9 Cybersecurity Skills You Must Have to Boost Your Career

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing industry that is receiving more attention every day. As business owners of all kinds turn to cybersecurity professionals to help protect their data, demand grows for knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals.

A career in cybersecurity comes with many benefits, but in order to make the most out of it, you need some particular skills. After all, cybersecurity plays an important role in keeping both business and customer information safe from hackers and those with malicious intent, so you’ll need to know what you’re doing.

6 Cybersecurity Technical Skills You Must Have

Cybersecurity is not as straightforward as many people think it is. You can’t expect to wander into an office and know what you’re doing. If you want to provide quality cybersecurity services, you’ll need to have specific knowledge about different aspects of cybersecurity. Here are just a few of the things any professional in cybersecurity must know.

#1. Networking and System Administration

Networking is the process of configuring, monitoring, and managing computer networks while system administration is concerned with managing the systems and software that runs on these networks. As the two go hand in hand, any cybersecurity professional must be extremely knowledgeable about both in order to design and maintain secure infrastructure.

Networking and system administration are two base skills. Every other skill that you learn and rely upon in cybersecurity will build up from these two foundational skills, so before you get too far in your career, make sure you have a clear understanding of these two things.

#2. Risk Identification and Management

Being able to identify and manage risks will help keep a business’s security protocols secure and effective. You must be able to identify vulnerable areas in the network and work to build them up. This never ending process is what keeps data secure. Even if you spend hours on one issue, it’s never safe to assume that once one area is robust, it will remain that way.

#3. Penetration Testing/Red Teaming

Penetration testing and red teaming are two offensive methods for testing your system’s security. Using expert knowledge, penetration testers tell business owners what aspects of their security systems are broken as well as how to repair them and create a more robust network.

While many penetration testers are considered ethical hackers, knowing how to complete penetration tests is a skill that must be learned. It takes confidence and determination, so you can’t just assume that if you don’t immediately find a weakness, there isn’t anything wrong.

#4. Operating Systems

You’ll likely work with a variety of operating systems including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. These are the three most common operating systems, but you may also encounter lesser known systems that you will be expecting to navigate just as well.

It’s important that you know how to confidently navigate any given operating system. While you don’t have to be an expert in every operating system that exists, having a solid understanding of the three main systems will give you a good headstart when you encounter a system that you’re unfamiliar with. You’ll be able to use what you know to your advantage and work quickly and confidently.

#5. Coding

Part of cybersecurity will include designing and creating a security system that a business can use to protect themself with. To do so, you’ll need to know how to code and work with numerous languages. 

When it comes to what code you should know, there is no perfect answer. It’s recommended that you have a good understanding of multiple languages so that you have more options available to you. Certain coding languages will have different advantages and may be more or less useful at different times.

#6. Cloud Security

More and more businesses are turning to the cloud which means being skilled in cloud security is a huge advantage for cybersecurity professionals. As a professional, it’s important that you know how to implement security protocols and use various technologies to your advantage in order to protect data stored on the cloud.

3 Cybersecurity Soft Skills You Must Have

To be successful in cybersecurity, you don’t just need technical skills. There are specific soft skills you must master as well in order to provide your clients with the best service and ensure you’re doing your job well.

#1. Logical Reasoning and Troubleshooting

Problems can arise at any given moment and they likely won’t make sense right away. In order to solve a problem and create a solution, you must be able to use logical reasoning. Sometimes, you may have to spend a while troubleshooting and trying all sorts of solutions before you’re successful.

#2. Adaptability

Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field which means that the technologies that you use today will be different from the technologies you used two years ago. You’ll need to be quick to adapt to new technology and learn how to use it if you want to provide high quality service and create a cybersecurity solution that works. 

#3. Communication

Most of the business owners that you work with will not understand the technical terms that surround cybersecurity. To avoid frustration and ensure that both you and the business owner understand what is happening, it’s important that you know how to communicate with someone who may not have the same knowledge as you. For many people, computers are confusing and can be frustrating, so it’s up to you to help them understand without making them feel stupid.

Becoming a Cybersecurity Professional

Cybersecurity is a very promising career field, but you can’t expect to just walk through a business’s front door and become a cybersecurity professional. You’ll first need to obtain the skills mentioned above as well as a degree in cybersecurity.

With a degree in hand, not only will you know that you have all necessary skills to boost your career, but you’ll have proof to back it up. Business owners will feel more confident in hiring you if they know you have a degree, so if you really want to step into the world of cybersecurity, it’s time to start looking for the perfect degree program.