What Skills Are Needed for a Career in Data-Driven Cybersecurity?

Big data skills are very important for modern cybersecurity professionals.
big data and cybersecurity
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Big data has become more important than ever in the realm of cybersecurity. You are going to have to know more about AI, data analytics and other big data tools if you want to be a cybersecurity professional.

Big Data Skills Must Be Utilized in a Cybersecurity Role

As far as computer and information technology occupations go, security awareness training is a key starting point for anyone interested in the bright future that this sector offers. The need for cybersecurity personnel, technicians, officers, developers, and trainers have never been greater. As the need for these professions grows, it also becomes more important for them to have a background in big data and other forms of technology.

There has never been a more relevant time to change careers and aim towards cybersecurity, especially as the sector has risen to new heights in the past few years. This of course is the fact that the cybercrime environment has become more intense and heightened the need for a background in data analytics and AI skills. That is to say, malicious actors have become more sophisticated and have spread their tentacles everywhere. Secondly, the more tech we make as a society, the more a data-driven, hands-on approach will ensure a good level of safety.

Brilliant Growth and Wages

The projections for the growth of the cybersecurity sector are very progressive, the number is around a 15% growth factor between now and 2030. In North America alone, the cybersecurity market size is projected to grow from $150 billion in 2020 to over $350 billion by 2028. The emphasis for the sector is on information and data security, big data storage and collection as well as cloud computing and cloud computing security. Not only is the sector booking thousands of applicants every day, but wages are on a steep rise as well. Cybersecurity is currently the highest-paid sector in IT. As far as median wages are concerned, the highest-paid personnel are data scientists and computer researchers (security managers) making well over $100,000 even up to $220,000, followed by network architects, programmers, and analysts. As far as the CAGR or Compound Annual Growth Rate is concerned, the largest growth is taking place forecasted vertically most notably for the cybersecurity service sector (management, consulting, and maintenance) especially relating to SMBs (Small-to-Medium Businesses.)

The Reason For So Much Demand

According to IBM, a singular data breach can cost organizations over $3 million, which is a significant increase compared to the mid-2010s. Furthermore, the fact that cyberattacks have been getting more sophisticated and much nastier over the years, with heavy breaches affecting big corporations like Facebook, T-Mobile, Equifax as well as several crypto exchanges (and many more), the need for cybersecurity personnel is higher and more in-demand than ever. Cybersecurity is a form of security, so paying top dollar for peace of mind when it comes to sensitive and valuable business and personal assets makes a lot of sense. This especially rings true in a time where nation-state APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups, as well as cyber-physical attacks, are becoming a threat to humanity.

Cybersecurity Market Drivers

Let’s look at what is driving the growth and changes in the cybersecurity industry. The amount of e-commerce platforms, especially as the trend is vertical, is one of the drivers. Furthermore, cloud storage, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and IoT are big drivers as well. Network security itself is advancing and growing and is again one of the drivers. Nations like Brazil, Israel, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and of course North America are investing billions into cybersecurity.

Market Share

As far as market share goes, the global cybersecurity market share pie can be divided into multiple categories such as; retail, healthcare, government, manufacturing, transportation, financial services, and more. Financial services by far are going to take most of the cybersecurity market share pie, followed closely by IT and healthcare. Some of the market leaders in cybersecurity are; Cisco Systems, Inc., FireEye, IBM, Palo Alto Networks, Inc., Zscaler, Inc., and Fortinet, Inc. (to name a few.)

What Skills Are Required for a Career in Cybersecurity?

The cybersecurity industry needs personnel, as there is currently a shortage of specialists in this sector. Now that we’ve looked at how bright the future is for cybersecurity, it is time to understand what kind of skills are going to be required for a career in this sector. Here are some of those in-demand skills at the moment;

  • Risk assessment
  • Linux expertise
  • Splunk
  • Kerberos
  • Penetration testing
  • Digital Forensics

These are the most in-demand skill sets that are required for a highly paid cybersecurity career. On top of this, it is also good to have a developed set of soft skills such as;

  • Communication and empathy
  • Team collaboration
  • Good problem-solving skills

Where Do You Start?

So, you have decided to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Now, there are a few things you need to take into consideration;

  • College degree
  • Cybersecurity boot camp
  • Specialized certifications

Primarily, it is important to research what is required for a specific job position. Each organization will have slightly different requirements for applicants, so it is important to research these criteria well. Of course, a passion for cybersecurity and IT helps a lot with these jobs. The good news is that apart from industry-leading wages, statistically speaking most people that work in cybersecurity are satisfied with their job positions (based on a survey conducted in the United States.) Cybersecurity is only going to grow and expand more each year, so the sooner individuals interested in this line of work enter the workforce, the better it is for both sides.

Sean Mallon
Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.