steps, you can become a senior-level cybersecurity officer of an organization, popularly known as the chief information security officer (CISO).
Below are some of the requirements to become a certified cybersecurity engineer:
You must possess some skills to succeed in cybersecurity engineering successfully.
First, you must know that your role will primarily be to build a stable system that cannot be breached.
Therefore, the first skill is configuration skills so that you can build a secure firewall.
Another skill is penetration testing skills. You might be posted in organizations that lack a penetration tester which will force you to step up as a cybersecurity engineer and test the organization’s network, computers systems and any threats likely to face the IT system.
Some skills on network equipment are also paramount to a cybersecurity professional.
At times, you will be required to install, test, or configure the network system. As a result, you must have an outstanding network infrastructure skill.
Lastly, you must also understand how security devices operate.
You must understand the setup of various appliances and computer applications. This skill is crucial because organizations will always make assumptions that any cybersecurity engineer is knowledgeable enough to handle any device.
Education is the most crucial aspect as far as cybersecurity engineering is concerned.
As already mentioned, these experts work on various technical areas in the organization and must be knowledgeable enough in the field.
Gone are the days when cybersecurity engineers could survive in the field without a bachelor’s degree.
In the modern-day world, the IT system has become so sophisticated that the cybersecurity engineering field has become extremely complicated.
Nowadays, even a bachelor’s degree in the field isn’t enough. You have to supplement your degree or diploma with a certificate.
Most companies prefer masters graduates or individuals with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity engineering with a subsidiary diploma in either computer science, information technology or related courses.
After successfully earning a bachelor’s degree, you can improve your chances of being hired as a cybersecurity engineer by earning a master’s degree in a related field.
The only advantage of increasing your education level is that it can boost your earnings.
But with a bachelor’s degree, you can position yourself on a safer bath by getting relevant cybersecurity training or certifications which puts you in a better position than your peers.
Supplement Your Education With Relevant Certifications
Learning never stops for cybersecurity engineers. There are some skills and certifications you need to have to remain unbeaten in the field. The advantage of getting cybersecurity engineering satisfaction is that it keeps you up to date with the essential skills in the ever-evolving field.
Another main advantage of getting the relevant certifications is that it helps to satisfy your employer that you have the relevant skills and expertise to protect their IT infrastructure. The three most prevalent certifications for cybersecurity engineers are:
Certified Ethical Hacker Certification (CEH)
These are certified individuals who have trained to evaluate security systems and think of all possible ways in which a hacker can breach the security system of an organization.
Cisco Certified Network Professional Security Certification (CCNP)
This is another certification awarded to security professionals after successful completion of the course. The IT professionals who earn this certification gain skills for networking devices such as routers, VPNs, and other appliances.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional Certification
This certification is awarded to IT professionals to expand their knowledge in managing technical cybersecurity software.
What are the Typical Duties of a Cyber Engineer?
The duties of a cybersecurity engineer vary by the organization in which they are posted. But the following are some of the popular duties:
- Assessing and installing cybersecurity software
- Monitoring networks to analyze security breaches and reporting the extent of the attack
- Conducting penetration tests
- Implementing security standards
Skills & knowledge of a cybersecurity engineer
Cybersecurity engineers must have the following set of skills:
- Security and virus protection skills
- Skills on computer hardware
- Telecommunications and networking skills.
- Data analysis skills.
Personal Qualities of a cybersecurity engineer
- Analytical thinking to help the profession in gathering and analysis of data.
- The expert must also be attentive to detail with a high degree of accuracy.
- Fast thinker and problem solver.
- Excellent written and oral communication
What are some of the popular responsibilities of Cyber Security Engineer?
- The most common responsibilities include planning, managing, and monitoring the security infrastructure to ensure the protection of the organization’s data.
- Responding to network problems and security breaches.
- Ensuring appropriate security standards are maintained.
- Communication with the relevant departments in the organization.
Cyber Security Engineer Requirements
- You must have a degree in IT, Computer Science, Engineering or related field.
- You must also have a minimum of two years of work experience in the field.
- You must be familiar with Firewalls, Java, and other tons of applications.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
Why Are Businesses Taking Notice Of Cyber Security?
Businesses and organizations are tightening up their security measures and investing more in hiring cybersecurity professionals to protect organizations against cybersecurity attacks. Even though hiring cybersecurity professionals can cost the businesses some fortune, it is better to do so than lose your data to hackers and put your business at stake.
Do You Really Need a Degree in a Cybersecurity-Related Field?
You necessarily don’t need a degree in the cybersecurity-related field. It all depends on your employer and the skills they are looking for. But if you want to further your studies, it can be a great decision which can result in a higher starting salary.
You can position yourself appropriately on the field by getting a bachelor’s degree and appropriate certifications relating to computing. The advantage with a majority of bachelor’s degrees is that they have specific computer security skills which can significantly help you in the field.
Don’t allow your lack of a degree in cybersecurity engineering put you off the career. If you have skills such as good problem-solver, analytical skills, and a few network skills, you can challenge yourself and venture in the field. All you have to do is to polish your computing skills by taking relevant certifications and building a portfolio with relevant work experience.
How Much Does a Cyber Engineer Make?
As we are all now probably aware, Cybersecurity engineers are professionals responsible for keeping an organization’s security infrastructure safe and secure from hackers. Their area of operations is in a technical environment, and they are also required to have technical skills. As a result, such professionals must also take a handsome pay, which is slightly higher compared to the salary received by people in other professions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary of a cybersecurity engineer is $110,120 per year as at Jan 2019. But that figure can be slightly higher depending on the hiring organization. The years of experience also determines the salary that such professionals take home, not forgetting certifications, and the skills level.
Cybersecurity engineering is such a lucrative field and slowly gaining popularity. If you are determined to pursue this career path, you must remain committed and have the above-mentioned skills. In the long run, you are likely to find that if you have the right combination of skills, education, experience, and appropriate certifications, you may position yourself well for any organization to hire you.