Cheat sheet How to become a cybersecurity pro

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As cybercriminals grow more sophisticated and news of major breaches reach headlines nearly daily, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand: There are currently 1 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide,Ciscofound. By 2022, that number is expected to rise to 1.8 million open jobs, as predicted by theCenter for Cyber Safety and Education and ISC(2).

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What are some of the cybersecurity job roles?

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What are some of the cybersecurity job roles?

Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary field that requires knowledge in tech, human behavior, finance, risk, law, and regulation. Many people in the cybersecurity workforce enter the field from other careers that tap these skills, and translate them to cyber.

What is the average salary of a cybersecurity professional?

Employees that take on these roles play a key role in the enterprise, as the average cost of a data breach worldwide is now $3.62 million, according toIBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

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What skills are required to work in cybersecurity?

Where can I find resources for a career in cybersecurity?

What skills are required to work in cybersecurity?

After that point, the candidate may have a final interview to explain their solution, reasoning, and methodology.

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Industries such as healthcare, education, and government aremost likelyto experience a cyberattack, and cyber jobs are likely to increase across those fields as well.

A job in cybersecurity can also command a high paycheck: The average salary for an information security analyst in the US is $92,600, according to theUS Bureau of Labor Statistics, and its significantly higher in cities such as San Francisco and New York.

What are typical interview questions for a career in cybersecurity?

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Cybersecurity jobs dont necessarily require developer skills or a degree, Pollard said. You dont need a bachelors degree in a specific field to be great at security; in fact, you dont necessarily need [a degree] at all,according toPollard. Recognize that cybersecurity is a skill, and teach people the profession of enterprise security. That means treating it like an apprenticeship or training program.

Computer forensics experts conduct security incident investigations, accessing and analyzing evidence from computers, networks, and data storage devices. Security consultants act as advisors, designing and implementing the strongest possible security solutions based on the needs and threats facing an individual company.

I might hand them some log data and ask questions about the contents of the data. I might hand them a forensic capture from a system and ask them to perform light investigative work and answer details about the attacker, Pollard said. If the person was going to be a developer I might ask them to write some code that could parse through data. If the person was going to be a penetration tester, I might hand them a basic web application and ask them to attack it.

If you have security skills, there are plenty of opportunities available for you,according toPollard. If you have an interest in security and perhaps have a nontraditional background but are willing to learn, opportunities are certainly open from that perspective as well.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity and dont know where to start, heres your go-to guide to salaries, job markets, skills, and common interview questions in the field.

Where can I find resources for a career in cybersecurity?

You can reach out to the person in your organization who is currently responsible for cybersecurity, and see if you can shadow them or become a mentee.

The shortage of trained cyber professionals has led many organizations to seeknontraditional candidatesto fill these roles. To help those interested in the field better understand how to break into a career in cybersecurity, weve pulled together the most important details and resources.

In an initial interview, Pollard said, a candidate can also expect technical questions, such as:

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Demand for cybersecurity professionals will only continue to increase in the coming years, experts say. By 2022, there will be 1.8 million open jobs in this fieldup from the 2015 estimate of 1.5 million by 2020, according to theCenter for Cyber Safety and Education and ISC(2).

The skills required to work in cybersecurity vary depending on what position you enter and what company you work for. Generally, cybersecurity workers are responsible for tasks such as penetration testing (the practice of testing a computer system, network, or web application to find vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit), risk analysis (the process of defining and analyzing the cyber threats to a business, and aligning tech-related objectives to business objectives), and security assessment (a process that identifies the current security posture of an information system or organization, and offers recommendations for improvement).

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Several national and international organizations for cybersecurity professionals and those interested in the field exist.ISACAISC(2)ISSA, andThe SANS Instituteoffer information about the profession, as well as research and certification and training program options.

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Cybersecurity remains a relatively new field compared to other computer sciences, so a lack of awareness is part of the reason for the talent shortage,according toLauren Heyndrickx, who is now CISO at JCPenney. Misconceptions about what a cybersecurity job actually entails are common, and might be part of the reasonfew women and minoritiesgo into the field, she added. However, enrollment in computer science programs has increased tremendously in the past couple years, and many schools are adding cybersecurity majors and concentrations, said Rachel Greenstadt, associate professor of computer science at Drexel University.

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ISACAISC(2)ISSA, andThe SANS Instituteare national and international organizations where you can seek out information about the profession as well as certification and training options. A number ofuniversitiesandonline coursesalso offer cybersecurity-related degrees, certifications, and prep programs.

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Certifications in cybersecurity teach these and other valuable job skills, and often lead tohigher salariesin the field. Those such as Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), andCertified Information Systems Security Professional(CISSP) are currently in high demand.

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The skills required to work in cybersecurity vary depending on the position and company, but generally may include penetration testing, risk analysis, and security assessment. Certifications, including Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) are also in demand, and can net you ahigher salaryin the field.

Questions can vary depending on the position and what the specific company is looking for, according to Forrester analyst Jeff Pollard. For entry and early career roles, more technical questions should be expected. As you move up the ranks, the questions may become more about leadership, running a program, conflict resolution, and budgeting.

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Questions can vary depending on the position and what the specific company is looking for, Pollard said. For entry and early career roles, more technical questions should be expected. As you move up the ranks, the questions may become more about leadership, running a program, conflict resolution, and budgeting.

For both partiesthe company and the candidatethis is lots of work, Pollard said. And it doesnt fit the traditional interview arrangement where you sort through a mountain of resumes, pick some people to interview, and then rely on a series of 30-45 minute questions, and move people forward based on some combination of responses, instinct, and emotion.

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Demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has made the field a sellers market,according toPollard. Skilled job candidates are more able to negotiate salary, benefits, and perks such as working remotely than in the past,according toStephen Zafarino, senior director of recruiting at staffing agency Mondo.

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

A career in cybersecurity can take the form ofvarious roles, including penetration tester, chief information security officer (CISO), security engineer, incident responder, security software developer, security auditor, or security consultant.

The average salary for a cybersecurity professional depends on the position and the company. For example, information security analysts earn a median wage of $92,600 per year, according to theUS Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, CISOs earn a median salary of $212,462, according m. Salaries are significantly higher in certain cities such as San Francisco and New York.

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A number ofuniversitiesandonline coursesalso offer cybersecurity-related degrees and certifications.

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After an initial interview, candidates often move forward to a simulated exercise of doing the job, which may be simple or complex, depending on the role. Employers are usually looking for candidates who can explain their decision making process, rather than those who complete the task perfectly.

Executives across almost every industry worldwide are looking to bolster their security standings and are hiring professionals to help them do so. Large enterprises including Apple, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Capital One, Cisco, Intel, and Boeing all had at least 20 job postings for cybersecurity roles from October 2016 to December 2016, according toa report from Indeed.

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In-demand roles include penetration testers, who go into a system or network, find vulnerabilities, and either report them to the organization or patch them themselves. Cybersecurity engineers, who often come from a technical background within development, dive into code to determine flaws and how to strengthen an organizations security posture. Security software developers integrate security into applications software during the design and development process.

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Cybersecurity jobs span a number ofdifferent roleswith a variety of job functions, depending on their title as well as an individual companys needs.

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Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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The average salary for a cybersecurity professional depends on the position. For example, information security analysts earn a median salary of $92,600 per year, according to theUS Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, CISOs earn a median salary of $212,462, according . Salaries are significantly higher in certain cities, such as San Francisco and New York.

An opening question to test the candidates ability to think on the spot might be How do you build a botnet? causing them to work out how they would infect, control, and coordinate a botnet from scratchinstantly putting them in the shoes of the attacker, Gaughf said. Then they may be asked How would you defend against your botnet? to gain the other perspective.

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Cybercrimehas exploded in the past couple of years, with major ransomware attacks such asWannaCryandPetyaputting enterprises data at risk. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has also opened upnew threat vectors. To protect their information and that of their clients, companies across all industries are seeking cyber professionals to secure their networks.

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Cybercrime has exploded in the past couple of years, with major ransomware attacks such asWannaCryandPetyaputting enterprises data at risk. To protect their information and that of their clients, companies across all industries are seeking cyber professionals to secure their networks.

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Top companies including Apple, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Capital One, and Cisco are allhiring cybersecurity professionals. Industries such as healthcare, education, and government are most likely to suffer a cyberattack, which will probably lead to an increase in the number of IT security jobs in these sectors.

Candidates may also expect questions to determine how they keep up with the industry, Gaughf said, such as:

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At the top of the chain, CISOs helm a companys cybersecurity strategy, and must continuously adapt to battle the latest threats.

Hiring security professionals can often be a difficult task, said Charles Gaughf, security lead at ISC(2). Depending on your organizations structure you may be looking for a very specific knowledge set or skill, but most likely the need is for a competent professional who is well versed in a variety of technology, who is driven, inquisitive, and honest, Gaughf said. That is why it is a good idea to cater your questions to ascertain these qualities. It is also a good idea to throw out some questions that make the candidate think and that you know hasnt been practiced prior to the interview.

Over the next 10 years, we will have a large population of cyber professionals starting to retire, Simpson said. We dont have a good plan to backfill those large number of folks starting to leave the industry. We need to be able to educate and bring awareness to all facets of cybersecurity, and [send a message] that regardless of if you have a technical degree or not, its a great, diverse, lucrative career for folks to get into.

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Its going to be especially important for young people to enter the field in the coming years,according toWesley Simpson, COO of ISC(2). Currently, only 7% of cybersecurity workers are under age 29, and 13% are between ages 30 and 34. The average age of cyber professionals is 42.

However, many enterprises face difficulties filling these positions: 55% of US organizations reported that open cyber positions take at least three months to fill, while 32% said they take six months or more, according to anISACA report. And 27% of companies said they are unable to fill cybersecurity positions at all.

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