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Apr 4, 2024

How to Become a Cybersecurity Engineer

We're going to look at ways you can become a cybersecurity engineer. We'll cover the top five most common questions about becoming a cyber security engineer. Let's dive in!

What is a Cybersecurity Engineer?

Like other kinds of engineers, cybersecurity engineers build technologies that will help keep computer architecture safe. The main function of a cybersecurity engineer within a company or organization is to develop and enforce security plans and standards. Most of the work is proactive, meaning a cybersecurity engineer spends his or her time anticipating network or computer vulnerabilities, and figuring out how to deal with them. Often, proactive cybersecurity engineering can take the form of finding and updating software, creating firewalls and running encryption programs. Another way of finding security holes or weaknesses is by actively testing for weakness by using penetration methods or trying to attack a system the same way a hacker would do. Sometimes a security engineers’ job can be more reactive. Like when they detect a security issue, they might have to figure out the best way to handle that situation, either by moving the data or information, developing new tools and strategies or working with management or outside teams to help the company or organization recover from a data breach. With that, as it is, data breaches are large in the news today.

How Do You Become a Cybersecurity Engineer?

First step in becoming a cyber security engineer is doing some research to figure out what kind of career opportunities exist and the kinds of training, education, and certifications that might be required to obtain those kinds of positions. 

Second step is hands on skills. A cybersecurity engineer will need critical thinking, strategic planning, leadership and empowerment, organization, research and technology, communication, and teaching skills all weigh heavily on how effectively and persuasive a cybersecurity culture can be established and affirmed. 

Third step in the cybersecurity field often requires applicants and employees to complete a professional industry level certification, specialized fields within the broader industry, like those of CompTIA security+, and where your training and understanding of the cybersecurity field will be qualified. 

Fourth step is developing and maintaining a professional network over the course of a career will help with the discovery of entry level jobs and help surface and track additional professional opportunities over time.

What Are the Key Skills of an Experienced Cybersecurity Engineer?

A key component during a cyber security engineers’ education is risk assessment tools and methods. A cybersecurity engineer is also trained in digital forensics, network design, and architecture. With an understanding of computer and forensics in security breach protocols. Since they are constantly working with the latest computer and mobile technology. Cybersecurity engineers need to be familiar with the latest advances in virus software and virus protection, as well as firewall architecture and content filtering, knowledge of cybersecurity best practices and a record of proving how to stay current in the industry changes. Understanding of antivirus software, firewall maintenance, and hacker detection are all skills to the trade. Background knowledge of risk assessment technologies with the ability to perform security risk assessments and evaluations experience with developing and implementing security procedures and policies. Cybersecurity engineers need to be comfortable reading computer code and looking for anomalies or malicious lines that might create security vulnerabilities. While a basic understanding of computer code, in particular, what dangerous code such as a virus or malware looks like and how to deal with them effectively. In addition to the high level of security related technical skills, cyber security engineers are responsible for communicating with coworkers and colleagues, as well as explaining complex computer and data issues to high level management and decision makers. These are all skills. Cybersecurity engineers may also work in environments that require additional industry certification, or government issued security clearances.

What Do Cybersecurity Engineers Do?

Cybersecurity engineers are tasked with developing technology tools and systems to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information that is needed, and the overall risk of the data is an acceptable risk. The role of an information cybersecurity engineer can take on many forms depending on the context. Sometimes, depending on company size and business operation, a cyber security engineer might be tasked with building a security system and developing security best practices for the rest of the company. In other situations, a cyber security engineer might be tasked with maintaining security protocols and systems and actively try to hack or break into the employer’s data or information systems by penetration testing so that we can see what's out there in the wild, so the bad guys don't come in. One key feature of all cybersecurity engineers’ jobs is that the professionals in the field need to stay constantly up to date with the latest security threats and the technologies being developed to deal with them. As mentioned earlier, this often means staying current with professional cybersecurity certifications, and hands on training.

What Does the Job Market Look Like?

In 2020 during our pandemic, like other cybersecurity professionals, cybersecurity engineers are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for cybersecurity engineers will grow by 18% through 2024. There is a strong correlation between time in the industry and salary. With most people at the high end of the spectrum report working in the cybersecurity related fields for 20 years or more. Salary is also impacted by the size of the company or organization employing the cybersecurity engineer and geographical location.

While here at NexGenT we cover in depth the details of all four areas from the research of the job positions, market shift and trends. We provide deep critical hands-on training that is vital to hiring companies with the ability to apply these new skills to any company needing a cyber security engineer like you. 

NexGenT's amazing career services team will blaze a trail with you to make the needed connections to companies and network groups to aid in your growing of your professional security network. Using all forms of social media, as well as the above NexGenT training team, just like me, will help you through the entire leaded process with industry level certification. While we not only aid you in getting through the exam but have a full complete understanding of what is in the industry material, how it is used, how each layer of the exam ties back to the training that you have just completed.

There you have it. If you want to become a cybersecurity engineer, get out there and make it happen.

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