In order to clarify the situation, we analyzed requests related to vacancies for the position of cybersecurity engineers from many companies.
We often hear about engineers in the field of cybersecurity and how desirable this work is, but here immediately arise legitimate questions. What is the role of specialists of this kind? What responsibilities do you need to perform? What skills and qualities should a candidate have when applying for a job? In addition, confusion is made by employers, who often confuse the positions of a cybersecurity engineer, information security engineer or analyst, and so on when creating a vacancy.
In order to clarify the situation, we analyzed requests related to vacancies for the position of cybersecurity engineers from many companies. The most common characteristics and traits that the applicant must have in order to fulfill this role were synthesized. In addition to the basics, the requirements for education and the availability of certificates that increase the likelihood of employment are set out.
Basic job description
In fact, cybersecurity engineers are the "gateway" to information within the organization, providing protection for the networks and systems where data is stored. Accordingly, specialists of this kind plan and implement measures aimed at protecting against intrusions and leaks, and also maintain security in general. However, cybersecurity engineers do not work in isolation, but are mostly part of the IT department.
Here are some basic tasks assigned to specialists working in this position:
- Policy Planning and Creation: Cybersecurity engineers play an important role in developing policies and developing information and cybersecurity strategies based on best practices that make your organization more secure and reduce the risk of intrusions or leaks.
- Preventive measures: Cybersecurity engineers should be able to implement preventive measures based on firewalls and other specific applications / scripts / utilities, as well as using data encryption.
- Search for vulnerabilities: Pentests are sometimes performed by a third party, but a cybersecurity engineer must be able to conduct his own similar activities in the absence of an impact on the company's business processes. The employer expects that specialists of this kind should monitor the security of the organization, and, accordingly, regular checks and tests are part of the work.
- Monitoring and reporting: There are many logging and monitoring systems that need to be used during any problems or attacks. With the right tools to track logs and timely alerts, you can prevent the threat in time before more serious consequences occur.
- Investigation and post-incident analysis: As a cybersecurity engineer encounters various incidents daily, he should be able to look for the root causes of the problems. In addition, you need to be able to write reports and make presentations after the investigation is completed.
To work in the field of cybersecurity, certain personal qualities are needed. In addition to the technical skills necessary to carry out duties and often given in vacancies, cybersecurity requires meticulous planning of events and reporting. Attention to detail is especially important when investigating incidents when you need to collect as many facts and evidence as possible.
In addition, it is important to be honest with your responsibilities and have time management skills. Each organization has requirements that you must comply with regarding projects and other functions relevant to your role. In short, you need to be able to allocate time, meet deadlines and have time to complete tasks in all required areas.
Focusing on results is another extremely important skill, because during incidents you will solve problems together with engineers from other departments. In addition, you must be able to build logical chains regarding which services, protocols, and applications were affected during the incident, and trace the entire sequence down to a possible reason. Accordingly, it is important to understand the key concepts and mechanics of the technologies used.
Another aspect that is often not taken into account while working in the technical field is stress resistance. How well do you handle situations in high pressure from the outside? Few people think about this issue when it comes to ongoing responsibility in complex situations involving attacks or other cyber security incidents. Accordingly, you need to be able to work constant stress, when the bosses continuously require new information about the current situation.
To succeed in a company, you must be part of a team. Teamwork is a critical factor in a modern and complex business environment. Many systems are connected to each other and are affected during any emergency situations. Accordingly, you need to be able to work and build effective communication with the support team and other technical teams if you have chosen the path of an engineer in the field of cybersecurity.
Depending on the company, the set of responsibilities differs, however, the most common areas of responsibility assigned to the average cybersecurity engineer can be distinguished:
- Planning, implementation, monitoring and adjustment of measures aimed at improving security: this includes the installation and administration of firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, SIEM solutions, and so on. It is also important to be able to plan for updates and recommend new solutions.
- Solving security and network problems: There will certainly be situations where a cybersecurity engineer will need to interact with other departments to solve problems. It is preferable to have experience working with the network. Solving problems in complex environments requires a clear understanding of how different technologies interact with each other.
- Timely response to security breaches in systems and / or networks: Sometimes a cybersecurity engineer has to deal with suspicious incidents or system security breaches. Usually this work is carried out until it becomes clear whether an incident occurred or an error was detected in the system that was not caused by external factors and intruders.
- Implementing the correct security measures to protect confidential information and IT equipment : You must have in-depth knowledge of how information is protected in the company, where it is stored and who has access. Following standard operating procedures will help you keep abreast of all security issues.
- Change control : As a cybersecurity engineer, you may need to pay a little more attention to change control in your area. Accordingly, you need to help maintain documentation related to any deviations in the network: who logged in to the system, for what purpose, what work was performed, on which computers and so on.
- Testing and searching for vulnerabilities in the system and network : Periodic pentests and vulnerability assessment are an important part of the duties of a cybersecurity engineer. It is necessary to carefully monitor all new developments related to this field in order to be aware and be able to search for new vulnerabilities.
- Administration and communication with users : Any role in the field of cybersecurity will necessarily require some control and maintaining relations with other departments. If situations or risks arise that jeopardize the security of your organization, your department should take appropriate action. This fact does not mean that you are obliged to control users, but you must timely report violations related to your area of responsibility.
After understanding the details of the role of a cybersecurity engineer, we’ll look at some of the most common mandatory cyber security requirements. The following is the minimum, and if you want to strive for the heights of your profession, you must constantly improve and learn. · It is advisable to obtain a significant qualification in the field of computer science, information technology, system design or any other field related to information security.
- Practical knowledge and skills are crucial. It is advisable to have at least two years of experience and solving problems in detecting intrusions, reaction to incidents and computer forensics. The more experience, the more valuable a specialist you will be in the eyes of an employer who wants to protect himself from potential cyber threats.
- You need to have at least some experience with firewalls, routers, intrusion detection and prevention systems. If you want to raise your value even higher, it is advisable to have knowledge of other popular packages in the field of information security.
- Programming skills are optional, but if you want to compete with the best in your field, including hackers and cyber fraudsters, it is advisable to be able to program. Creating your own scripts and tools will make you a much more serious opponent for those who are trying to gain illegal access to your network. The following languages are mainly used in cybersecurity: Python, C ++, Java, Ruby, Node, Go, and / or PowerShell
- Stress tolerance is crucial if you want to successfully overcome difficulties as a cybersecurity engineer. Especially if you monitor systems working around the clock.
- You must be attentive to detail with impeccable discipline. You will have to quickly monitor everything that goes beyond the usual things in a daily mode. Accordingly, you should be prepared to process large amounts of information and select the best scenario based on the results of the analysis.
- If I may say so, you should live and breathe cybersecurity: read the news, learn new techniques, attend seminars and track trends. If possible, always be the first to know about potential threats. Use credible sources. Love for the work performed will be your constant assistant.
As we can see, there are many aspects that determine success in the cybersecurity field. In a nutshell: you have to work hard, constantly study and receive certificates.
In general, there is a shortage of information technology specialists, and the sphere of cybersecurity is especially understaffed by good specialists. If you want to have a good cyber security engineer salary and not a boring job, then you should probably look at this area. Good luck