Cybersecurity attacks have become standard for organizations with sensitive digital data to protect. As cyber threats increase, there has been a demand for more cybersecurity experts who can adequately protect this digital data.

Furthermore, cybersecurity has become a fast-growing, in-demand industry with a need for competent employees. It offers many job opportunities in different fields, a high salary rate, and a fast-paced and challenging work environment. If you have a passion for protecting the digital assets and intelligence of companies from cyber threats, a career in cybersecurity is perfect for you. 

However, due to the sensitivity of the data cybersecurity protects, companies are always looking for individuals with professional skillsets. If you want to pursue a career in cybersecurity, there are specific technical and soft skill sets you’ll need to stand out and excel in the field. Here are the top eight cybersecurity skills you must have

Top Skills You Must Have as a Cybersecurity Professional

Problem-Solving Skills

One of the skills most employers watch out for when hiring cybersecurity experts is problem-solving skills. The foundation of cybersecurity is detecting security issues and looking for solutions to those issues. 

Besides, problem-solving is an essential part of your day-to-day job as a cybersecurity expert. You need to be able to find creative ways to tackle challenges across different current and emerging digital environments. Your ability to find solutions to complex problems in the cybersecurity industry is a precious asset. 

Programming/Coding Skills

To excel as a cybersecurity professional, you need a basic understanding of some programming languages. Having zero or limited coding skills will inhibit your chances of getting cybersecurity job opportunities. 

Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with some programming languages. There are several programming languages you can learn throughout your cybersecurity career, and they include;

  • Python: Python is a programming language that helps you identify and fix vulnerabilities in the network system 
  • Structured Query Language(SQL): Cybercriminals use SQL to damage or steal stored data, so having a good understanding and knowledge of SQL will help you counter these attacks. 
  • Javascript: A good understanding of the javascript programming language will help you prevent and counter cross-site scripting attacks
  • C/C++: C/C++ are low-level programming languages that cybersecurity professionals need to understand to begin their cybersecurity career

Furthermore, a basic understanding of how these programming languages work will help you identify how they are susceptible to cyber-attacks. 

Penetration Testing Skills

You need to understand penetration testing if you’re going to pursue a career in cybersecurity. The ability to improve cybersecurity defense systems by staging an attempted hack on the network is a highly sought-after skill in the cybersecurity industry. 

Furthermore, some companies hire cybersecurity experts specializing in penetration testing to try and hack into their network systems and see areas where their defenses need to be improved. Also, the data gotten from this hack will allow the company’s cybersecurity team to resolve potential susceptibility and develop better protection policies before the real hackers attack the system. 

Risk Assessment Skills

You need to understand how to conduct a risk assessment for your organization as a cybersecurity expert. Hackers have found numerous ways to attack a system, and they can make it impossible for even the most experienced IT experts to defend against such attacks. 

Therefore, recognizing and prioritizing the potential susceptibility of a defense system to cyber attacks will be beneficial to your organization. Also, when you’re able to assess the most significant risks in a defense system and resolve them quickly, you’ll become more effective in protecting such a system. 

Knowledge of Systems and Applications

As a cybersecurity expert, you need to have adequate knowledge of systems and applications. When you learn how to maintain, run and configure web servers and databases, you’ll be able to effectively improve the network security system applications by testing for vulnerabilities. 

Besides, systems are the foundation of cybersecurity, so an intensive knowledge of systems is a valuable cybersecurity skill. Also, ensure that you learn everything about mobile and desktop systems. You can do this by studying the unique traits of popular operating systems and becoming comfortable with helming command line interfaces like Linux’s terminal. 

Communication Skills

As a cybersecurity professional, you’ll often work in teams and collaborate with people from other departments and positions. Therefore, you need to have in-depth communication skills to explain your solutions, findings, and concerns to others. 

Furthermore, you have to speak concisely and clearly about cybersecurity policies and strategies. Also, having good communication skills means you can simplify technical information for individuals with different levels of technical knowledge. 

Knowledge of Cloud Security

As more companies are moving their data to the cloud, there is a need for cloud-based security experts to help secure and protect their data. Knowing cloud security will give you the basics to effectively secure data in the cloud. 

Similarly, cloud violations occur when fake pages are used to steal credentials, so companies need cybersecurity experts that are familiar with schemes like this and can make use of cloud security tools to identify and counter these schemes. Also, cybersecurity experts that manage platforms like Microsoft Azure and AWS are always in very high demand.

Network Security Skills

The basics of network security come from understanding how network systems work. To be a good cybersecurity specialist or expert, you need to have network security skills. Also, you can’t protect any network if you don’t know what firewall logs mean, haven’t grasped the basics of intrusion detection and prevention, or understand how routers work. 

Becoming a Good Cybersecurity Expert

While you can learn cybersecurity skills independently, getting a formal education in cybersecurity will boost your knowledge and increase your chances of getting high-paying and high-lever cybersecurity roles. 

Also, earning a degree in cybersecurity will lay the foundation you need to advance your skills and give you an advantage over self-taught individuals because of your specific skillsets. You can also gain additional job skills by furthering your education with a Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree. 

Must-have Cybersecurity Skills In Summary

Cybersecurity experts are always in high demand, and this demand is only expected to grow. Companies are constantly searching for cybersecurity professionals with good cybersecurity skills due to the shortage of cybersecurity experts in the job market.

Similarly, as more people use the internet professionally and personally, there will always be hackers who will violate their data. These cybercriminals will provide a need for cybersecurity professionals, which means your job will always be secure. 

However, before you can secure a good cybersecurity job, you need specific skills. The cybersecurity skills mentioned in this article will increase your dream job chances. Remember, cybersecurity professionals are leaders and team players, and they don’t stop until they identify and solve a security threat.