How to Land a Job in IT Security: 3 Hot Skill Sets

As companies begin to reopen their offices, many are taking big steps toward automation to cut costs and reduce their reliance on human capital. According to Forrester’s report, The COVID-19 Crisis Will Accelerate Enterprise Automation Plans, companies are looking to reduce their exposure to future business disruptions that occur when humans perform most organizational processes and functions. They will invest more in cognitive capabilities and applied artificial intelligence (AI), industrial robotics, service robots and robotic process automation (RPA).

The jobless recovery that results from increased automation will spur the automation trends we started to see before the pandemic. This is especially true in the security sector, which has been experiencing a global labor shortage for many years.

[ Which IT jobs will position you well for the future? Read also: 5 flourishing and 5 fading IT careers and 8 IT jobs in flux. ]

However, automation does not mean that companies will no longer need security human resources, far from it. To succeed, companies need people who can oversee their automation programs, analyze data, and develop insights.

What skills do you need to succeed in cybersecurity today? Here are three big ones.

1. Data analysis skills

If the networks practically run themselves due to automation, businesses need people with data science and data analytics skills to train the algorithms to better run the networks.

Data science is hot: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for data science skills will drive a 27.9% increase in employment through 2026. Four years in a row, the data scientist data was named the first job in the United States by Glass Door.

For security job seekers, consider getting certified or taking on-the-job training in data analytics. Knowing how to interact and manipulate large data sets will be far more valuable to your employer than having 10 years of knowledge of how to provision firewalls.

Knowing how to interact and manipulate large data sets will be far more valuable to your employer than having 10 years of knowledge of how to provision firewalls.

How to learn data analysis skills

There are many certification programs and other educational opportunities available: Harvard, for example, offers an online program called the Analytics Certificate Program for Business Leaders in which students learn business analytics, emerging technologies, big data and data visualization.

Top tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, and SAS also offer big data and analytics certifications. An example is the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional certificate, which provides educational content and labs covering network security, endpoint protection, incident response, threat intelligence, penetration testing and vulnerability assessment .

[ Read also: IT careers: How to get a job as a data scientist and 15 IT certifications worth watching. ]

2. Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Machine learning (ML) skills, including artificial intelligence (AI) programming, offer a fast track to the security jobs of the future. Machine learning technology uses synthetic neural networks to recognize patterns. Companies want cybersecurity experts trained in ML to recognize and respond to cyber threats.

[ Do you understand the main types of AI? Read also: 5 artificial intelligence (AI) types, defined. ]

In a 2019 survey by the Capgemini Research Institute, 69% of security executives and leaders surveyed said they don’t think they can respond to cyberattacks without AI. According to Gartner, while AI is expected to eliminate some 1.8 million jobs by 2020, it will also create some 2.3 million.

How to Acquire Machine Learning Skills

Ideal candidates for ML cybersecurity jobs have strong math skills and a knack for patterns and puzzles. Many traditional and online educational programs and opportunities exist to build machine learning skills. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, for example, offers an online course called Applied Data Science and Machine Learning for Security. It covers the entire data science process, including data preparation, feature engineering and selection, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, machine learning, evaluation and analysis. optimizing models and scaling implementation, all with a focus on security-related issues. The Global Tech Council also offers a Certified Machine Learning Expert program that offers effective techniques for machine learning, data mining, statistical pattern recognition, and more.

3. Soft skills, starting with communication

However, today’s top security professionals need more than just technical skills. In addition to being able to analyze anomalies and patterns in networks, they must also have great storytelling and communication skills to explain what the data means to stakeholders and decision makers. Demonstrating communication expertise is just as important as showcasing technical skills.

Can you explain what the data means for stakeholders and decision makers?

Additionally, since most cybersecurity positions involve protecting sensitive data, you must demonstrate that you are trustworthy and dependable, have strong problem-solving skills, and are able to maintain a positive attitude. calm in the face of difficult situations.

How to demonstrate soft skills in an interview

The best way to prove that you have all the necessary skills – technical, communication and reliability – is to tell a compelling story when asked to describe a past achievement. Instead of just relaying what you did, try to demonstrate your thinking: explain the event, what needed to be done, the obstacles you encountered, and how you analyzed the appropriate data and then communicated reliably results to decision makers.

In recent interviews, I have been very impressed with candidates who described a security issue they identified that big data could potentially illuminate, performed modeling, and were able to articulate actionable insights into the basis of their analysis.

Cybersecurity job seekers would do well to demonstrate their expertise in data analytics and machine learning while showcasing their communication skills. Companies are looking for reliable and strong communicators with versatile skills who can easily adapt to rapidly changing situations.

[ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free eBook: Managing IT with Automation. ]

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