The Cyber Nomad: Why More Cyber Security Professionals Are Going Digital
More and more Cyber Security professionals are embracing a nomadic lifestyle and taking their career global. Bouncing between incredible locations without sacrificing their career prospects, it is no wonder onlookers are asking how. How are these cyber professionals doing it? And, how can you join them?
The digital nomad concept centres around a laptop. More specifically, financially supporting one’s self from a laptop and the internet. They boast location independence, having the ability to work remotely from essentially anywhere in the world. Whether working in a coffee shop or co-working space, the lifestyle means flexible workspaces, flexible schedules and the ability to do it your way - a lifestyle which is highly conducive for the cyber space.
Being a digital nomad in the Cyber Security field is a growing trend. This rings particularly true for those working as consultants or for a consultancy business, or for a remote Security Operations Centre (SOC). Cyber careers that work best for this nomadic lifestyle include Cyber Security Consultants, Ethical Hackers, Penetration Testers and Product Developers, however the cyber possibilities are not limited there. Many Cyber Security Engineers, Security Application Developers, Cyber Security Investigators and Analysts work via a nomadic lifestyle. And, where the possibility of working remotely is not available entirely for some, many cyber businesses allow their employees to work digitally for a large portion and only require them onsite for limited periods.
A major hurdle, but not an unexpected one, when working nomadically is the time zone differences. Those thinking of going nomadic need to be mindful of where their clients are located and how their own time zone will work in accordance. Even more importantly is security. Many of those desirable digital nomad locations, think Vietnam, Bali and Thailand, are not known for their reliable (or secure) internet. A quality virtual private network (VPN) is a must along with strong encryption protocols to address security concerns.
Working for the government and highly restricted industries will not be possible as a digital nomad given the secure nature of these businesses. Overall, digital nomads in the cyber field pose a greater security risk so high-level companies typically avoid such employees. Consultancy style roles with clients from pre-existing relationships work best for digital nomads.
It is unsurprising that the digital nomad lifestyle is highly desirable. And, whilst cyber security professionals should not be discouraged from exploring the possibility of taking their career global, assessing whether it is feasible in reality should not be overlooked.
With that being said, a staggering 4.8 million Americans currently classify themselves as a digital nomad, so adopting the lifestyle is definitely not as out of reach as some working in cyber security may consider. Each role in the cyber domain has a nomadic possibility; the trick is finding a way to make it work for one’s own career.