Digital transformation is a double-edged sword, as evidenced by the increasing cases of cyberattacks. This has resulted in a rise in the number of cybersecurity professionals around the world. However, it is not increasing at a pace that can keep up with the rising rate of cyberattacks. While there are numerous openings, the availability of skilled professionals is a perennial challenge that organizations face. According to a World Economic Forum report, the major challenges faced by an organization from a security standpoint are a shortage of skills within its team, a short supply of candidates with relevant qualifications, and talent retention. The report mentions that 59% of survey respondents attributed the shortage of skills as the most challenging aspect of incident response. Thus, there is no denying the fact that organizations are looking towards hiring new cybersecurity professionals and retraining their existing ones.

So, whether you are a beginner hoping to start a career in cybersecurity or a professional who wants to explore other security streams to strengthen your career prospects, you have come to the right place. With this two-part blog series, you'll become aware of some vital security streams that you need to explore to advance your career in cybersecurity. Let's take a look at them one at a time.

Cloud security

Many organizations are adopting cloud technologies for better accessibility, scalability, and storage capacity—and for reaping cost benefits. However, some organizations are still hesitant to adopt this technology, owing to their concerns about trusting third-party vendors with their sensitive data. Whether an organization has already adopted cloud technology or is in the process of adopting it, a cloud security expert can ensure their data security in that cloud platform.

The cloud security expert ensures that the organization's data cannot be manipulated or accessed by any third party, including the cloud platform owner or vendor. They ensure that only authorized users are allowed access to databases, and employ multi-factor authentication protocols to increase data security. So, if you gain the necessary expertise in cloud security, you could start your career as a cloud security expert too.

Mobile security

In today's world, there are billions of smartphone users who use their devices in a personal and professional capacity. At any given time, you can find these users using their phones for accessing and storing sensitive data and files, and logged into several email and social media accounts. Most people save their personally identifiable information, bank information, and passwords on their phones for hassle-free access. In the event of a loss or theft, protecting and recovering this data becomes tedious and the repercussions are far-reaching.

Moreover, many users don't check which permissions are actually required for an app to function effectively and they instead approve all permissions, including the irrelevant ones. They are not aware that many free apps collude with advertising networks, and are thus oblivious to the fact that their details such as contact information and location are being shared with these advertisers. Another security concern is the threat of malware, as many users fail to install antivirus software on their devices.

While encouraging users to enable remote tracking to find a lost device and ensuring that they install antivirus software on their devices can protect data to some extent, organizations are in firm need of security professionals and forensic experts who specialize in securing and recovering data from mobile devices. So, developing your knowledge and skills in this field could help you launch your career in cybersecurity.

Regulatory compliance

Data security and privacy are at the heart of any regulatory compliance mandate. Any organization that fails to achieve these two will be severely penalized. Non-compliance with regulatory standards such as the GDPR, HIPAA, and the PCI DSS not only costs an organization money but also customers' trust.

Data is subjected to different regulations in different regions. For example, the GDPR is applicable in the European Union, while HIPAA is applicable in the United States. An organization handling the data of customers from different countries would be expected to comply with those countries' compliance regulations. It will need to keep abreast of any changes made to those policies and apply them across its organization. This is a tedious task.

So, organizations may hire a consultant to keep track of such changes and implement them instead. If you have at least a bachelor's degree in law, business administration, or a related field, and gain the necessary compliance certifications, you could be looking at a long-term career opportunity in this niche of cybersecurity.

Incidence response and forensics

As discussed earlier, there is an increasing imbalance between cyberattacks and available cyberspecialists, both in terms of numbers and skills. Organizations are finding it challenging to hire competent personnel who can prevent and mitigate threats to their organization. Organizations that have fallen prey to cyberattacks are on the lookout for forensic experts to perform root cause analysis and data recovery.

You'll stand a better chance of succeeding in your cybersecurity career if you acquire the skills and certifications required to be an incident responder and a digital forensic expert. You should think about gaining knowledge on technologies such as security information and event management (SIEM) and endpoint detection and response (EDR).

SIEM is a centralized, robust cybersecurity solution that collects, aggregates, normalizes, categorizes, and analyzes log data. It then checks the log data against predefined rules and threat intelligence platforms and employs an ML-based UEBA solution to detect anomalies and alert security analysts of any potential threats or risks to the organization's network. EDR is powered by a powerful analytics system that can continuously monitor end-user devices to detect and alert the security team of an imminent attack. Your knowledge of SIEM and EDR could go a long way in enhancing your career prospects.

And that's it for this week, folks. Hope you now have an idea of what skills to gain, which feature to explore, and which stream to bet on to start your career in cybersecurity. However, these are not the only options in front of you. Excited? Then tune in to our blog next week and explore a few popular cybersecurity roles before you decide on your choice of career. Happy learning, folks!

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