If there is one thing which we can agree about the cybersecurity industry, this field has formed many occupations, including cybersecurity consultants.
Cybersecurity consultants are highly in demand today. These experts are responsible for protecting critical data from hackers and cyber attacks.
This post will provide all the information you need to know about this profession. If you are interested in this profession, keep reading to see more!
Cybersecurity consultants are often responsible for protecting sensitive data from those different aspects of the digital world. They evade security risks and prevent cyber attacks.
We live in a growing digital era with many things working on data. Digital data is everywhere, including our social security numbers, social media accounts, private financial data, and more.
Our lives rely more and more on technology. In other words, the role of technology becomes increasingly critical every day, and the risks to our data security also increase.
It has kept the demand for cybersecurity consultants high since most companies need these professionals to protect their data against security risks.
As a cybersecurity consultant, you will be responsible for data protection.
Whether your role as a full-time consultant or as a freelancer, your daily duties will also involve the evaluation of cyber risks and faults in existing security strategies and implementing and developing security solutions.
It may also include working on physical computer systems to protect them from malware and cyber risks.
Here is a quick rundown of the responsibilities of a cybersecurity consultant.
- Develop proper strategies to protect the networking infrastructure, the system, data, and information systems from any potential cyber risks.
- Periodically perform system inspections, threat analysis, security tests.
- Define or update cybersecurity criteria & validation procedures.
- Estimate costs and categorize integration problems for information technology project teams.
- Make technical reports relating to tests performed.
- Give professional guidance and suggestions to IT teams.
Higher education does not have a dedicated cybersecurity training curriculum. Instead, cybersecurity consultants usually begin with getting a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, cyber security, or a related field.
Well-rounded cyber-security consultants typically have certifications in some relevant subjects.
Like most fields, there’s nothing like letting potential clients or employers know what you’re actually doing. With 3 to 5 years of experience in a cybersecurity consulting job, you will have a great advantage in the eyes of employers.
In addition to professional skills, all good cybersecurity consultants must master the following hard skills:
- Frameworks Knowledge: ITIL and COBIT.
- Knowledge of Compliance Assessments: HIPAA, NIST, PCI, SOX, GLBA.
- Encryption Techniques and Capabilities: This skill allows cybersecurity professionals to know how to receive and send data over the internet without being a victim of hacker attacks.
- Programming Languages: Specifically, they are used for processing and storing raw data. In this case, there is no such thing as knowing too many programming languages.
- Operating Systems Knowledge: That means Linus, UNIX, Windows, and any new operating systems that ultimately get rolled out.
- Firewall Safety and Management: It includes fail-safe features, backups, prevention protocols, and breach detection.
- Advanced Persistent Threat Management: This skill covers concepts like social engineering, phishing, network access control, and more.
- Ethical Hacking & Coding Practices: It means owning a working knowledge of threat configurations and modeling.
- Penetration Testing: Acting like hackers, consultants need to see how secure the system is and evaluate the vulnerability of the customer’s cyber software and programs.
A good consultant should know how to communicate with IT-related teams and even non-technical people.
Moreover, these professionals should also possess leadership skills, especially as it falls on them to implement new procedures and policies.
Finally, they must be good when working, showing tact and patience with others at all levels in their organization.
Here are the most popular Cyber Security tools that are used worldwide:
- SolarWinds Security Event Manager.
- SecPod SanerNow.
- Invicti (formerly Netsparker).
- Perimeter 81.
- System Mechanic Ultimate Defense.
Cybersecurity is a highly in-demand field. Becoming a cybersecurity consultant will offer growth potential and positions to take advantage of.
Cybersecurity consultants serve many roles across various environments, helping them build a portfolio of skill titles and sets.
The average annual salary for a cybersecurity consultant in the US is $116,451 per year. A simple salary calculator will show that this salary is approximately $55.99 per hour, $2,239 per week, and $9,704 per month.
Most cybersecurity consultants have salaries ranging from $87,500 to $146,000, with top earners making $172,000 annually across the US.
The average salary range for a cybersecurity consultant varies, suggesting there may be many opportunities for increased pay and advancement based on factors such as location, years of experience, and skill level.
- You’re always learning.
- High career progression.
- Being a high-demand job.
- High salaries and opportunities.
- The opportunity to be self-employed.
- Less room for mistakes.
- Some repetitive and boring tasks.
- High-stress and demanding hours.
- Companies lack knowledge and/or resources.
- Difficulty keeping up with the fast-paced trend and emerging latest information.
Here is an example of a workable cybersecurity career path:
Step 1: Gain several initial experiences in an entry-level IT (Information Technology) or information security position
Step 2: Rise to the role of a security analyst, administrator, engineer, or auditor.
Step 3: Gain some appropriate information security certifications
Step 4: Start your career as a cybersecurity consultant.
Becoming a cybersecurity consultant requires three years or more in an entry-level position after earning a bachelor’s degree. It takes about seven years total or longer if you decide to pursue a master’s degree.
The best degrees for a security consultant are a degree in information security, computer science, cybersecurity, or a related field. Certifications and a master’s degree are also recommended.
A cybersecurity consultant will start as a junior IT team member and acquire one to three years of experience before taking on more of a leadership role.
Great IT security consultants should understand the technical aspects of cyber defense. They should also master some soft skills, such as strong documentation skills, communication, time management, and critical thinking.
The demand for cyber security consultants is expected to increase in the coming years. Organizations always prefer to hire cybersecurity consultants for a shorter period and pay them much more than full-time employees. So it makes being a cybersecurity consultant an attractive career path and role.
The best thing about being a cyber security consultant is you have endless opportunities to explore various industries such as government, large organizations, nonprofit organizations, schools, SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises), medical facilities, and more.
It can be as little as four months or even less. The time it will take to know cybersecurity should depend on you, the individual learning it.
Singapore is one of the countries that have the highest number of cybersecurity consultant job openings. Recent grads or anyone searching for a new job might enhance their opportunities of getting a job by browsing for cities with the most jobs.
On the other hand, Luxembourg features the highest salary for cybersecurity experts.
As life transitions to the digital world, the need for cybersecurity consultants increases accordingly. To work as a cyber security consultant, you need to begin by earning a Bachelor’s degree in IT, cybersecurity, or computer science.
Remember to hone the hard skills and soft skills, as they will be helpful to your career. So are you ready to get into this fast-paced field?
Please share with me about your future plans for the job you want to pursue.
Thank you for reading!