Cyber security consultant
Updated on 11th May, 22 205 Views

This blog will give you an overview of the cyber security consultant job profile and why it can be a smart career choice for you. The following topics are going to be covered in this blog:

Check out the Scope of Cyber Security in this video:

Who is a Cyber Security Consultant?

A cyber security consultant is a professional who helps organizations in testing their cyber security measures and incident response arrangements. Cyber security consultants are not employed in one specific organization; they act as freelancers and are hired by various organizations to design and implement more effective cyber security systems. These professionals are sometimes known by different names such as:

  • Computer Security Consultant
  • Information Security Consultant
  • Network Security Consultant
  • Database Security Consultant

They use their vast knowledge and experience in cyber security to advise, guide, and help employ improved security measures that are suitable for their clients.

What Does a Cyber Security Consultant Do?

Cyber security consultants safeguard their client’s, i.e., the organization that they are working for, data and network system by checking for any vulnerabilities present in their computer systems, network, or software. Based on the analysis, they design and implement the best-suited security solution and system that matches the client’s requirements. So, basically, cyber security consultants use their expertise and skills to develop a potential cyber security strategy to protect the systems, etc., and mitigate the damage caused by a cyberattack.

Cyber Security Consultant Roles and Responsibilities

A typical cyber security consultant job description looks like following:

  • Communicate with staff and department heads to ascertain specific security concerns and issues
  • Perform vulnerability testing, risk analyses, and security assessments
  • Deliver the test findings in the form of technical reports and white papers
  • Research the latest security standards and authentication protocols
  • Find the best solution to protect devices, software, networks, data, and information systems against potential intrusion and cyberattacks
  • Research, plan, and design an effective security architecture for IT projects
  • Generate cost estimates for the required defense upgrades
  • Be aware of potential integration issues that may be faced by IT project managers
  • Provide professional guidance and supervision to the in-house security team
  • Define, implement, and maintain a suitable corporate security policy for the client
  • Immediately respond to any security-related incidents and perform a thorough analysis
  • Follow up with the client about any necessary updates and upgrades of their security systems

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Cyber Security Consultant Skills

Anyone planning to begin their career in this domain should possess hard skills such as computer programming and network and security configuration. Learning computer programming in Java, cloud computing infrastructure and services, and network and security foundations and applications will help you tackle the technical aspects of cyber security with expertise.

Some of the hard skills that are necessary for pursuing this career include:

  • Programming Languages: While there is no limit, mostly, languages used for storing and processing raw data.
  • Operating Systems (OSs) Knowledge: This includes the understanding of OSs such as Windows, macOS, Linux, UNIX, and other new OSs.
  • Penetration Testing: Through penetration testing, cyber security experts work their way into a system from the perspective of a hacker and use that hacking session to test system security and gauge the vulnerability of the client’s programs and software.
  • Ethical Hacking and Coding Practices: This is very much like the above method and requires working knowledge of threat modeling and configurations.
  • Advanced Persistent Threat Management: This involves the understanding of concepts such as social engineering, phishing, and network access control.
  • Firewall Safety and Management: This involves skills in fail-safe features, breach detection, backups, and prevention protocols.
  • Encryption Techniques and Capabilities: Cyber security experts with this skill are capable of ensuring that they do not fall victim to attacks while sending and receiving data over the internet.
  • Compliance Assessments: They include GLBA, HIPAA, PCI, NIST, and SOX.
  • Frameworks: They include COBIT and ITIL.

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In addition to the hard skills mentioned above, soft skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking and logic, communication, IT management, and leadership skills, can help you thrive in this field.

A cyber security consultant will need critical thinking to analyze security issues and generate quick responses to breaches—sometimes, even, identifying issues before they arise.

Communication is just as important, as these professionals have to spend their time discussing their ideas with the security teams as well as the top executives. Only through good communication will all stakeholders truly understand the situation at hand, thus, making informed decisions.

Cyber security consultants may need to present written reports or oral presentations or tutor non-IT staff on the best security practices.

Cyber security consultants with strong leadership and management skills are capable of overseeing entire projects and departments.

Have a look at our blog on Cyber Security Interview Questions and start preparing for your next job interview!

Cyber Security Consultant Jobs

Organizations are significantly investing to ensure a secured cyber environment for their assets. Even developed countries have been known to fall victim to cyberattacks. So, there is always a demand for experts in the domain of cyber security. It is one of the very few domains that is relevant to every industry in this digital economy.

Anyone with skills in cyber security has the chance to turn the demand-supply gap into an opportunity for themselves and make a successful career out of it. A booming field already, cyber security can reward professionals in the field in several ways.

Recruiters seek out professionals with the right skill sets. Most times, it does not matter where one is based as this demand is regardless of the geographic location.

It is possible to work from home since hardware dependency is minimal. Currently, multinational organizations are on a seemingly perpetual hunt for cyber security experts, and this trend is here to stay.

Career Transition

Several cyber security consultant job openings for the following countries have been posted on LinkedIn:

CountryNumber of Jobs Posted
USA9000+
Canada1000+
Singapore870+
UK830+
India650+
Australia190+

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Cyber Security Consultant Salary

If you want to know how much do cyber security consultants make, this section will give you an overview. According to ZipRecruiter, the top earners earn an average of about US$177,000 p.a. in the USA, while the 75th percentile earns about US$144,000 p.a. On average, these professionals in the USA earn about US$115,767 p.a. The minimum salary for these professionals is around US$90,500 p.a.

According to Glassdoor, cyber security consultants in India earn an average of ₹732,000 p.a., and in Singapore, they earn S$48,000 p.a. In the UK, these professionals earn about £51,058 p.a., and in Canada, the average salary of these professionals is CA$$79,640 p.a. In Australia, these professionals earn AU$90,000 p.a.

Information source: Glassdoor

How Can You Become a Cyber Security Consultant?

While higher education has no dedicated cyber security training curriculum, would-be cyber security consultants usually pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, cyber security, or other related majors. The best way to acquire cyber security skills is to get certified.

Education and Skills

To become a successful cyber security consultant, you must develop a strong skill set and have deep knowledge in the domain. When it comes to education, you must start by getting a degree in fields related to cyber security. Usually, a bachelor’s degree in cyber security, IT, or computer science is required to get a strong hold of this domain. You can also build your skill set through online certifications as certifications play a very important role in the IT field.

Talking about the skills needed, the most important skills include ethical hacking, programming knowledge, firewall management, encryption and framework knowledge, threat management, etc.

Certifications

You can become a successful cyber security consultant by gaining certifications in various related topics. These certifications can be earned by taking classes on a particular subject and by successfully completing all assignments and projects. To get the final certificate, the certification exam needs to be passed. Certifications not only equip you with the relevant skill set and knowledge, but also convey to the client (or prospective client) that you are fully capable of handling their cyber security needs and requirements.

Soft Skills

Soft skills means how well you are able to communicate with the IT team and nontechnical people and convey the right information to them. A successful cyber security consultant should build effective leadership capabilities as they are the one who implements and oversees the cyber security strategy. Along with good communication skills and effective leadership capabilities, a cyber security consultant must also be equipped with excellent negotiation skills as they will be working with people from different levels and positions in the organizational hierarchy.

Cyber Security Certifications

There are numerous certifications available in many relevant subjects. Of course, a bachelor’s degree in the field will open up opportunities but, in most cases, certifications add value to the resume and validate your expertise and skills. Some of the most valuable industry-recognized certifications include:

  • CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
  • CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
  • CPP: Certified Protection Professional
  • CSC: Certified Security Consultant
  • CompTIA Security+
  • GIAC: Global Information Assurance Certification
  • IAPSC: International Association of Professional Security Consultants
  • OSCP: Offensive Security Certified Professional
  • PSP: Physical Security Professional
  • GSEC: Sans GIAC Security Essentials

In addition to the certifications, there are many free online resources that you can rely on to learn more about this subject matter. There are communities where like-minded professionals come together to discuss their work and help out those who have questions on the subject matter. This is a great way to learn. Last but not the least, practice and experience in the field will open up many more opportunities in the long run. You can check out our blog on the Best Cyber Security Certifications.

Cyber Security Consultant Career Path

The best way to start out in this career is through initial experience as an entry-level IT security professional or in an information security role. You can then assume roles such as security administrator, security engineer, security auditor, or security analyst. Gaining some relevant certifications at this point will help you begin a successful career in this domain.

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Is Cyber Security Consultant a Good Career?

It is expected that the demand for cyber security consultants will increase in the coming years. Organizations are preferring to hire cyber security consultants for a shorter period of time and pay them much more than full-time cyber security employees. Hence, this makes being a cyber security consultant a very attractive role and career path. Not only organizations, but also the online and offline institutions are launching courses and degrees for helping individuals in becoming cyber security consultants. The best part being a cyber security consultant is they have endless opportunities to explore various industries such as the government sector, nonprofit organizations, large organizations, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), schools, medical facilities, etc.

Conclusion

Organizations are always in need of cyber security experts and you can be one of them. If you think this can be a good career choice for you, then use this as an opportunity to learn cyber security. Now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon.

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Course Schedule

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Cyber Security Course 2022-07-02 2022-07-03
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Cyber Security Course 2022-07-09 2022-07-10
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Cyber Security Course 2022-07-16 2022-07-17
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