Why Cybersecurity Consultants Are In High Demand
A cybersecurity consultant is responsible for identifying vulnerabilities and implementing security measures to protect an organisation's data and systems. This information technology (IT) post is essential in all industries, most notably the healthcare, banking, financial services and insurance sectors where volumes of sensitive information are stored and exchanged regularly.
In 2020, the global cybersecurity services market was valued at USD$ 91.5 billion and was projected to increase by 10.2% in compound annual growth rate or CAGR from 2021 until 2028. This expansion means more job opportunities for cybersecurity professionals, who can work independently or for IT companies, providing offerings like TechBrain IT Services. (1)
If you're considering a career in cybersecurity, now is a great time to get started.
Why becoming a cybersecurity consultant is a great career decision
Transparency Market Research (TMR) shows that the IT security consulting market is expected to reach more than USD$ 28.22 billion by 2031. Because strengthening cybersecurity is a must for all organisations worldwide, the demand for IT consultants remains high, making IT a lucrative career choice. (2)
Below are a few reasons cybersecurity consultants are in high demand.
- Online security is a must for everyone
The TMR analysts said the increasing demand for IT security experts would likely come from small, medium and large corporations, owing to the pervasive incidences of cyberattacks daily. Financial companies, the healthcare sectors and the growing demand for identity access management (IAM) are further driving the need for IT consultants. (2)
Companies looking to strengthen their IT security and resiliency must find a recommended cybersecurity consultant to assess capacities, identify threats and vulnerabilities and propose a proactive IT setup and approach.
- Cyber breaches are catastrophic
When an organisation becomes a cyberattack victim, it can spell the end of the road for most. On a global scale, cybercrime losses were estimated at USD$6 trillion in 2021. Damage costs were approximately USD $16.4 billion daily and USD $190,000 for every second during the same period. (3)
Because of their critical role in promoting cybersecurity and creating a resilient IT infrastructure, organisations are willing to pay a high price for cybersecurity consultants who can help avoid costly data breaches.
- Hackers are getting better
Cybercriminals are getting smarter by the day. In 2019, increases in supply chain hacking noted a 78% rise, while malware attacks saw a 48% increase. An increase in ransomware attacks was also reported by 28% of organisations during the pandemic. Unfortunately, because of the uptick in cyberattacks, hackers' detection and prosecution rates are at a discouraging 0.05%. (3)
A cybersecurity consultant also needs to possess hacking skills to find and exploit weaknesses in the system and propose more effective security measures before their counterparts. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, so is the demand for these professionals to help companies build resiliency and robust protection. (4)
Increased reliance on digital technologies
Because of the massive demand for core business processes to become automated, businesses are becoming more exposed to cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals are always driven by financial gains. Digital information stored in various devices and other electronic systems, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud, is always an attractive target, allowing cybercriminals to sell data to the black market or resort to identity theft to siphon off millions of cash from unsuspecting users. (4)
As almost all electronic devices are connected to the internet, users must ensure online data protection by hiring a cybersecurity consultant.
Shift to remote work arrangements
While remote working arrangements have existed for several years, the pandemic has forced enterprises to increase virtual work opportunities for their employees. Academic institutions also had to embrace online classes, increasing the need for virtual protection.
Despite the decrease in coronavirus infections, these organisations are bound to continue offering remote work arrangements to their staff and clients. With the risks involved in this setup, organisations need to implement more robust security protocols with advice from IT security experts.
- The demand for IT professionals is insatiable
Cybersecurity expenditure is ever-increasing around the world, particularly in the North American region, which dominated the market share at 39% in 2020. Additionally, Asia Pacific countries hold the highest CAGR prediction of over 16.3%, owing to heightened focus on network security. (1)
It’s not surprising that the industry has reported a zero-unemployment rate. If you choose this career path, you'll have no problem securing a position in both IT firms and non-IT companies. Hence, aspiring cybersecurity professionals working on earning their IT degrees will have jobs waiting for them. (3)
- Cybersecurity is ever-expanding
New threats are showing up regularly, requiring various vulnerable sectors to ramp up their security protocols. Analysts from the TMR cite that the demand for cybersecurity is increasing, particularly in the financial services sector—which demands a comprehensive and proactive digital protection approach across all fronts. The same holds for the healthcare industry, which the said research firm is preparing for more IT security investments. A cybersecurity consultant is instrumental in enabling these sectors to achieve online protection. (2)
The best career pathways for cybersecurity consultants
One of the main draws of a cybersecurity career is the wide range of opportunities and career pathways. Most start as members of corporate IT staff and software developers and eventually become system administrators, security and network managers.
With enough experience, knowledge, certifications and technical skills acquisition, an IT professional can advance as a cybersecurity consultant, taking on a specific cybersecurity category.
Further, here's a list of the most in-demand cybersecurity fields that professionals can fill before becoming a cybersecurity consultant:
- Application development security: Cybersecurity workers with this title integrate security measures within an application and develop secure software for offline and online use.
- Cloud security: Whether a cloud security analyst, engineer, consultant or architect, an IT professional with this title is tasked to secure all transactions between the cloud and any software application.
- Incident responder: The IT specialists in this field are essential in mitigating cybercrime damage and facilitating a company's recovery following an attack. They're tasked to determine attacks, reduce the negative impact of the damage, and formulate data and service recovery methods.
- Threat intelligence: This field specialises in how cyberattacks may occur by evaluating weaknesses and vulnerabilities during the development and implementation stages of a specific IT project.
- Identity and access management: The IT teams in this field ensure accurate and secure access to data. They also make sure that the information is limited to authorised persons.
- Data security: These professionals ensure that sensitive personal data remain protected as they're collected, stored, transferred and processed. They're also responsible for enforcing data privacy regulations.
- Risk management: Organisations and business sectors face different types of cyber threats. It's up to risk management professionals to identify and address these.
- Security compliance: Industries and governments have specific laws and regulations that companies and offices have to meet. Specialists in this field familiarise themselves with these requirements and ensure client compliance. (5)
With vast opportunities for career entry and advancements, boosted by an ever-increasing employment demand, you can never go wrong in choosing a career in cybersecurity. Professionals in this field are in high demand for the reasons discussed above. This trend will continue as organisations need to be proactive in their approach to cybersecurity, where consultants play a vital role.
1. “Cyber Security Services Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Service Type, By Professional Services (Penetration Testing, Training, Consulting & Advisory), By Managed Services, By Industry Vertical, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 – 2028", Source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/cyber-security-service-market
2. "Cyber Security Consulting Market to Surpass US$ 28.22 Bn by 2031: TMR Study", Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cyber-security-consulting-market-to-surpass-us-28-22-bn-by-2031-tmr-study-301446115.html
3. "119 Impressive Cybersecurity Statistics: 2021/2022 Data & Market Analysis", Source: https://financesonline.com/cybersecurity-statistics/
4. "Four Reasons the Cybersecurity Field Is Rapidly Growing", Source: https://sopa.tulane.edu/blog/four-reasons-cybersecurity-field-rapidly-growing
5. "Eight Cybersecurity Skills in Highest Demand", Source: https://extension.harvard.edu/blog/eight-cybersecurity-skills-in-highest-demand/