As anyone considering a career in cybersecurity already knows, the field can be both challenging and rewarding. As George Kamis of Forcepoint accurately notes, cybersecurity is continually changing. It’s an ideal career option for anyone who enjoys solving puzzles, figuring out how things work, and finding solutions to logical and technical challenges; even so, it can be disconcerting for anyone who has unrealistic expectations or doesn’t know what to expect from IT tech work. Technijian CEO Ravi Jain offers insight into how to prepare for a career in cybersecurity and what to expect once you get started. As a CISSP-certified technician and business owner supervising other IT experts, Jain knows what cybersecurity looks like in the real world and offers some practical tips aspiring IT techs won’t want to miss out on.
Ravi Jain founded his business in 2003, offering IT support for business owners that wanted to save money on IT support and services. He began paying close attention to cybersecurity a few years later when his clients started asking for professional assistance with FFEIC compliance. The Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) created online banking standards that required financial institutions to, among other things, set up multi-factor authentication and use encryption for online transaction processing. Jain recounts that he started by helping his clients with FFEIC audits and then moved on to developing policies and procedures to ensure business owners and their employees were in line with FFEIC requirements at all times. He subsequently added tools that would help clients successfully demonstrate FFEIC compliance.
What does a day in the life of an IT MSP business owner look like? Ravi Jain’s average day is, surprisingly, fairly uneventful. He typically answers audit reviews and double-checks monthly scans to ensure there are no cybersecurity issues that could lead to a data breach or malware attack. Jain subsequently documents all the information gathered from audits and reviews for clients so they can rest assured their IT systems are safe from malicious third parties. These are tasks that just about any cybersecurity expert can expect to handle but they’re not the only ones. Job duties vary depending on a person’s job title and where he or she works. Those who have the right IT skills can find work as a security consultant, security analyst, penetration tester, cryptographer, or incident responder. Experienced cybersecurity experts can find work as a security manager, security director, or chief information security officer. Typical tasks include installing and updating firewalls and anti-virus software, creating security plans, and dealing with the aftermath of a breach or malware attack. IT cybersecurity technicians may also be called on to provide IT cybersecurity training for employees or offer consulting services to business owners who want to ensure that IT upgrades won’t compromise the company’s network and personal information.
What advice would Ravi Jain give to up-and-coming IT cybersecurity experts? “Getting the CISSP certification helps a lot,” Jain notes. Furthermore, he recommends (ISC)² as a great organization for cybersecurity experts to join as one can get a lot of training and information from them. Certified Information Systems Security Professional, or CISSP certification, shows potential employers and clients that an individual has the skills needed to design, implement, and manage a top-tier cybersecurity program. The training program covers security and risk management, asset security, security architecture, and engineering, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security. It is developed and managed by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)², an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to empowering IT cybersecurity experts of all ages and walks of life. The organization has more than 150,000 members and, in addition to providing training, also offers helpful resources and unbeatable networking opportunities for IT cybersecurity experts around the world. CISSP certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, formally approved by the United States Department of Defense, and recognized by the UK National Recognition Information Centre as being comparable to a Master’s degree.
Anyone who is interested in mastering IT cybersecurity will find that there are plenty of job opportunities to pick from. As (ISC)² has accurately noted, there are a whopping 2.93 million unfilled cybersecurity positions around the world as companies search in vain for trained IT professionals who can guard their systems from cyberattacks. Seasoned experts can earn $95,000 a year or even more, making IT cybersecurity a lucrative job opportunity for those with the right skills and credentials. Even so, this line of work isn’t for everyone. Those who are considering the field would do well to consider Ravi Jain’s words of advice and obtain proper certification to have the skills needed to maintain high cybersecurity standards for the business community now and in the future.