- The cyber security sector is projected to be worth $376 billion by 2029.
- There’s a skills shortage for cyber security professionals in the USA.
- Indians looking to enter this field can find lucrative remote working positions.
- Networking, ethical hacking and cyber security all offer opportunities for skilled workers.
It’s predicted that the global cyber security market will reach $376 billion by 2029.1 Cyber security is becoming increasingly important for every aspect of daily life, and those who have skills in this field will have the chance to command high salaries. Because of the digital nature of the work, many American companies are hiring remote workers to access the best talent in the world, creating valuable (and lucrative) opportunities for Indian security professionals.
Why Work in Cyber Security
Cyber security is a dynamic and fast-moving profession that is becoming increasingly important in our daily lives. As services move online, from telemedicine to filing our taxes, keeping the internet secure becomes vital. Cyber security workers play a critical role in protecting the services everyone uses and their personal data. It’s a field where skilled workers are always in demand, offering flexible working choices (including remote work) and attractive compensation. In addition, because the technologies that power the web are always evolving, you’ll always have the chance to learn and employ new skills in the field.
Remote Working Cyber Security Opportunities for Indians
While some cyber security jobs do require site visits, many jobs can be done remotely. This makes cyber security work an ideal choice for Indians who want the flexibility of being able to choose from a near-infinite pool of employers but don’t want to relocate. As long as you have a laptop, the right skills and a reasonably fast internet connection, you can work from home, whether that home is in New York or Surat.
Top Jobs in Cyber Security
Cyber security jobs are quite diverse and cover everything from network security and systems administration to software development. Depending on your mindset and skills, you can focus on reverse-engineering to find bugs or vulnerabilities in networks and applications or attempt to stay one step ahead of malicious parties by securing networks or carrying out audits on existing installations and highlighting vulnerabilities. It’s possible to do a lot of work remotely, and you don’t need expensive hardware at home to be a successful cyber security worker.
1. Ethical Hacker
Ethical hackers are security specialists who use their knowledge for good. Rather than attempting to gain unauthorized access to computer systems to do damage, these professionals look for vulnerabilities in systems and then notify the systems administrator or developer so they can fix the vulnerability before someone who wishes to do harm discovers it. Ethical hackers can work for companies or on bug bounties published online and claim cash rewards for finding issues. At the entry-level, an ethical hacker can expect to earn around $79,000 per year.2 Experienced ethical hackers can command much higher salaries.
2. Information Security Engineer
Information security engineers are responsible for maintaining the security of computer systems in an organization. They set policies both on a technical and staff level and make sure those policies are both robust and easy for workers to follow. Information security workers are usually relatively experienced professionals with exposure to a wide variety of tech areas, so they have a good understanding of security’s big picture in an environment with a lot of different devices and applications. The median salary of an information security engineer is $113,000 per year.3
3. Malware Analyst
Malware analysts specialize in trojans, viruses and other malware. They help companies identify and avoid malware and other threats, respond to security incidents and stay informed about the latest threats. This job requires attention to detail and some knowledge of networking and programming. The average salary of a malware analyst is $165,000 per year.4 This is a job that lends itself to remote work, making it a good option for Indians who are looking for remote working opportunities.
4. Penetration Tester
Penetration testers are security experts who are hired to test company networks and systems for vulnerabilities. Essentially, they attempt to hack computer systems, but with permission, then provide reports on the vulnerabilities that they find and how to fix them. The average salary of a penetration test is around $87,000 per year.5 This is a fast-paced and interesting job that can be done remotely, and that always presents new challenges and technologies to explore.
5. Computer Forensics Analyst
Computer forensics analysts inspect computers to recover data or evidence of cybercrime. That could be examining hard drives, evaluating network logs or helping victims recover data lost after a malware infection. Experienced computer forensics analysts can earn around $120,000 per year,6 and even entry-level analysts can command around $58,000. Some forensics positions require the specialist to be on-site, but some jobs can be done remotely. The highly skilled nature of this job means it’s possible to get a skilled worker visa for these positions.
6. Security Architect
Security architects are responsible for evaluating existing security systems, designing robust security policies and ensuring access control lists are configured correctly. They may also be responsible for the day-to-day management of network and computer security. This is a highly skilled senior position with an average salary of $129,000 per year.7 Some employers expect their security architects to be available on-site, but this is a position that is increasingly seeing remote vacancies available, as so much of the network side of security can be handled remotely.
How To Become a Cyber Security Specialist
While there are traditional degree entry routes into cyber security, the field values experience and knowledge more than paper qualifications. It’s possible to learn a lot of cyber security skills in your own time or via online courses on platforms such as Coursera.8 A lot of cyber security skills rely on free and open source tools, so learning the Linux command line, how to configure popular web servers and basic coding skills will go a long way towards helping you find entry-level positions.
Useful Certifications for Cyber Security Specialists
Certifications are a useful indicator of the skills a cyber security professional has. Many major vendors, such as Cisco and Microsoft, offer their own certifications, and more general ones are provided by bodies such as CompTIA. Once you’ve decided what area of cyber security most interests you, it’s a good idea to explore some of these certifications:
- EC-Council CCISO
- CompTIA Security+ISO 27001 Lead Auditor(ISC)
- 2 Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional(ISC)
- 2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
There are many other qualifications to choose from. Look for certifications that require some “lab time” rather than simply using multiple-choice tests, where possible. These certifications have more value because they show the holder has practical skills.
Cyber Security Workers Are Welcome in America
Cyber security positions fall under the skilled worker program,9 offering an opportunity for Indians to live and work in the United States if they wish. If you’re not interested in making the leap to living in the United States, you can still work for an American company remotely, and there’s no visa required for remote worker positions. These jobs offer the opportunity for Indians to gain experience and build their reputation with U.S. companies, with a view of taking more lucrative senior positions or moving to the U.S. in the future.