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Everything You Need To Know Before You Launch Your Cybersecurity Career

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Many people can see the writing on the wall: cybersecurity is going to be big business over the coming years if it isn’t already. Practically every company now wants professional assistance to sure up its networks and protect its data. The costs of failing to do so are enormous. 

For the career-minded, therefore, it represents a significant opportunity for advancement. People who manage to muscle in on the action give themselves the opportunity to earn higher wages and do more rewarding work.

Going into cybersecurity, though, is about much more than just technical skill. If you want to excel in the field, you have to read widely and deeply and prepare yourself in multiple ways, no matter what your background. 

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Here’s everything you need to know about cybersecurity before you take it on as a career. 

Most Companies Don’t Know The First Thing About Cybersecurity

Given that there are still a bunch of companies out there using Windows XP, the vast majority of firms literally do not know the first thing about securing their networks. Most firms play “fast and loose” with their setups, going about their business in the vague hope that nobody will take advantage of their sorry situation. And that is what often leads them to catastrophe. 

For people wanting to get into the industry, therefore, this is good news. Not only is there a massive market for security services, but there is also a lot of low-hanging fruit. You can waltz into a business, make a few simple changes, and increase the effectiveness of their security measures ten-fold. Very often, it’s easy work.

There is a severe shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals. If you are properly trained, finding a job working in cybersecurity is probably a lot easier to do than in many other fields

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People With Military Backgrounds Are Ideal Candidates For Cybersecurity Roles

The next major global conflict is unlikely to be a “hot war.” The weapons are too destructive, and they hurt the person firing them as much as they do the target. It is much more likely to involve states or organizations facing off against each other in the digital realm, one trying to outwit the other. 

There’s a growing military community, therefore, with extensive cybersecurity skills. So much so, in fact, that you can now do cyber security military training for college credit. In other words, if you’re in the military, you can get a headstart on your classmates. The knowledge you’ve already accumulated during your career puts you ahead of the pack. 

You Can’t Learn Everything Fresh On The Job

A lot of people think that they train to become a cybersecurity professional, and then they know everything that there is to know about the discipline. But there’s no substitute for time spent on the job. A guy who is a couple of weeks into a role is never going to have the same ability to solve problems as somebody who has been in the industry for a decade. It just doesn’t work like that. You need experience. 

Typically, you often find yourself doing things that you never imagined would be a part of the role. It can be a lot of fun, but it is also a steep learning curve. 

There will also be times where there are no clear solutions. Often, the only thing you can do is gamble, so roles also require a certain level of confidence. Uncertainty is par for the course. 

You’ll Need To Publish Your Discoveries

You rarely find a process-driven cybersecurity role. Almost always, you’re battling novel problems – things that people haven’t seen before. For that reason, there’s an industry-wide demand for information on how to go about efficiently resolving client issues. Many people at the top of their game regularly publish reports and instructionals for how to deal with tricky, idiosyncratic problems. Thus, you may find yourself spending a lot of time writing and creating help documents, especially if you become talented at what you do. 

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It Helps To Have Wider Computing Interests

Cybersecurity is a big field. But the world of computing is even more expansive. The more you know about issues outside of security matters, the more helpful you can be to your clients. Many of the problems you encounter will link to other systems. Email, network functions, administration, and hardware are all important considerations. 

You Don’t Have To Get A Job On A Help Desk

When it comes to cybersecurity, there’s no set career path. It’s not like becoming a doctor or lawyer where you have to do everything in a specific order. In this field, you can pretty much walk in a direction of your choosing. You don’t have to get a job on the helpdesk. 

Opportunities in the sector are changing all the time. The jobs that are available right now might not still be around in ten years.

You Still Need To Be A Master Of Communication

If you have visions of working quietly in the corner, sorting out problems by yourself as part of your cybersecurity roles, then think again. That’s not how it works in practice. Communication plays a vital role. 

First, you need to understand what it is that your client wants. It’s not just a matter of walking into their offices and fiddling around with their systems. You need to have a conversation about what they want to get out of their networks and security arrangements. And that’s not always clear. 

Second, you often need to educate companies on how to manage their security arrangements. After all, you can’t be in all places at all times. They need to take on some of the responsibility themselves. Thus, part of your job is to communicate these home truths to the people around you. Company owners need to understand that cybersecurity isn’t just a passive thing. They have to take the lead and be proactive in their approach. If they’re not, then they’re setting themselves up for a world of pain. 

Finally, communication also matters when it comes to talking to your colleagues about the problems you face. The technical jargon isn’t always easy to get your head around. It takes time, patience, and practice to become accustomed to it. 

You’ll Have A Lot Of Fun

A lot of people get into the cybersecurity field for the money. After all, people with the right skills are in such high demand right now that it is pushing wages to new heights. But it’s not just a job you do for financial gain – many people in the industry find that it provides them with ample fun too.

PHASE 1 – How to Become a Cyber-Security Analyst: FISMA COMPLIANCE (RMF)
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