In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills
Among the many skills required to be a successful cybersecurity expert, having a strong foundation of technical knowledge is among the most important. A cybersecurity degree will prepare you for many of the challenges you'll likely face when working with networks and information systems. Here are some of the most in-demand cybersecurity skills:
Understanding network security and computer networking is a crucial foundational skill that employers will rely on you to fully comprehend. Network security refers to a set of rules that you should follow in order to defend the integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility of the information you are protecting. You'll be required to analyze network security threats to protect a company's assets as well as their information and administration systems.
Computer Networking Skills
Many cybersecurity careers revolve around investigation. Once an incident occurs, forensic experts come in to assess the damage, determine the issue, and attempt to recover any lost or stolen information. Aside from network and administration systems, other platforms also require a high level of skill to protect from breaches and hacks. Having a basic sense for problem-solving and a solid understanding of cloud-based networks, mobile devices, operating systems and SaaS platforms will put you ahead of the pack. To fully understand the threat that a hacker poses, it's important to know exactly what a hacker might do to the system you're in charge of protecting. Many cybersecurity experts are trained in ethical hacking. This means executing the exact pathway a hacker might take to infiltrate a system, then creating roadblocks to prevent the incident from ever occurring in the first place. It's important to let a potential employer know that you not only have technical expertise but team development and communication skills as well. This will help set you apart from the increasing number of cybersecurity job candidates. These skills range from presenting ideas to departments outside of IT to overseeing organizational structures as well as training and onboarding new team members. Assessing risks is a major part of any cybersecurity job. There are a nearly infinite number of ways an attack can occur. Therefore, it's important to understand where the biggest risks lie in the system or network you oversee. Identifying vulnerabilities and potential holes in security will help decrease the risk in a system. The more skilled you are at risk management and implementing appropriate security measures, the better prepared you'll be for whatever cyber breach lies ahead. There are a growing number of tools used in professional cybersecurity. This is especially true in recent years as many jobs move to remote-only. For penetration and vulnerability testing, you might be asked to understand tools such as Kali Linux or Wireshark. To remotely secure networks, there are platforms like Argus or Splunk. There are also a wide variety of tools for tasks, such as encryption, web vulnerability scanning, network intrusion detection, and firewall security management.
Types of Cyber Attacks
Cybersecurity attacks are becoming all too common. Not only are they increasing in frequency, but hackers are coming up with more and more inventive ways to infiltrate information systems. Some attacks are more familiar to everyday computer users — such as phishing or malware. Phishing often involves a hacker sending out mass emails to trick unsuspecting users into clicking a malicious link. Malware, on the other hand, includes attacks such as viruses, ransomware, and spyware. These types of attacks are often focused on stealing personal information for future cyber crimes or selling the information on the black market.
Not only are cybersecurity attacks increasing in frequency, but hackers are coming up with more and more inventive ways to infiltrate information systems.
Denial-of-Service attacks are when information systems are flooded with traffic — whether real or not — to overwhelm its resources. This renders the system useless by making it unable to perform basic functions. Then there's the Man-in-the-Middle attack, which involves a hacker inserting themselves between a transaction. This allows them to steal, or even change, valuable information.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a particularly worrying way that hackers can infiltrate networks. IoT refers to everyday devices that are connected to the internet. These products include fitness activity trackers, home security systems, and smart devices, such as refrigerators, watches, door locks, and fire alarms. Hackers can use these devices as access points to your home network, where they can steal personal information through your WiFi.
Many more cybersecurity threats exist than we can list here — such as SQL injections, password attacks, cross-site scripting, and zero-day exploits — and more emerge every day.