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From Dummy Zero to Cyber Security Hero. What should you know to call yourself CyberSec Pro?

Published: July 4, 2021 By Darina Shramko

Cyber security specialists – heroes of our time

We were lucky to be born at a time when superheroes left the screens of cinemas and settled among us. Their job is to protect our privacy at all costs. They do not wear raincoats and bright costumes, but this does not diminish their merits in the least.

These heroes are cybersecurity specialists who sometimes risk everything to save humanity from the hands of dangerous hackers who seek to disrupt our daily life.

If you want to connect your life with information security, you have come to the right place because today, I will tell you all the cybersecurity secrets!

How the IT labor market works, how much cybersecurity professionals earn, and what skills you need to have to become a hero of our time - you will learn about this and much more right now. Let's go!

This article also:

  • a practical guide for students of technical faculties
  • a practical guide for people who want to work as cybersecurity specialists
  • a practical guide for people who want to learn more about information security
 

Disclaimer:

All information is provided only to inform you on how to become a cybersecurity professional. Any illegal use of information from this article is prohibited.


Why is cybersecurity the hottest domain these days?

Cybersecurity is the profession of the future!

Why? From the day the Internet first appeared on our planet, there has been a need to protect information. Criminals hide behind masks of anonymous authors and steal large sums of money from banks, organize hacker attacks on strategic objects, and blackmail people. They feel unpunished because we don't see their faces. However, the world has not yet collapsed thanks to the brave Internet warriors - cyber defense specialists. They are the ones that repel cyberattacks, protect strategic objects and our security.

Even ten years ago, the profession of a cyber defender did not exist, but today almost all universities in the world create information security faculty to train future informational security specialists. Right now, humanity is in acute shortage of the lack of CyberSec Pro.

It is why it is so important to care about information security in the digital 21st century. Evil geniuses create chaos, and the world needs saviors. You can become one! I will tell you what skills you need to have to become a hero of our time.


What skills should have CyberSec Pro?

I watched myself and my colleagues for a long time to understand what qualities a professional should have.

After analyzing the behaviors and habits of my colleagues, I have compiled a list of skills that will lead a newcomer to overwhelming success.

So, a cyber defense specialist should:

  • Have a high level of programming skills.
  • Be attentive and accurate when working with code and find hidden and non-obvious sources of infection.
  • Combine programming skills with knowledge of the physical properties of technical devices.
  • Have analytical skills, the ability to calculate the consequences of changes.
  • Be able to quickly assess threats and their sources.
  • Be able to work with large amounts of data.
  • Understand the principles of conducting cyberattacks, know the possible ways to protect against them.

Of course, we are all different and differ from each other in character traits and lifestyles. However, in my opinion, the key to success is attentiveness. Develop your logic, train your memory, and pay attention to the small details - and then it will be much easier to master other skills!

By the way, where can you use these super abilities? Where do the CyberSec Pro work?


Where do information security specialists work?

At first glance, it seems that information protection is applied only in the IT industry. But in fact, no company can successfully develop without a security specialist because now absolutely everything can be hacked - even your fridge.

So, cybersecurity specialists work in:

  • IT companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Government bodies
  • Defense department

So, we figured out the area of employment of cyber defense specialists. It's time to move on to the most interesting - how much do information guards earn?


How much does an Information Security Specialist make?

It's no secret that the IT - industry is considered one of the highest-paid. However, there is a difference between the salary of the system administrator and the salary of the cybersecurity specialist.  It depends on the responsibilities of the employee, the work schedule, and the complexity of the tasks.

Because people working in the security industry exposes to risks and stress, their jobs are well paid.

According to glassdoor statistics, as of June 2021, the average salary for a cybersecurity specialist in the United States is $96,827 per year! So you can count on $8,000 a month. Impressive, of course! And this is only the average salary. In some states, cybersecurity specialists can earn up to 158 thousand dollars a year!

In Europe, the top three in terms of average annual salary occupies by Switzerland, Germany, and Norway.

Table of the average annual salary of cyber specialists in Europe


Rank

European Country

Average Annual Salary ($)

1

Switzerland

$101,750

2

Germany

$ 77,132

3

Norway

$70,165

4

Ireland

$67,546

5

Belgium

$66,915

6

Luxembourg

$65,933

7

France

$61,622

8

Austria

$56,949

9

Netherlands

$54,085

10

United Kingdom

$53,368

11

Slovakia

$41,686

12

Sweden

$41,288

13

Czech Republic

$40,960

14

Italy

$37,965

15

Spain

$34,216

16

Portugal

$28,687

17

Russia

$28,396

18

Romania

$27,741

19

Hungary

$34,967

20

Poland

$18,704

I should draw your attention to the fact that such a high salary is associated with the risks faced by workers on information security.


Risks in the profession of an information security specialist

Who does not take risks will not find out his calling.

  • Robert De Niro, an American actor, producer, and director

Despite interesting tasks, new acquaintances, and high income, I cannot but warn you about the risks that you will face in the field of information security:

  1. I'll start with the most unpleasant thing - over time, you may develop anxiety against the background of constant stress and hard work. Cybersecurity will not make you bored and will tickle your nerves from time to time because you will have to deal with the eliminations of large-scale cyberattacks, where there is no place for the delay.
  2. You will have to constantly render yourself to hackers and hacker groups. As you know, to catch a criminal, you need to think like a criminal. A hacker is not a simple thief but a real evil genius. It's a person whose knowledge domain of cybersecurity is so good that it is sometimes difficult to predict his actions. Hackers lead a strange way of life. Often they do not have friends and family because they are focused on their insidious plans. You may despise hackers, but you have to understand their logic to stay ahead of the curve.
  3. Professional burnout. Stress and responsibility can trigger burnout. Even the most competent cybersecurity expert can give up. In this case, it is essential to enlist the support of family and colleagues to return to work.
  4. The constant race for technology. The digital world is changing before our eyes, so you need to keep your finger on the pulse. Errors and delays in the field of information protection are unacceptable.
  5. Potential difficulties with going abroad. If you want to go skiing in the Alps during your winter holidays, be prepared to notify the management of your company and collect the necessary documents at least six months before the trip. Upon arrival at home, you will also need to report all your activities on vacation, right down to the hotel room number.

Difficulties are inherent in any profession. When I started working in cybersecurity, I was worried about the risks and possible problems that I might face. However, in reality, everything is not as scary as it seems because you will work in a team of professionals who will become your friends and come to the rescue.

I can say with confidence that no amount of complexity will prevent you from enjoying your work in the field of cybersecurity!


Conclusion

While writing this article, I felt a pleasant excitement because I wanted to tell you about cybersecurity as soon as possible and ignite a spark in your soul!

Courageous defenders make sure that every Internet user feels safe. It is no exaggeration to say that information security specialists are heroes of the 21st century. Without them, the world would have reined chaos and the omnipotence of hackers.

Cybersecurity is a complex but exciting domain full of mysteries. I hope I managed to lift the veil of secrecy, and now you know a lot more about information security.

If you still have questions, do not hesitate to ask them in the comments. I will be happy to answer and share my experience.

Take care of yourself!

Tags: 
News
Author
Darina Shramko
Cybersecurity specialist and researcher.

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