It's no secret that skilled cybersecurity professionals are in huge demand.
Some experts project that by 2022, the world will have close to 2 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs.
And in a 2020 survey of Canadian IT security executives, more than three-quarters said they were having trouble hiring and retaining cybersecurity talent.
There simply aren't enough qualified people. That spells big opportunity for newcomers with the right cybersecurity skills.
But which specific skills are currently in demand? Which ones can boost your employment potential the most?
In this post, we round up the 7 most important cybersecurity skills right now, based on market research and employer surveys.
1. CLOUD SECURITY
When the pandemic hit, many companies suddenly needed to give workers the tools and infrastructure to work remotely.
This accelerated the shift to cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services.
It also drove up demand for cybersecurity professionals who know how to keep cloud-based data and applications safe from unauthorized users.
In fact, in a recent survey by the International System Security Certification Consortium (known as ISC2), cloud security was ranked as the top skill needed to land a cybersecurity job.
2. APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT SECURITY
Companies want cybersecurity professionals who can identify and fix vulnerabilities in software applications.
You need to be able to plug any security holes before the application gets deployed.
And there's a growing push to bake security right into the app design and development process.
According to a report from Burning Glass Technologies, the demand for application development security skills is expected to increase by 164% through 2025.
That makes it the fastest growing of all cybersecurity skills.
3. RISK MANAGEMENT
There are countless ways that hackers can cause trouble. It's impossible to protect against every potential threat.
So being able to pinpoint the most dangerous weaknesses in a system's defenses is key.
Which systems are the organization's most important assets? Which ones would cause the most damage to the business if breached?
Companies need people who can identify the greatest risks so the organization's resources can be directed at addressing them.
The idea is to eliminate, mitigate, or reduce the risks to an acceptable level.
Cleary, this is a fundamental skillset for any cybersecurity specialist, and an essential requirement to work in the field.
4. INCIDENT RESPONSE
Security breaches are more common than you might think.
According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 5 Canadian businesses were affected by cybersecurity incidents in 2019 alone.
As a cybersecurity professional, you need to respond quickly to incidents involving malware, phishing, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and so on.
You must take a logical, reasoned approach to the situation in order to limit the damage and protect the organization.
Employers also need cybersecurity pros who can help develop incident response plans to reduce downtime when an incident occurs.
5. ACCESS MANAGEMENT
An important aspect of cybersecurity is controlling who gets to access business resources.
You need to be able to verify that people are who they claim to be and that they are authorized to access the data.
To do that, you must have a solid grasp of password management, multi-factor authentication, and role-based access control.
Verifying user identities and credentials is key to making sure that an organization's data and resources are only available to the appropriate people.
6. PENETRATION TESTING
Penetration testing is one of the most sought-after cybersecurity skills right now.
It's a method of deliberately trying to break into a company's systems in order to see where defenses need to be shored up.
By staging a simulated attack, you can help an organization become better prepared for the real thing.
Cybersecurity training can teach you how to mimic the techniques used by malicious hackers, including session hijacking, sniffing, and social engineering.
Having these types of ethical hacking skills can make you more attractive to potential employers.
7. DIGITAL FORENSICS
Much of cybersecurity is focused on preventing breaches and attacks. But despite experts' best efforts, hackers still sometimes manage to wreak havoc.
That's why digital forensics skills are so valuable. They're all about dealing with the aftermath of an attack.
Companies rely on cybersecurity pros to recover any lost data and find out how the attack occurred.
You need to understand the computer forensics investigation process so you can find anomalies and malicious activity in file systems, networks, operating systems, and other areas.
This skillset is key for continuously improving the organization's cybersecurity strategy and staying ahead of new threat types.
EXPLORE CYBERSECURITY TRAINING AT HERZING COLLEGE
Eager to start developing the cybersecurity skills employers want?
Check out the accelerated 12-month Cybersecurity course at Herzing College Toronto.
This unique program is available online and includes a 5-week internship for real-world experience.
Training also includes preparation for 4 leading IT security certifications:
☑️ Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
☑️ Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
☑️ Cyber Security Practitioner (CSXP)
☑️ Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
Still have questions? Your next step is to talk to Admissions.
An Advisor can give you details on courses, class schedules, application requirements, and tuition costs.
Click below to get more program information and chat live with an Advisor. We're here to help!