How to Get a Job in IT Security

Jun 28, 2021

4 Min Read

In recent times, the percentage of the world’s population connecting to the internet has rapidly increased by 700% in the last 15 years. With that, hundreds of new devices connect online daily. The internet is ever-growing and has become part of our day-to-day lives.

People can now communicate and share information easily in new and more efficient ways from any part of the world. The internet is accessible to anyone with a device, and it’s like you have all the information you want at the press of a few buttons. Unfortunately, it allows hackers and thieves to access sensitive information since we’re all so connected.

Many major corporations today have an online presence – they acquire new customers online and maybe even run their operations all from the cloud. With the growing online presence of companies, the demand for IT security personnel is rapidly increasing.

As new threats spout up daily, keeping company data and customers secured has become a big challenge. To overcome the ever-rising cyber threats, corporate security teams are improving, and they’re providing new job opportunities for IT personnel.

Landing your job in IT security isn’t as simple as knowing how to create a secure passcode. To get you prepared for landing an IT security job, here are the five essential things you should know:

Certification

Certifications are the key to identifying security professionals. Specific certifications are required of security personnel, and recruiters will check for specified certifications on resumes (depending on the position or industry). A wide variety of certifications ranging from basic to more advanced topics are made available by many companies and organizations. Some of the popular certifications include:

  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • Comp Tia Security+
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • CPTE or CPTC (Certified Penetration Testing Engineer/Consultant)

In addition to general security certifications, some specific industries (like healthcare) have more specialized certifications.

Internal Security Procedures

The role of security personnel goes beyond securing products. Security teams are responsible for the safety of their employees and even customers. For example, attackers can easily access customer data once they get into the internal networks or employee email. In this sense, employee security is often associated with the safety of customer information.

Protocol implementation like two-factor authentication for employees helps secure online info. Also, applying physical security measures like locked computers and ID badges helps prevent theft. The fact that software can be built to secure a customer using your product doesn’t mean that internal security measures should be neglected.

Mobile Devices

As mobile devices make lives easier for us every day, it has also brought forward new security risks. Mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops cause many challenges for security teams. In short, they cause physical security risks since they can’t be controlled within a physical environment. Also, misplacing a mobile device or having it stolen can open up risks that make it much easier for attackers to achieve their aims.

For years, attackers have been targeting PCs, and they’re now advancing more effectively to mobile devices. Mobile devices can be easily infected with viruses by downloading suspicious apps or software from a third party or unknown websites.

Also, phishers can easily persuade mobile users to click the links they send via SMS. It isn’t easy to identify a risky URL. Attackers can easily exploit other devices on the same network (especially if connected over Wi-Fi) once a mobile device is infected.

Mobile device vulnerabilities are essential for IT security personnel to understand whether a company is implementing a mobile security policy for its employees or building a mobile app.

Technical Skill Sets

As each industry has specific requirements for skill sets, so does every security role. For this reason, you need to work on many skills before landing a job. One of the most popular skills for IT security personnel is SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language). SAML is supported by most service companies and can be learned quickly.

Another security personnel skill that is highly demanded is the ability to respond to incidents. A security team can eliminate the risks of various threats to a company. They should always be ready for sudden or future threats.

With your communication abilities to incidents, employers get to know your technical skills and response style to unexpected circumstances.

Analytical Mindset

Being able to understand data is always a skill that is sought after in every industry. Many people don’t have a strong math or statistics background. Especially in IT security, understanding data is critical, and keeping up with the latest security trends shows you’re on top of your game. IT security personnel often target data. The ability to identify suspicious activity can help you respond quickly to any security breach. Is a spike in traffic caused by a successful marketing campaign? Or did it come from a DDoS attack? Knowing how to differentiate the patterns and signs of irregular traffic can help a security team detect any fault in their network. 

Irrespective of the security role you land (whether Network Security or Security Analyst), there are general skills needed that can be applied to all positions. While some jobs are practical, some are more analytical.

Ultimately, all IT security roles require the same basic foundational skills. If you’re interested in landing your IT security job in your area, check out openings!

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