How to become a Cyber Security Consultant
Within a space that is as diverse as it is broad, the role of cyber security consultant is positioned as a jack of all trades of sorts. An all-round security guru. Expected to perform a variety of roles within the field, working in cyber security as a consultant will see you straddle both sides of the equation, understanding both attacker and defender. Thus you will need an in-depth understanding of computer systems, networks and software programs as you locate their weak spots and come up with strategies to strengthen them against hackers.
Employers will expect you to have a relevant degree with particular favour for Information Technology, engineering and Information Security. Bachelor degrees in subjects like Computer Science and cyber security are also acceptable. Certain organisations may also expect you to have completed a certification; with CISM or CISSP widely recognised within the field.
As you would expect with such a complex role, cyber security consultant jobs require a gamut of skills and between 3-5 years of industry experience. Penetration testing, IT Risk management, threat management, firewall safety, encryption techniques and capabilities and knowledge of secure coding practices and the principles of ethical hacking are all necessary competencies expected of someone in a cyber security consultant role.
Impress your employer by demonstrating how effectively you can align the security policies and protocols you create with the overall needs of the business. Keep the bigger picture in mind and know your organisation inside out. On this note, showing great attention to detail will also go along way with assuring your employer of your value within the firm.
As in the majority of cyber security jobs, you will need to have some programming language under your belt, whether it’s C, C++, C#, Java, Python or similar, as well as knowledge of operating systems such as Linux, Windows or UNIX.
Furthermore, when you get called for interview, be prepared to detail where you get your news and updates from in terms of staying ahead of the latest hacking and security strategies. Your employer will expect to see your commitment and dedication to continuous self-education through blogs, magazines, websites and news wires because your worth is in the knowledge you possess.
The average salary for a cyber security consultant comes in at around £50,000 with bonuses providing an additional incentive.
Cyber security consultants will need to possess great leadership skills if they are looking to senior positions along their career path. Should you progress in this way, you will be at the helm of an entire security team operation with numerous people reporting into you, particularly when threats occur. Strength in communication is of course another necessary skill within cyber security, and in the case of a security consultant you may often find yourself tasked with explaining the obscurities of cyber security to ordinary people both within your company and outside its remit.
Essentially you must understand IT security from the ground up with a view to aspiring to Information Security Consultant jobs, Computer Security Consultant jobs, Database Security Consultant jobs and Network Security Consultant jobs; all of which could come up in your search for roles to embark on your career as a Cyber Security Consultant.
You may also be interested in the below articles:
- Data Protection Qualifications Explained
- Re-training in Cyber Security – is it for me?
- Moving into Cyber Security