What Does a Cyber Security Specialist Do?

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In 2021, the world will lose a staggering $6 trillion to cybercrime. By 2025, that figure will climb to $10.5 trillion.

These are scary statistics, especially with IT becoming a critical part of our everyday lives. Entrepreneurs, in particular, have more to worry about. That’s because most cyberattacks target businesses.

As IT attacks continue to wreak havoc the world over, the time has never been better to become a cyber security specialist. IT security experts are the key to the safety of organizations and governments. Yet, the shortfall in skills is still significant, with about 3.12 million cyber security specialist jobs unfilled at the moment.

If you’re interested in a job in IT security, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s post, we give you a detailed cyber security specialist job description to get you started on your journey to combating cybercrime.

Read on to learn more.

What Is a Cyber Security Specialist?

A cybersecurity specialist is an IT professional whose main role is to maintain the safety of the software and network security system in an organization. They’re tasked with detecting, preventing, and resolving security risks to an organization’s networks.

Traditionally, cyber security professionals handled only core technology functions. Today, these experts are essential to just about every organization. They work both on the front lines and behind the scenes to keep digital assets and systems from hackers, vulnerabilities, and threats.

What Are the Main Roles of a Cyber Security Specialist?

Once you become a cyber security specialist and secure a job in an organization, there are a number of tasks you’ll be expected to complete. Here are six of them.

Understanding Which Information Needs Protecting

An organization’s data is critical when it comes to planning and operating the organization. For businesses, the most valuable types of data are customer data, internal financial data, and IT data.

As an IT security specialist, it’s your responsibility to come up with the ideal security measures for protecting each of these types of data. You also need to explain any security measures implemented to the company’s staff in a language they understand.

Preventing Unauthorized Access

Organizations continually face the threat of unauthorized access to sensitive information. This threat may originate both from within and without the company.

As a cyber security professional, you need to identify all potential risks of intrusion.

It’s your job to continually monitor the organization’s network system for such unusual activity as:

  • Attempted access to sensitive data 
  • Modification of information 
  • Duplication of data 
  • Destruction of data

You’ll need to run counteractive protocols against unauthorized access and report all such incidents.

Testing Security Strategies

The best way to know how robust a company’s IT security system is is to test it. Use your expertise to attempt to hack the system. This helps you unearth potential weaknesses in the system.

From time to time, try to access information without having the proper credentials. Test the firewalls and other security applications by trying to break through them.

After your tests, write comprehensive reports based on your findings.

Developing New IT Defense Protocols

Once your tests unearth vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT network system, the next natural step is to find solutions for them. You’ll need to create new layers of protection to make the network more secure. You also need to update all security systems to tackle any potential weaknesses in the system.

Assess Emerging Intrusion Methods by Attackers

What makes cybercrime such a massive threat is that hackers are continually honing their craft. Attacks continue getting more sophisticated each year. Unfortunately, IT security specialists don’t always keep up.

As a cybersecurity professional, you need to stay on your toes. Stay updated with the latest IT security trends and procedures in the industry. The last thing you want is for your organization to fall prey to a devastating breach because you didn’t take the appropriate precautions against new methods of attacks.

What Are the IT Security Specialist Education Requirements?

For those who wish to pursue a career in cybersecurity, there are credible institutions that allow one to take a full cyber security specialist course online. These online education programs are generally more affordable and convenient.

IT specialists are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in such a field as computer science, programming, information science, or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates that have an MBA with a concentration in information systems.

Having some work experience is also very helpful. Many IT professionals spend some years working as computer or network system administrators in IT departments to gain this work experience.

You’ll also want to obtain some IP security specialist certifications. Being certified shows potential employers that you have the required knowledge and experience. One of the certifications you want to consider is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

What Salary Can You Expect?

IT security specialists are among the best-paid professionals in the country. Currently, the national average cyber security specialist salary is $113,452 per year. That translates to an impressive $9,454 per month.

Choose a Career in IT Security

With the unprecedented spread of cybercrime, the need for competent IT security professionals has never been greater. As a cyber security specialist, you get to secure an organization’s network system, warding off attacks that could collapse the organization and destroy livelihoods. It’s one of the most satisfying careers you can have.

Are you interested in learning more about the IT security career path? Please keep visiting our blog for our featured articles. 

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