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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

How To Become a Cybersecurity Consultant – A Comprehensive Guide

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Technology is advancing and becoming extremely sophisticated. As a result, cybersecurity threats such as hacking, phishing, and ransomware are increasing. With hackers continually devising new techniques for breaking into computer networks, the cybersecurity industry is thriving.

In Q3 2022, there were around 108.9 million accounts breached worldwide, as per a study by Surfshark, a cybersecurity company. The top five countries where such breaches happened were Spain, Russia, Indonesia, France, and the United States.

If you’re seeking a challenging career that’s in great demand, a job as a cybersecurity consultant could be a great fit. Read this blog to gather information about the cybersecurity career and know the pathway to becoming a pro in fighting against cybercrime.

Cybersecurity Consultant – Job Overview

A cybersecurity consultant is someone who identifies problems, assesses security risks, and applies solutions to deal with threats to a company’s computer systems. In a continuously changing technological world, they analyze security systems and develop layers of protection.

A cybersecurity consultant does not work for a single corporation but rather is employed by a client to check the company’s cybersecurity measures. They develop and apply a proper defense. These consultants are sometimes referred to by many other names, such as:

  • Information security consultant
  • Computer security consultant
  • Database security consultant
  • Network security consultant

Roles and Responsibilities of Cybersecurity Consultant

Now, let’s shed some light on the occupation to know what tasks any cybersecurity consultant performs. Here is a list of their responsibilities:

  • Determine the best strategy to protect data, software, devices, networks, and entire information systems against intrusion and cyber-attacks
  • Interact with department managers to gather information about various security problems and challenges.
  • Conduct vulnerability testing including risk analyses and security assessments
  • Research existing security standards and systems, as well as the new authentication protocols;
  • Prepare cost estimates for any necessary defense upgrades and find out potential integration issues for IT project managers.
  • Plan, research, and build a good security architecture for any IT project
  • Convey finding through white papers and technical reports
  • Define, implement, and sustain a suitable corporate security policy for the client’s organization
  • Give professional supervision to the in-house security team
  • Address any security-related incidents, and come up with a complete post-event analysis
  • Follow up to take updates from the client and upgrade their security systems 

Pathway to Become a Cybersecurity Consultant

Consider the following steps if you are planning to make a successful career as a certified cybersecurity consultant:

  1. Education

An associate’s degree in cybersecurity can significantly boost your career as a cybersecurity consultant. Before enrolling in this degree program, you should have know-how in computer science or mathematics.

  • Certifications

Certifications from renowned organizations are an important part of any cybersecurity consultant resume. There are so many certifications that can be required to apply for jobs.

PRO TIP: Consider connecting with people who are in this industry to learn which qualifications matter the most to becoming a dedicated cybersecurity consultant.

Take out some time and explore the internet to find the top cybersecurity certifications available online and offline.

  • Technical skills

You should have the following skills to provide excellent cybersecurity services to customers:

  • Penetration testing as well as the capability to evaluate the vulnerability rating of cyber programs that every company uses
  • Know-how of advanced persistent threat management such as phishing, social engineering, etc.
  • Knowledge of Firewall safety and management, and know how to detect data breaches
  • Operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, Unix, Linux, etc. easily accessible to the public
  • Encryption competencies and methodologies, so your clients may send and accept data over the internet without being hacked
  • Knowledge of programming languages to store as well as process raw data
  • Coding practices and ethical hacking principles

  • Interpersonal skills

Besides, taking up a cybersecurity consultant certification program, ensure that you must have the below-listed skills:

  • Effective written and communication skills 
  • Project management for implementing the latest procedures and policies
  • Ability to engage with individuals at every level of the organization
  • Interest in learning new things, as information and security systems, as well as the related risks they face, keep changing
  • Work Experience

Prior cybersecurity expertise, like in so many other industries, goes a long way toward establishing necessary credentials.

Having hands-on experience is a plus point to show a potential client that you know what you’re doing. For a cybersecurity consultant role, 3-5 years of work experience in an IT environment is desirable.

Salary of Cybersecurity Consultant

Because the vast majority of cybersecurity consultants are self-employed, determining average salaries for them can be difficult. Depending on their availability and experience, they work on various projects as well as clients.

ZipRecruiter reports an average annual salary of $115,767 for cybersecurity consultants in the U.S.

A cybersecurity consultant in the United States may anticipate an annual salary of $85,427, according to Glassdoor.

Ready to Become a Cybersecurity Consultant?

In this emerging digital era, there is a surge in the demand for experts who can ensure the safety of data and systems. You could be among them!

All you can do is gain the right education, globally recognized certifications, and essential skills to bag jobs such as IT security engineer, security technician, or junior penetration tester. Such jobs will help you earn a basic understanding of cybersecurity and can be crucial stepping stones to a cybersecurity consultant job.

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