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Top 10 Cyber Security Specialist Skills in 2024

Last Updated : 09 Feb, 2024
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Today we’re dependent on the Internet and the ease of accessibility of the Internet has made us surrounded by technology.

Whether for listening to music, watching movies, playing games, or making payments, we all are somehow connected to the Internet. This has made a huge impact and lack of awareness among many, of which hackers perform different methods to breach personal data. The number of cyber crimes has been increasing every year and the need for cybersecurity is in huge demand for the past few years. 

Top 10 Cyber Security Specialist Skills in 2023

But, to begin your journey in the CyberSecurity domain, you must understand the grounds of cybersecurity and the skills to enhance it with the current tools and technologies. That’s why we came up with this article to discuss the Top 10 Cybersecurity Specialist Skills that one must have for a successful career ahead. But, before we begin, let’s understand the cyber security domain from the beginning.

What is Cyber Security?

CyberSecurity is a process of protecting data that are sensitive and can be accessed through network, device, or any connected modes from any cyber breaches. When the world is rapidly growing with technology and the advancement of AI and IoT has made it possible to perform such tasks that were just cinematographic and conceptual.

Importance of Cyber Security

If you talk about food delivery, online shopping, or handling social media, we all are somehow connected with the Internet and that’s how the number of active users rose above 5 billion across the world. That’s where cybersecurity plays a key role in providing multiple layers of security to prevent any malicious attacks from hackers and to ensure the safety of the data.

In the past few years, there have been multiple cases when big tech giants faced cyber attack issues, and that took them almost every inch to recover from it. In 2014, Yahoo accepted that almost 500 million accounts were hacked and their data were compromised in another incident that occurred in 2011, Sony’s Playstation claimed that the personal details of more than 75 million users were stolen at that time and it took them months to fix all the loopholes that occurred during that period.

Moreover, the fact is, whether you are at any small scale (or individual), medium scale, or large scale, the rise of cybercrime has been consistently increasing every day and the ease of technology has made it possible for hackers to access sensitive data as and when required. If you want to know how to implement best cybersecurity practices then firstly you should learn the best skills to carry on as a cybersecurity specialist. 

What does a Cyber Security Specialist do?

Cybersecurity specialists play a vital role in protecting the sensitive information and critical infrastructure of organizations in today’s interconnected world. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of activities aimed at securing the digital domain:

Building Secure Systems:

  • Policy & Procedures: Collaborate with stakeholders to design, implement, and enforce comprehensive security policies and procedures, establishing clear guidelines for secure practices.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Conduct regular assessments to identify and address vulnerabilities in networks, systems, and applications, patching weaknesses before attackers can exploit them.

Monitoring & Threat Detection:

  • Continuous Monitoring: Employ various tools and techniques to continuously monitor network activity and system logs, promptly identifying and analyzing potential security events and threats.
  • Incident Response: When security incidents occur, implement established response protocols to minimize damage, investigate the source, and prevent future occurrences.

Securing the Digital Landscape:

  • Compliance Adherence: Ensure the organization adheres to relevant industry standards and legal requirements for information security and data protection.
  • Collaboration: Work with law enforcement agencies when necessary to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, contributing to broader efforts to combat cyber threats.

In essence, cybersecurity specialists act as the frontline defenders in the fight against cyberattacks, tirelessly working to safeguard the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of information systems.

In this, now we are going to understand the top 10 cybersecurity specialist skills to have in 2024, so let’s begin.

Top 10 CyberSecurity Specialist Skills

The need for CyberSecurity has drastically increased and to be precise it was above USD 6 Trillion (globally in 2021), and that’s why countries are now focusing more on boosting the security measures to prevent cyber-attacks which gave enormous growth to CyberSecurity companies. Now, the measures & skills that need to be taken care of as a cyber security specialist are as follows:

10. Coding

If you talk about getting an entry-level job then it might not be required to possess any programming knowledge (in most scenarios). In contrast, the mid and high-level job requires coding skills to perform different sets of analysis and testing. Below are the 5 best programming languages that are widely used in cybersecurity.

  1. Python – Cybersecurity specialists use this programming language for writing scripts and automating tasks
  2. Java – WORA (Write Once Run Anywhere) is one of the most useful programming languages that can be used for performing penetration testing by cybersecurity specialists.
  3. PHP – Widely used for automating security analysis and eliminating any bugs in your code.
  4. C/C++ – Being one of the oldest languages, C can be used to develop high-grade anti-virus programs and C++ can be used to boost performance while maintaining the code quality and eliminating any bugs that arise.
  5. JavaScript – It is one of the best languages for capturing site cookies and carrying out site scripting

9. Cloud Security

Cloud security is one of the most sensitive areas to prevent data leakage from any organization or private body. It’s a method of providing a safe environment by implementing different tools and methods. The major challenge that most companies face is to provide a safe passage for moving data from one channel to another (especially data related to customer records, financial records, documentation, etc.), and the demand for such specialists has been increasing every day, currently above 20k job postings are there alone on LinkedIn.

There has been a surge of cloud security in many organizations and they are providing a safe infrastructure to prevent, maintain and stabilize security.

8. Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics offers the methodology of fetching and analyzing provided data that might help during any investigation of the incidents that occur during any cyber attack. This method is often practiced under a precise area (fraudulent investigation, criminal case, etc.). Besides this, their major goal is to retrace hacker activities (including their geolocation) and protect all of the digital evidence.

7. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM is a security solution that can be referred to as a combination of security event management and security information management that helps in providing real-time monitoring solutions along with the log system and can be a good asset during any auditing. Organizations are actively using this solution to prevent any security threats. With the advancement of technology and the latest updates, now SIEM can be used along with artificial intelligence to perform behavioral analytics (User Behaviour Analytics).

6. Data Management Protection

Nevertheless, data management and protection are one of the most crucial and basic key skills to have for a cyber security specialist today. Data Management Protection is also one of the best practices to handle large sets of data while maintaining security measures (data could be of any type – var, char, strings, a/v, keys, etc.)

5. Advanced Malware Prevention

Advanced Malware Prevention or AMP is a technique that helps in detecting and responding to any encountered malware attacks over any network infrastructure. This method can be achieved using any custom anti-virus program or firewall system and helps in detecting any cyber threats and helps businesses to run flawlessly without compromising any sensitive data.

4. Firewall/IDS/IPS

Being a cyber security specialist requires you to have adequate knowledge of Firewall/IDS/IPS to prevent any malware attacks on dedicated network infrastructure. They should also be familiar with the network security protocols to filter and track any suspicious activity within the network traffic. This requires possessing the skillset of the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Intrusion Detection System (IDP), and Firewall.

3. Threat and Vulnerability Assessment

Performing a security vulnerability assessment is possibly one of the most important skills that a cybersecurity specialist should carry because this skill requires an individual to identify and analyze any issue that might occur inside any organization’s network infrastructure. There are several parameters that need to be monitored regularly and this includes penetration testing, reviewing network strength, and monitoring network ports.

2. Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is very crucial for every business/organization so that they can keep their business running without worrying about their data privacy or any breach. This process helps in identifying the risk that might occur in any network architecture and if any issue arises, penetration testing helps in decreasing the number of errors for low impact. Besides this, it also helps in creating a secure environment and enables support to the IT security team to discover any weaknesses from any malicious attacks.

1. Ethical Hacking

While performing several security measures to secure the IT infrastructure, one must understand that the base to become a cybersecurity specialist can only begin when you think like a hacker which can only be possible when you master ethical hacking and this allows every individual to perform rigorous testing, analyzing and monitoring security measures where hackers can easily reach.

Is Cybersecurity a good Career?

Cybersecurity is indeed a promising and rewarding career choice

  1. High Demand: The rapid digitization of India has significantly increased the demand for cybersecurity professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 31% global surge in cybersecurity jobs by 2029, with India expected to be a significant contributor to this growth. This translates to numerous opportunities for individuals seeking stable and secure career paths in the cybersecurity domain.
  2. Job Security: Cybersecurity professionals are in demand globally. The increasing frequency of cyberattacks ensures job stability and opportunities for growth.
  3. Diverse Roles: The field offers diverse roles, including ethical hackingsecurity analysisincident responsesecurity architecture, and more. You can find a niche that aligns with your interests and skills.
  4. Competitive Salaries: Beyond stability, cybersecurity offers competitive salaries in India. The average annual compensation for cybersecurity experts is estimated to be INR 8.8 lakh (as of Jan 2024), with experienced specialists commanding even higher figures. Specialization and career progression can further boost earning potential.
  5. Skillset Spectrum: Diverse skills pave the way to a cybersecurity career. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, or a related field is a common starting point. Certifications like CompTIA Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) enhance your profile. Master’s degrees and additional certifications can unlock leadership positions and higher salaries.

Is Python or C++ better for cyber security?

When it comes to cybersecurity, both Python and C++ have their merits, but the choice depends on the context and your specific goals:

Python:

  • Clarity and Readability: Python’s clean syntax fosters code that’s both easy to write and comprehend, a vital aspect for security professionals grappling with complex systems.
  • Rapid Prototyping: Quickly develop and test security tools with Python’s efficient approach to scripting and development.
  • Extensive Libraries: Leverage a wealth of pre-built libraries like Scapy, Requests, and Paramiko to streamline tasks like network scanning, web scraping, and cryptographic operations.
  • Automation Prowess: Python excels in crafting scripts and automating repetitive tasks, enhancing efficiency and consistency.

Common Python Use Cases:

  • Security Engineers: Utilize Python to scan systems for vulnerabilities and implement necessary fixes.
  • Penetration Testers: Leverage Python’s capabilities to simulate attacks and identify system weaknesses.

C++:

  • Unmatched Performance: C++’s compiled nature delivers superior speed and efficiency compared to Python, making it ideal for computationally intensive tasks.
  • Fine-Grained Control: C++ grants direct memory manipulation, valuable for low-level tasks like writing rootkits or analyzing malware.
  • Legacy of Expertise: Many existing exploits and security tools are written in C/C++, providing a wealth of established resources.

Typical C++ Use Cases:

  • Reverse Engineering: C++ facilitates the analysis of binaries and comprehension of malware operations.
  • Kernel-Level Development: Craft security tools that interact directly with the operating system’s core functions.
  • Performance-Critical Tasks: Leverage C++’s speed for efficiency in areas like network packet processing or encryption.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, with the increase of cyber-attacks and growing demand for IT security experts, the cyber security field has grown at an enormous level and one can easily think of reaching major heights in this domain. But, having the right sets of skills and knowledge is truly important to accomplish those heights. So, we came up with this article to provide a list of the Top 10 cyber security specialist skills to have in 2024. If you’re looking to enter the domain of cyber security, we recommend you check out some of the useful resources mentioned below.

Useful Resources

Cyber Security Specialist Skills – FAQs

Is cyber security a technical skill?

In cybersecurity, you need both technical skills (networking, programming, etc.) and soft skills (problem-solving, critical thinking, communication). It’s a blend of expertise and adaptability in a dynamic landscape.

What are hard skills in cyber security?

Cybersecurity hard skills include networking, operating systems, programming, cryptography, cloud security, incident response, penetration testing, firewall setup, VPN configuration, and malware analysis. These technical abilities are crucial for a career in cybersecurity.

Is Cybersecurity a good career?

Considering cybersecurity? It’s stable, well-paying, and keeps you learning. In the US, information security analysts earned a median annual wage of $102,600 in May 2023.

Does Cybersecurity require a lot of maths?

Curious about math in cybersecurity? It varies. Basics like algebra and stats are crucial. Advanced roles may need calculus and linear algebra. Entry-level? Basic math. It’s your preference—some love the math, others focus on strategy.

Is Coding required for cybersecurity?

Coding helps in cybersecurity but isn’t always a must. It depends on the role—essential for some like penetration testing, less so for policy or incident response. While it enhances skills, not every cybersecurity path requires coding.



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