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Vital Steps In Transition From Software Development to Cybersecurity Pro.

May 12th 2023

Ontology Of Value Vital-Steps-In-Transition-From-Software-Development-to-Cybersecurity-Pro-1024x683 Vital Steps In Transition From Software Development to Cybersecurity Pro IT Job Market Analysis and Predictions Self-management Tools and Strategies

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SUMMARY / KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • As of 2023, in the United States alone, there are over 1.6 million vacant developer feeder positions requiring potential software developer candidates to possess specific cybersecurity competencies.

  • In this article, we list transferable skills in tech that you will need to transition to cybersecurity jobs, as well as list top 10 best paid positions in cybersecurity in the US.

Cybersecurity Industry Needs You!

Are you considering a profession in cybersecurity? This field is rapidly expanding which is associated with high demand for competent professionals, providing well-paying positions, a broad range of job prospects, and an exciting and dynamic work setting.

As of 2023, in the United States alone, there are over 1.6 million vacant developer feeder positions requiring potential software developer candidates to possess specific cybersecurity competencies.

Let’s assume safeguarding an organization’s digital assets and confidential information against security breaches intrigues you. Still, if you’re uncertain whether you’re suitable for the role, conducting thorough research on the field is essential. 

It includes familiarizing yourself with typical cybersecurity positions, understanding their responsibilities, and acquiring knowledge on the required skills for a career in cybersecurity.

Individuals aiming for a career in cybersecurity should master a diverse range of technical, professional, and functional skills, including specific cybersecurity competencies and highly desirable soft skills that distinguish them from other candidates in the job market.

To give you an idea of what it takes to become a cybersecurity expert, we have compiled a list of the most crucial cybersecurity skills, stay with the article to know about that skills.

Pursuing a career as a software developer can be exhilarating, as it involves creating applications that your loved ones use regularly and designing systems that manage networks and control devices. However, did you know that your experience in software development can effortlessly lead you to a career in cybersecurity?

Suppose you’re currently employed in networking, software development, systems engineering, financial and risk analysis, IT support, or security intelligence.

In that case, you’re in a fortunate position, as CyberSeek has identified these professions as feeder roles for a career in cybersecurity. These roles share similar skill sets with cybersecurity experts and offer clear pathways for transitioning into the field.

In this article, we list transferable skills in tech that you will need to transition to cybersecurity jobs, as well as list top 10 best paid positions in cybersecurity in the US.

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Skills You Need in Transitioning from Software Development in Tech to Cybersecurity.

Your background in software development provides you with a strong understanding of computer programming languages and software systems.

These skills are transferable to a career in cybersecurity, as the field demands expertise from various related areas of information technology. Additionally, you can blend these two IT fields and pursue a profession as a security software developer.

Problem-solving Skills.

Problem-solving is a critical component of a cybersecurity professional’s daily responsibilities. In this field, individuals must devise innovative solutions to overcome intricate information security obstacles in various digital environments that encompass both existing and emerging technologies.

Technical Aptitude.

As suggested by its name, cybersecurity is a technology-driven industry, and as a cybersecurity professional, you will be responsible for duties such as resolving technical issues, sustaining and upgrading information security systems, enforcing ongoing network surveillance, and delivering prompt security solutions. Possessing strong technological acumen is critical to executing the day-to-day duties of a cybersecurity specialist.

Knowledge of Security Across Various Platforms.

Cybersecurity is not limited to computers alone. A cybersecurity professional must be at ease working on multiple operating systems, computer systems, mobile devices, cloud networks, and wireless networks. In addition, staying informed about advancements in the field across all these areas is crucial for the job.

Always Keep an Eye on the Details.

Protecting an organization from cyberattacks necessitates high levels of vigilance and attention to detail to identify vulnerabilities and potential risks effectively. As a cybersecurity professional, you will likely have the responsibility of continuously monitoring network activities, promptly detecting potential threats and devising real-time security solutions to mitigate risks.

Communication Skills.

As a cybersecurity specialist, you will collaborate closely with people from various roles and departments, making it crucial to have excellent communication skills. You will need to be able to articulate your findings, concerns, and solutions effectively to others.

Clear and concise communication is critical when discussing cybersecurity strategy and policy. Additionally, you must be able to communicate technical information to individuals with varying levels of technical expertise.

Essential Computer Forensics Skills.

Computer forensics and cybersecurity may seem like two separate fields, but they are intimately connected. In fact, a strong foundation in computer forensics can actually give you an edge in your cybersecurity career.

To protect organizations’ digital assets and prevent security breaches, you need to understand what happens in the event of a breach and how to recover compromised data. Many cybersecurity degree programs include a component on computer forensics precisely for this reason.

A Desire to Learn.

Cybersecurity, like any technical field, is constantly evolving. Those who work in the industry must be dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest best practices and emerging trends and be committed to continuous learning and self-education – both during and outside of work hours.

An Understanding of “Hacking.”

In the cybersecurity field, knowing how an organization’s network and infrastructure can be vulnerable is crucial for effective protection. That’s why most cybersecurity professionals are required to learn the skill of “ethical hacking.”

Essentially, this involves acquiring the same skills as a hacker in order to fully comprehend how a system could be breached. With this knowledge, cybersecurity professionals can create effective solutions to counter and prevent potential attacks.

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5 Essential Programming Languages You Should Learn to Enter the Cybersecurity Space.

Coding is an indispensable skill in today’s technology-driven world, including the field of cybersecurity. In order to accurately comprehend the behavior of harmful agents on their networks, cybersecurity experts must possess a comprehensive understanding of coding principles. 

Moreover, they must have the ability to write code to enhance their efficiency and productivity at work. Although coding skills are not mandatory for every cybersecurity position, it is difficult to envision a cybersecurity profession that would not profit from the capability to write a few lines of code from time to time.

Learning to code can be a challenging task for cybersecurity professionals who are just starting out, especially given the wide variety of programming languages available today. With so many options, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

However, there are five programming languages that are essential for any cybersecurity professional looking to build a strong foundation in coding and enhance their skills:

  • Python
  • Shell scripting
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • SQL

Let’s explore each of these crucial programming languages and their significance in the cybersecurity field, as well as some tips for learning them effectively.

1. Python.

Python is a versatile and widely-used programming language that has become a staple in the cybersecurity toolkit. Its general-purpose nature means it can be used for a variety of tasks, making it a popular choice for developers.

Python is an important language to learn because it underlies many of the popular cybersecurity tools. It’s also great for automating tasks, making it an efficient tool for cybersecurity professionals. If you’re new to coding and want to focus on just one language, Python is an excellent place to start.

If you’re new to Python, the best way to learn the language is through a combination of tutorials and practical examples. A good starting point is a basic Python tutorial, which you can find on websites such as Codecademy or LearnPython.org.

After that, you should examine Python code written by others to gain a deeper understanding of how the language works. You might also consider writing a Python script that works with a popular cybersecurity tool like Nmap to further develop your skills.

2. Shell Scripting.

Shell scripting is a valuable tool for automating routine tasks and processes in cybersecurity. It uses familiar commands found in terminal sessions on various operating systems and enables developers to quickly write and execute scripts.

Shell scripting can be used to provision accounts, automate security lockdowns, and perform other common tasks. If you’re using a Linux or Mac OS, learning a Linux shell scripting language such as Bash is recommended. If you’re more comfortable with Windows, PowerShell scripting is a great place to start.

Before delving into shell scripting, it’s important to ensure that you have a solid foundation in using the command-line tools that come with your operating system. Once you feel comfortable with these tools, you can begin to create simple scripts by following tutorials on popular shell scripting languages like Bash or PowerShell.

There are many resources available online to help you get started, and with practice, you’ll soon be able to automate routine tasks and improve your overall efficiency as a cybersecurity professional. 

3. HTML.

Although it’s not a traditional programming language, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a critical markup language used to create webpages on the internet. For cybersecurity professionals, it’s an essential skill because many types of attacks involve HTML code.

Attackers often use HTML to write malicious scripts or launch SQL injection attacks. To analyze and defend against these types of attacks, a thorough understanding of HTML is crucial.

Learning HTML is relatively easy and can be done in a few hours. Since HTML is a markup language, it starts with plain text and uses tags to format the text and include other elements such as images and embedded videos. You can learn the basics of HTML through free tutorials offered by websites like W3Schools. After learning the basics, you can further improve your skills by examining the HTML source code of web pages created by skilled developers.

4. JavaScript.

JavaScript is a powerful language with many applications in web development and cybersecurity. It’s commonly used for incorporating interactive elements into web pages, tracking user behavior, and performing various web-related tasks.

In addition to its many legitimate uses, JavaScript is also used in many web-based attacks, such as cross-site scripting. As a result, cybersecurity professionals who want to become intrusion analysts will need to have a good understanding of JavaScript.

That’s correct! Once you’ve got the basics of JavaScript down, examining and analyzing code in the wild is a great way to continue learning and improving your skills. You can also find online resources, such as courses, tutorials, and communities, to further your knowledge and understanding of the language.

5. SQL.

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a crucial language in the world of cybersecurity. SQL is used for managing data in relational databases. Database administrators, developers, and end-users use SQL to retrieve, insert, update, and delete information from database tables.

However, attackers also use SQL to carry out a variety of web-based attacks, such as SQL injection, which can result in the theft of sensitive data and disruption of data stores. Therefore, cybersecurity professionals need to have at least a basic understanding of SQL to analyze and prevent such attacks.

Learning SQL is relatively easy, and there are many resources available online. If you have access to a relational database at your workplace, it’s a good idea to start exploring it to get hands-on experience. However, if you don’t have access, there are several online tutorials that can help you learn SQL.

I recommend checking out courses offered by LinkedIn Learning and DataCamp, as they provide structured lessons and practice exercises. Additionally, you can practice writing SQL queries on your own using freely available databases, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

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Top 10 High-paying Cybersecurity Jobs.

According to the Information Security Analyst’s Outlook from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cybersecurity job market is expected to expand rapidly, with a projected growth rate of 31% by 2029. This growth rate is over seven times higher than the average job growth rate of 4% across other industries.

1. Chief Information Security Officer – CISO.

A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a high-ranking executive tasked with safeguarding an organization’s sensitive information.

This entails designing and managing information security and risk management strategies. CISOs are also expected to liaise with stakeholders and keep them informed about information security issues. Typically, a CISO would have had prior experience in various cybersecurity job positions before rising to the rank of CISO.

Skills required for CISO job.

In order to start a job as a CISO, it is advisable to have a computer science degree and an MBA due to the high level of responsibility associated with the role. However, in addition to educational qualifications, a potential candidate must possess a set of vital skills. The following are some of the most crucial ones:

  • Business expertise
  • Risk management
  • Supervisory and Incident management
  • Strong presentation and communication skills
  • IT experience

Required Certifications.

In the cybersecurity field, having relevant certifications is often a requirement for many job positions. The more certifications you hold, the more your career in cybersecurity can grow.

For those aspiring to become a CISO, two of the most preferred certifications are the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). These certifications demonstrate the candidate’s knowledge and skills in information security management and are highly valued in the industry.

The process of obtaining these certifications can be long and comped. For instance, the CISSP certification requires at least 5 years of working experience. Therefore, on the way to CISSP, one can also start from obtaining more basic certification, such as, in example, Holistic Information Security Practitioner (HISP) Institute (HISPI) certification.

CISO’s Salaries in the US as per 2023.

As per the data from PayScale, the average yearly salary for a CISO in the United States is $173,130, which indicates that this is a lucrative career path.

Let’s move on and explore the next important position in the field of cybersecurity.

2. Security Architect.

A Security Architect is a crucial role in cybersecurity, responsible for designing and implementing robust security structures to prevent malware attacks. They perform vulnerability tests to identify weaknesses in the system and provide technical assistance to other members of the security team. Their expertise ensures the organization’s security is maintained and that sensitive information is protected from cyber threats.

Skills Required for Security Architect Job.

If you aspire to become a security architect, it is preferable to hold a degree in computer science or information technology. A few essential skills required for this job role are:

  • Experience in the risk management sector
  • Knowledge of security protocols and cryptography
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Strong IT experience
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Network hardware configuration

Required Certifications.

To get a role as a security architect, it is recommended to hold certifications such as CompTIA Security+ and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). These certifications can enhance your skillset and provide you with the knowledge needed to design secure systems and prevent cyber attacks.

Security Architect Salary in the US as per 2023.

Based on data from PayScale, the average annual cybersecurity salary for a Security Architect in the United States is $134,348.

Certainly, let’s delve into the role of a cybersecurity engineer.

3. Cybersecurity Engineer.

Cybersecurity engineers are tasked with devising and implementing security strategies to safeguard their organization from cyberattacks. They’re responsible for ensuring that their organization’s networks and data are secure. They develop cybersecurity frameworks and work collaboratively with other teams to maintain a comprehensive security posture. 

Skills Required for Cybersecurity Engineer Job.

To start a professional career as a cybersecurity engineer, it is important to have a degree in computer science or information technology. Before stepping into the role of a cybersecurity engineer, it is recommended to have at least two years of experience in the relevant field. Apart from these prerequisites, there are a few key skills that a cybersecurity engineer should possess, including:

  • Knowledge of various operating systems, databases, and networks.
  • Familiarity with programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++.
  • Understanding of cybersecurity principles, including encryption and secure coding practices.
  • Expertise in security assessment tools and techniques.
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills.

Required Certifications.

To enhance their career, cybersecurity engineers can opt for industry-recognized certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP).

Cybersecurity Engineer Salaries in the US as per 2023.

In the United States, the average annual salary for a cybersecurity engineer, according to PayScale, is $100,131.

4. Malware Analyst.

A malware analyst plays a crucial role in identifying and analyzing cyber threats, including viruses, worms, bots, and trojans, to gain insights into their nature. They work on developing malware protection tools and document the methodologies to mitigate malware threats.

Skills Required for Malware Analyst job.

To become a malware analyst, it’s recommended to hold a degree in information technology or computer science. It’s also beneficial to have at least two years of work experience in a related field before pursuing a career as a malware analyst. Additionally, a malware analyst should have the following skills:

  • Strong analytical skills to analyze and identify malware threats
  • Knowledge of programming languages such as Python, C++, and assembly language
  • Understanding of malware behavior, including how it spreads and infects systems
  • Experience with malware analysis tools such as IDA Pro, OllyDbg, and Wireshark
  • Strong communication skills to explain technical information to non-technical stakeholders
  • Continuous learning and updating skills as new malware threats emerge.

Required Certifications.

Moreover, obtaining industry-recognized certifications like GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware (GREM) and Certified Malware Investigator (CMI) can help advance the career of a malware analyst. 

Malware Analyst salaries in the US as per 2023.

The average annual cybersecurity salary for malware analysts in the United States, according to PayScale, is $92,880.

5. Penetration Tester.

A penetration tester, also known as an ethical hacker, is a network security consultant responsible for identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in systems, just like a hacker would.

They use various techniques to simulate attacks and test the security of an organization’s systems and networks. They design new penetration tools, document the test results, and provide recommendations for improving security measures.

Skills Required for Penetration Tester job.

In order to have a career as a penetration tester, it is imperative to have a minimum of 1 to 4 years of prior experience in the information security domain. Additionally, there are several other critical skills that are required, which include:

  • Knowledge of Windows, Linux, and UNIX operating systems. Also, knowledge of C and C++ is required
  • Black box testing
  • Good networking skills
  • Knowledge of Java, Python, and Perl is also vital
  • Strong reporting, communication, and presentation skills

Required Certifications.

To secure a position as a penetration tester, it is necessary to obtain certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT), and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP). These certifications are crucial in demonstrating the required skills and knowledge for the job.

Penetration Tester Salaries in the US as per 2023.

As per PayScale, the average annual salary for a penetration tester in the United States is $134,348. This figure represents the average compensation earned by individuals in this profession.

Now that you have comprehended the job responsibilities of a penetration tester let’s shift our focus to the role of a computer forensics analyst in the realm of cybersecurity jobs.

6. Computer Forensics Analyst.

Computer Forensics Analysts are responsible for handling cyberattack cases by collecting digital evidence and retrieving lost data. They specialize in recovering information that has been deleted, tampered with, or stolen.

Skills Required for Computer Forensics Analyst job.

To land a job as a computer forensics analyst, an individual must possess a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience in the field. Additionally, the following skills are necessary for this role:

  • Networking knowledge
  • Knowledge of cybersecurity
  • Understanding of law and criminal investigation 
  • A sound analytical mind with attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills

Required Certifications.

Computer forensics analysts can bolster their credentials by obtaining certifications such as Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE) and Certified Computer Examiner (CCE). These certifications demonstrate the individual’s proficiency in the required skills and knowledge for the job.

Computer Forensics Analyst Salaries in the US as per 2023.

As per PayScale, the average yearly income of a computer forensics analyst in the United States is $75,525.

7. Application Security Engineer.

The role of an application security engineer involves developing, implementing, and maintaining the security of a company’s applications. This includes designing and enforcing policies to safeguard against both internal and external threats.

Typically, an application security engineer’s day involves reviewing the previous day’s findings to identify and address any bugs or vulnerabilities. They may also collaborate with other engineers to plan upcoming projects.

The salary for an application security engineer can vary based on factors such as the company they work for and their level of experience. On average, this role commands a salary ranging from $77,000 to $116,000. However, senior-level engineers or those with more than ten years of experience can earn up to $111,000.

8. Cloud Security Specialist.

With the increasing reliance on cloud technology, the demand for cloud security specialists has grown significantly and is expected to continue to do so in the future. The primary responsibility of a cloud security specialist is to safeguard data, systems, and networks from cyber-attacks.

This involves identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, implementing protective measures, monitoring networks for signs of intrusion, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Cloud security specialists are responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures to secure data stored on cloud servers. Their goal is to prevent unauthorized access, alteration, or disclosure of sensitive information. The salary for a cloud security specialist varies based on their level of experience.

An entry-level specialist can expect to earn an annual salary ranging from $82,000 to $105,000, while an experienced professional can earn between $137,000 to $172,000 per year.

9. Database Administrator.

With the increasing reliance on cloud technology, the demand for cloud security specialists has grown significantly and is expected to continue to do so in the future. The primary responsibility of a cloud security specialist is to safeguard data, systems, and networks from cyber-attacks.

This involves identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, implementing protective measures, monitoring networks for signs of intrusion, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Cloud security specialists are responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures to secure data stored on cloud servers. Their goal is to prevent unauthorized access, alteration, or disclosure of sensitive information. The salary for a cloud security specialist varies based on their level of experience.

An entry-level specialist can expect to earn a yearly salary of about $85,000.

10. Incident Manager.

An incident manager is responsible for managing and resolving any incidents that may arise. They need to be capable of handling various situations and thinking on their feet to solve them efficiently.

The salary of incident managers depends on factors such as their location, experience, and the company they work for. However, on average, an incident manager can expect to earn around $100,000 per year.

If you’re a certificate collector or love to have certificates especially related to cybersecurity, here is a tip for you. Coursera has listed the top 10 updated certificates that can lift your level and experience in the field swiftly.

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Ontology Of Value signatureNB-300x80 Vital Steps In Transition From Software Development to Cybersecurity Pro IT Job Market Analysis and Predictions Self-management Tools and Strategies

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Please cite as:

Siddiqui, H. A.Bielczyk, N. (2023, May 12th). Vital Steps In Transition From Software Development to Cybersecurity Pro. Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/transition-from-software-development-to-cybersecurity-pro/

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