Every time anyone is online, they are constantly being probed by malware to find vulnerabilities. Thanks to machine learning, constant and randomized automated attacks are also improving in their success rate. No one is really safe online, unless the proper protective measures are in place, and even that does not always work.
However, it’s always the businesses that get hit the most and the hardest by cyberattacks. If you wish to be part of the protective measures that keep cybercriminals at bay for the most part, then consider a career in cybersecurity. The following three are not the only options you have in cybersecurity of course, but they are some of the best entry points into this career path.
Information Assurance Technician (IAT)
An information assurance technician is a cybersecurity professional who specializes in protecting information systems against cyberattacks. An information system is everything that’s involved in building the IT infrastructure of an organization. This includes but is not limited to computer hardware, operating systems, software applications, internet networks, and the cloud.
There are specializations of course, as one person may find the task of protecting every aspect of an information system very difficult, if not impossible. You can find more info on how to gain training experience for information assurance jobs here. There are three levels in IAT training and IAT Level I is one of the best programs to join if you don’t have an academic background in IT.
Information Security Analyst (IST)
Information security analysts are also known as IT security analysts and cybersecurity analysts. A lot of system admins hold a degree in IST, although that may or may not be the only requirement for to hold the position. As the title suggests, an information security analyst’s job largely consists of monitoring, tracking, and analyzing potential, as well as immediate threats.
They also gather data, investigate, research, document, and report about relevant cyberthreats that might become a problem down the line. The exact responsibilities of an IST will vary based on the employer’s requirements, aka their job description.
Information Security Specialist
An information security specialist is a very broad field in IT which can and often does include professionals from the two professions already mentioned. What makes a specialist in IT security distinctly different from other security professionals with similar designations is their experience, education, and training. Irrespective of where you start, you will need advanced training and experience in cybersecurity to become an information security specialist.
They may hold positions such as lead IT support, system engineer, computer network engineer, and software security tester to name just a few. Like most IT jobs, the responsibilities of an information security specialist will depend on their job description and acquired skills. Some IT security specialists debug networks and check them for vulnerabilities against external threats, while others test software applications against vulnerabilities in the code.
It is expected that the need for cybersecurity professionals will grow significantly in the coming years, although the demand is quite high already. For anyone who wishes to enter the IT industry, that’s more good news. At the same time, it also indicates massive growth of cybercrime.