How to become a cybersecurity expert

The issue of Computer Security has become even more relevant in recent years, a period in which, also due to the pandemic emergency, the Digital Transformation has impacted all aspects of our daily life, from socialisation to communication, from working methods to entertainment, right upto training.

Smart working, distance learning, devices for mixed professional and social use, Big Data and the proliferation of data in the Cloud, the ever-increasing adoption of IoT solutions, as well as some growth sectors including Fintech, the cryptocurrency market and the first versions of the Metaverse, pose new challenges in terms of Cybersecurity and make cybersecurity experts increasingly sought-after professionals.

What is Cybersecurity

The definition of Computer Security encapsulates all techniques, technologies, procedures and tools that help protect computer systems, organisations and people who use them against internal and external threats. Also known as Cybersecurity, it aims to guarantee the continuity of the service of telematic infrastructures and to protect data, as well as their integrity, the opportunity of accessing them and their confidentiality.

Cybersecurity can and must be proactive, by adopting in advance the necessary countermeasures to thwart violations, accidents, human errors or other problems affecting IT assets, but it must also be reactive, responding effectively to various types of threats or proving that is capable of returning a system to normal operation when the need arises.

A Cybersecurity expert must therefore have the skills, means and resources to calculate risk levels in advance, prevent threats and mitigate the consequences of a successful hacker attack or other malicious event.

The evolution of technologies and the increasingly diverse needs of companies have led to the emergence of various professionals related to Cybersecurity. A structured organisation may appoint, for example, a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), to define security strategies and coordinate other figures, such as the ICT Security Manager, who manages security policies, the DPO (the Data Protection Officer), who deals with data protection, Security Engineers, as well as employee training activities in terms of security.

Where can a cybersecurity expert work?

Cybersecurity experts can be both an internal component of an organisation and an external consultant and, regardless of their classification, they must be able to collect, analyse and interpret the useful data to identify strengths and weaknesses of a telematic infrastructure. In this case, as well as in that of numerous other figures linked to Digital Transformation, we are talking about a Data Driven profession.

Data are in fact used to evaluate the effectiveness of the security systems used, detect potential risks, define a security perimeter, design and adopt security solutions appropriate to the context in which they must operate, properly balance execution effort in terms of resources and the expected results, as well as provide the necessary information to make updates and changes with a view to continuous integration.

Depending on their training and professional background, cybersecurity experts can work in:

  • IT services companies: by and large, economic activities related to the supply of hardware, software and technical consultancy. Very often these are companies specialised in devices or peripherals installation and configuration of IT systems and applications for companies or consumer segments.
  • public and private companies: in this case, cybersecurity experts often work in highly structured organisations, an example is some Public Administrations. This category also includes entities responsible for managing critical infrastructures (aqueducts, power plants, telecommunications, healthcare, security, defence, banks…) essential for the functioning of the country’soperating system.
  • private firms: these are the areas in which freelancers, and those who offer their skills and services through consultancy activities, operate.

Especially in medium and large-sized businesses, security experts rarely work alone, they are often part of a team that interacts with the company’s top management and carries out a coordination activity between the IT department and other collaborators, to make sure that best practices related to safety are applied as correctly as possible.

How much does a Cybersecurity expert earn?

In a market where business processes are increasingly digitised, the figure of the cybersecurity expert is at the centre of a number of constantly growing recruitment campaigns. This trend is also reflected in wages, which are among the highest, if not the highest, in the reference sector.

A cybersecurity expert can earn up to 20% more than other IT operators.

Salaries vary depending on the position covered by the professional, the expertise, the country in which they work and the size of the company they work for. For this reason:

  • a CISO can earn between 55,000 and 200,000 euro a year;
  • a Security Specialist can receive up to 40,000 euro per year in Italy and up to € 100,000 in other countries;
  • a Security Engineer can earn up to 35,000 euro a year in the Peninsula and up to 120,000 euro working across borders;
  • The salary of a Malware Analyst can average around 35,000 euro in Italy and up to 100,000 in other countries.
  • The salary of a Security Architect varies from 40,000 euro in Italy to 150,000 euro expected for those who work in a large-sized company in the US.

External consultants deserve a separate mention, they are often called into question to test the levels of security guaranteed by a corporate infrastructure. These consultants can earn between 35,000 and 40,000 euro in Italy and up to 60,000 euros in other countries.

Cybersecurity Course: how to choose?

Cybersecurity experts are often Computer Science or Engineering graduates with skills in scripting, software design, network architecture, vulnerability management, and routing protocols. Business processes analysis skills are also required, as well as rudiments of business economics and the now essential command of the English language.

More and more , however, Cybersecurity does not only concern the technical aspects of this sector. Training providing skills and soft skills suited for the changes that constantly involve Cybersecurity is also necessary.

For this reason, Talent Garden offers a Deep Cybersecurity Bootcamp in partnership with Groupama, a program organised in collaboration with the Israeli company specialised in military security Cybint Solution with the aim of training the next generation of Cyber Security Analysts.

Divided into 14 weeks, the next edition of the Bootcamp will start on 19th September 2022 and will be completely online, with the exception of 2 days of Capture The Flag which will take place on the Talent Garden’s campuses in Milan or Rome. The ideal candidates are people with a background in Law, Political Science, Criminology, Psychology, Economics, and not exclusively, who want to be updated on all the latest news and trends regarding Computer Security.

Conclusions

Cybersecurity experts are professionals who can ensure the security of a company’s technical infrastructure, its data, collaborators and employees.

For this reason, they are an increasingly sought-after figure in the workplace where expected returns will be higher than those of other IT industry operators.

14 June 2022

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