With a wide variety of organizations facing threats from hackers and data breaches, it’s no surprise that there’s an ever-increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals who can confront these dangers. According to the CyberSeek project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, there were more than 299,000 job openings in the field as of October 2017, with a very low ratio of people with the necessary skills for each available role. The need for people with the knowledge and technical abilities to fend off attacks and protect private information will only continue to rise in the years to come.
Organizations want to hire experts who can apply the latest in analytics techniques to finding, isolating and stopping intruders in their systems. Working toward a masters in analytics could be a big step forward in pursuing a career using big-data tools to address problems in real time. With an advanced education, you might be on your way to one of these three cybersecurity jobs currently in demand across the country:
1. Fight breaches on the ground as a security analyst
Security analysts are the individuals directly tasked with planning and implementing security measures to keep an organization’s systems safe. They often have a long list of duties that shifts and expands as new hacking tactics emerge and vulnerabilities are revealed. Common responsibilities for the analyst include evaluating current risks, managing the systems for detecting and preventing network intrusions, and performing periodic upgrades.
Depending on the needs of a specific organization, a cybersecurity analyst may specialize in areas like reverse-engineering attacks to discover more about system weaknesses and current exploitation techniques. To be effective, these experts have to be always looking ahead to the next danger, catching patterns in the behavior of malware and predicting the forms that future attacks will take.
While some analysts work for a single business or financial institution, others are employed by consulting firms. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median pay for these professionals was $92,600 per year as of 2016, projecting 18 percent growth in available positions through 2024.
2. Fortify systems against intrusion as a security architect
An information security architect designs and maintains the infrastructure to protect an organization’s systems and data. Beginning by analyzing the existing security measures and locating system vulnerabilities, the data expert identifies needs for updating safeguards against malware and data breaches. An architect may recommend new hardware and software, as well as establish policies intended to prevent employees from inadvertently infecting the system or allowing a hacker in.
Because every company has different requirements for information and access, an architect must be highly aware of how security demands are tied to the organization’s business needs. The infrastructure must allow departments to access the data they rely on, while protecting private information and staying in compliance with regulations. Drawing on a thorough knowledge of the latest technology and developing threats, this expert places limits on access accordingly, taking into account the particular dangers that go along with cloud computing.
Once the necessary components are in place, the cybersecurity professional tracks the implementation of the recommended procedures and enforces policies. An architect may have the responsibility to continue testing the system over time, finding opportunities to improve protections and fill gaps.
3. Take an executive role in protecting data as chief information security officer
It has become common for organizations to appoint as a member of the executive team an individual who is responsible for supervising information security throughout the enterprise. A chief information security officer is the primary individual responsible for developing a program to guard the company’s systems and data—and for putting it into action. This leader should be an expert in information technology and security practices, capable of planning effectively for anticipated threats and managing the employees who implement the appropriate policies.
A CISO may perform a wide variety of day-to-day duties involved in minimizing the risks to a company’s information. They set enterprise-wide objectives and metrics for security, establish secure practices for communications, and train employees in security awareness. The executive often supervises an emergency response team that responds to incidents such as a virus infecting the system, a denial-of-service attack or identity theft.
Prepare for your career with a big-data education
To pursue one of the growing number of jobs in cybersecurity, you need specialized knowledge and skills. Earning a masters in business analytics at Villanova University will provide you with hands-on experience in using advanced data tools and procedures to solve real-world business problems. Visit the program page to find out more about how you can prepare for a future in cybersecurity and apply today.
- A look ahead for analytics technology’s place in IT security
- Analytics professionals are critical to successful use of big data