Cybersecurity is an increasingly important field that prevents successful hacking attempts. If you have cybersecurity skills or are in the process of exploring cyber security majors, you’re in luck: this is a profession that will never go out of style. No matter where you go, cybersecurity skills are necessary.
Take one look at a few statistics and you’ll easily see why. According to a study conducted by Panda Security, there are 230,000 new malware samples being launched every single day. Twenty-six percent of all malware that has ever existed was present in 2016 alone.
By 2021, analysts predict that the cost of all this cyber damage will amount to around $6 trillion. The cybersecurity market is expected to grow to 231.94 Billion by 2022 from 137.85 Billion in 2017. Everyone—from business owners to individuals protecting their personal identity—need cybersecurity. And this is good news for you. With cybersecurity prowess, you can learn different ways to monetize your skills. Here are a few ideas:
Choose a Niche
Although there may be plenty of jobs in your field, depending on where you’re located, you still have to address the fact that you’ll be competing against others for a position. Your resume needs to be as comprehensive as possible, and one way to do this is to diversify your skillset. There are multiple roles within a cybersecurity team, and staying in just one can limit your potential. For example, you might hone in on threat assessment or log collection and analysis. You could become certified in intrusion detection, or learn more about the controls and architecture in programming.
Participate In Bug Bounties
To test your skills, learn, and earn—all at the same time—bug bounties are the way to do it. Smaller technology companies developing apps and other software don’t always have the resources to hire someone fulltime to take on the complex task of quality assurance. So instead of hiring a full-time expert, they put out a request for regular, everyday cybersecurity enthusiasts to find bugs, exposing their vulnerabilities.
But it’s not just smaller companies putting out bug-finding contests. In 2017, Google paid its hunters almost $3 million. And Facebook even has its own Bug Bounty Program, where the minimum payout is $500. To date, they’ve paid out $7.5 million, and $1.8 million in 2017 alone. Its biggest payout to a single contributor was $50,000.
Adopt New Technologies
The cybersecurity world is ever-changing. In order for you to stay ahead of the curve, it’s important that you adopt new technologies pertinent to the cybersecurity industry. Being well-versed in new tech not only helps you score better gigs but also proves that you’re invested in building your knowledge of cybersecurity.
“The security workforce needs people who will be a part of inventing the solutions that will keep us safe not only today but in the future,” said Shamla Naidoo, Chief Information Security Officer at IBM. “I look for demonstrable willingness to learn new things and think outside of the box, with specific examples of where they’ve done this successfully in the past.”
Blockchain is an example of new technology in cybersecurity. In 2017, blockchain-related jobs increased fourfold. There are many ways that blockchain is shifting the cybersecurity dynamic. Anti-malware is a strong point, but there are also giving talks of making data management more transparent, and putting that data back into the control of its users.
As previously mentioned, having a higher skillset can prove beneficial for you. But in some cases, having that extra set of skills isn’t enough; you need the paperwork to prove it. This is where certifications come in. Security certifications can help you go the extra mile, and stand out from other people competing for the same dollars.
If you really want to go the extra mile, try to shoot for the most difficult IT security certifications, such as a Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and the CCIE Security certificate.
When you add those certificates to your resume, be sure to add them to your LinkedIn profile and other digital resumes, too. Some employers search for people who have certain certifications, and by accurately representing your achievements online, you can ensure you’ll show up in filtered results.