Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand as businesses, and government organizations strive to secure their systems and mitigate cyber-attacks.

Besides the lucrative remuneration, the industry has a Zero Percent unemployment rate. Considering the increasing demand for security experts and the many perks offered by employers, it seems now is the best time to start a career in cybersecurity.

Choose Your Career Path

When you decide to pursue a career in cybersecurity, it’s important to decide which career path is most ideal for you. Before thinking about education, you ought to consider the two primary career paths in cybersecurity. And whichever career path you choose, there are multiple job options you can choose from, based on your specific skill set and interests.

  1. Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership Route

The first option revolves around cybersecurity operations and leadership. This route requires a wide skillset and an appetite for continuous learning. To succeed in this role, you need to have a thorough understanding of IT systems and processes, strong leadership capabilities and diverse cybersecurity risk management skills.

Cybersecurity professionals with substantial specialized education and experience can pursue lucrative job options, including:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Lead Software Security Engineer
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Global Information Security Director
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Cybersecurity Architect

Cybersecurity Engineering Route

The second option to consider is the cybersecurity engineering option. This career path is best suited to people with engineering education and work experience. Most importantly, you should be interested in learning about building secure systems and mitigating threats.

Information security engineers with adequate education and refined skill set for building secure systems can find various jobs, including:

  • Cybersecurity Architect
  • Lead Software Security Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Engineer

Education and Certifications

Earning a cybersecurity degree is the first step towards launching your career in the lucrative field. If you have a background in information security, the options can be diverse.

Most people aiming to climb up the cybersecurity career ladder often start with an undergraduate degree in computer science, information systems, and information technology. After gaining adequate experience in the field, you can pursue a master’s degree in IT or cybersecurity operations to expand your opportunities and improve your appeal for higher-level positions.

If you are considering the engineering route in cybersecurity, you can start with a degree in engineering before seeking specialized experience in cybersecurity. You can accomplish this either through direct work experience or through a master’s degree program in cybersecurity.

Regardless of the career path you choose, education in cybersecurity is vital. Typically, the primary reason for the burgeoning skills gap in cybersecurity is that employers have trouble finding professionals with advanced education and high-level skills needed in this field.

In order to secure a cybersecurity job quickly, you need to earn industry certifications in specific areas and subject matter that you specialize in. Some of the most sought-after certifications in the cybersecurity industry include:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Job Roles and Opportunities in Cybersecurity

While the increasing incidents of cybercrime are nothing to celebrate, it means now is the most appropriate time to jumpstart your career in cybersecurity.

Typically, cybersecurity professionals have diverse responsibilities, but their main job is to secure online data. As more and more business and personal data is stored online, it is becoming more important to beef up cybersecurity, and there is a growing number of unfilled cybersecurity positions. Notably, the jobs are projected to grow since cyber threats are getting more sophisticated and businesses struggle to recruit security experts with the right skill set and knowledge.

However, cybersecurity careers tend to be complex as many different roles can be found with banks, retailers, and government agencies. And due to the rising frequency of sophisticated cyber-attacks, career requirements may vary, but qualified professionals are always in high demand.

If you want to get into this fast-paced career, below are some of the job roles you can get as a cybersecurity professional.

  • Security Specialist -Often entry-level role with a huge potential for growth
  • Security Administrator –Ensure the smooth running of security systems
  • Security Manager –manage a team of experts keeping systems secure
  • Chief Information Security Officer –Possess diverse expertise in systems security and business acumen
  • Security Director –Design security protocols, policies, and rules and solve complex security problems
  • Security Engineer –Design and build IT security systems for organizations
  • Incident Responder – prevent cyber threats and respond after threat incidents
  • Security Architect – Design tough security systems to outsmart cybercriminals
  • Security Auditor -Find the most vulnerable spots in security systems before criminals
  • Security Consultant – Provide expert advice and implement security solutions
  • Vulnerability Assessor -Identify system vulnerabilities and design appropriate security solutions

Conclusion

We are in the digital era, and almost all businesses in every industry require a security professional with the skillset to build secure systems and prevent cyber threats. With the burgeoning shortage of qualified cybersecurity personnel, now is the most appropriate time to start a career in cybersecurity.

If you have the right education and adequate experience in information security, there are plenty of lucrative job opportunities across various sectors.

The impact the internet and e-commerce have had on the retail industry is undeniable. However, while commerce experts have been predicting for many years that the e-com sector would soon overtake traditional high street sales, it’s only relatively recently that the online shopping model has taken off.

In 2019, just 14.1% of all global retail sales were made on e-com sites – by 2023, that figure is forecast to rise to 22%. With the meteoric rise of commercial titans like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, it seems populations globally are finally waking up to the convenience of shopping online – plus the substantial savings it can bring.

Moreover, from a retailer’s perspective, the online model offers significant benefits over real-world stores, including operating 24/7/365 at a fraction of the cost of holding stock in commercial premises. From automation to secure purchasing online and improved customer relations, the e-com style of selling is (in most ways) a dream come true for the majority of retailers.

The dangers presented by the e-com model

However, while moving online makes good sense for most retail operations, some associated risks are associated with e-retailing. As you might expect in such a high-worth sector, the dangers posed by cybercriminals are ever-present – though there are many other considerations retailers often overlook.

If you’re looking at embracing e-com technology – or even if you’re already operating – below are some of the most common problems faced by retailers online.

Shopping cart abandonment: One of the most frustrating and problematic areas of running an online store is the phenomenon of Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA). In an SCA episode, a customer will browse the retailer’s site filling their cart with goods, only to suddenly become distracted by something else or simply leave the store without purchasing. Unfortunately, the problem is endemic across all e-com companies – big or small – and costs firms millions each year. Indeed, evidence shows 68% of all shopping carts are abandoned before transferring into a sale – and, in some cases, that figure can be as high as 80%.

Promo or coupon code abuse: Retailers typically run promo code discounts to gain new customers or encourage existing clients to make repeat sales. While these promotions can often be hugely successful, they are nonetheless extremely vulnerable to coupon abuse. The scale of the code abuse problem can run from the relatively innocuous (e.g., a customer creating a fake account to gain a small percentage discount on clothing) to potentially financially crippling scams developed by cybercriminals to fraudulently generate vast sums of money. In particular, referral codes where one user recommends another in return for a discount or financial reward are particularly prone – and very difficult to protect against.

Cyberattacks: Where there is money to be made, you can be sure the fraudsters won’t be far behind, and the e-com industry is no exception, unfortunately. In recent years, cybercriminals have become increasingly more inventive and sophisticated in the types of attacks they’re launching against both online stores and their customers. From launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against sites to phishing scams masquerading as a recognized company to brute force attacks to hack into a site’s underlying code and database, the tactics used by online criminals are as varied as they are dangerous. For the best protection against online criminals, you should look at entrusting the development and running of your site and its e-com functions to a trusted web design company, host, and security provider.

Developing customer and brand loyalty: While selling online drastically cuts a shop’s overhead in terms of staff, stock, and premises, this reduction in interpersonal contact also presents another problem – namely, that it’s much harder to develop a relationship with consumers through technology and a screen. However, if a company doesn’t succeed in building brand loyalty, it will ultimately struggle. Research shows it costs five times more to source a new customer than it does to retain an existing one – plus the old Pareto Principle states just 20% of a firm’s clients generate around 80% of its sales. To combat the problem, try installing a live chat function on your site to encourage your trustworthiness and develop communication with potential customers. You should also be fully transparent with your contact details/terms and conditions and also ensure you provide the best possible customer experience and support. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can largely automate the task of customer care and support.

Returns and refunds: Shoppers will inevitably return goods from time to time – however, how you handle returns is vitally important if your e-com venture is to succeed. Somewhat unsurprisingly, given the blind nature of buying online, over 60% of all e-com shoppers check a store’s returns policy before making a purchase – with 80% saying that overly complex returns or refunds policies put them off buying in the first place.