By- Mr. Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO, Simplilearn
With growing digitalization, cybersecurity has emerged front and centre in every organization’s list of priorities. The market for cybersecurity is expected to touch USD 345.38 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.5%. The growing trend of ‘work from home’ because of the pandemic was a big factor. When employees work remotely, they might be exposed to greater risk due to unsecured or shared networks, use of personal devices, and the blurring of lines between the professional and personal. At the same time, the growing sophistication of targeted cyber-attacks has also impacted businesses.
As organizations increase their focus on cybersecurity, they are investing in getting the right tools and building the right strategies to execute robust cybersecurity measures. In turn, this has spurred a massive growth in demand for cybersecurity professionals. In the internet economy, where all businesses exist in a connected environment, investing in tools and personnel for cybersecurity is essential for all organizations. In addition, regulations such as GDPR are also driving the need for cybersecurity experts.
However, the sudden growth in demand for cybersecurity professionals has also resulted in a shortage of talented professionals. Among 21.4 lakh STEM graduates from India in 2020-21, only about 2000-3000 were trained in cybersecurity skills. This number is simply not enough to keep up with the volume of demand. Organizations are therefore willing to pay a premium to hire knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals. According to Glassdoor.com, the national average salary for a cybersecurity Specialist in India is Rs. 11, 67,046 per annum. For aspiring cybersecurity professionals, here is a list of possible jobs that one might look for in this space. Of course, each profile comes with certain prerequisite skill requirements and depth of experience required to perform the job.
- Network Security Engineer
In any organization, the network security engineer is responsible for maintaining systems, implementing automation, and identifying vulnerabilities. In addition, they are often tasked with the upkeep of firewalls, routers, switches, various network monitoring tools, and VPNs. Overall, the network engineer plays a pivotal role in maintaining a favourable security posture. The average compensation for a network security engineer is at about Rs. 6, 87,005 per annum.
- Cybersecurity Analyst
Given the dynamic nature of cyber threats, a cybersecurity analyst plays the key role of monitoring security access continuously. They also perform regular internal and external security audits to rule out lapses or loopholes. Based on this, the cybersecurity analyst must work towards planning, implementation, and up-gradation of security measures and controls. The starting salary for a cybersecurity analyst is generally around Rs. 5 lakhs per annum.
- Security Architect
A security architect plays a pivotal role in the process of planning, researching and designing elements of security and designing the security architecture for the network and computers within their organization. This involves understanding the needs of the company and working closely with the programming team to put in place the right security infrastructure to address those needs. In addition, they must also play a role in developing company policies and procedures to guide employees on appropriate behaviour. Security architects can earn about Rs. 20 lakhs per annum on average.
- Cybersecurity Manager
Cybersecurity managers are responsible for the maintenance of security protocols throughout the organization. Their role is to create strategies to increase network and Internet security related to different projects and manage a team of IT professionals, while ensuring the highest standards of data security. A cybersecurity manager also frequently reviews the existing security policies and ensures the policies are equipped to handle current threats. The average salary of a cybersecurity manager is at Rs. 21 lakhs per annum.
- Information Security Manager
Failure to protect sensitive customer information can expose the organization to a plethora of issues right from loss of business and reputational damage to compliance issues. That’s why an information security manager is required to detect any loopholes that might expose the company’s data, computers, and networks and make them susceptible to attacks. These days, several large organizations hire information security managers to ensure that company data, systems, and networks do not get hacked. On average, an information security manager in India can expect to earn an average of Rs. 16.5 lakhs per annum.
- Application Security Engineer
Organizations today rely on a variety of applications, both internal and third-party, as part of their day-to-day operations. Therefore, ensuring that they are secure is an important part of the overall security and integrity of the entire application infrastructure. Therefore, an application security engineer who possesses in-depth knowledge and expertise in dealing with the privacy and compliance aspects of popular applications such as AWS or Azure has an important role to play. An application security engineer in India can expect to earn Rs. 9.5 lakh per annum on average.
Ethical hackers who can think like hackers and uncover any vulnerabilities in networks, systems, and applications are a valuable resource. The demand for ethical hackers is growing steadily in India. Certified professionals with industry experience can expect to earn about Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
The role of an incident manager is to identify appropriate resources and proficiencies needed to resolve security incidents in an organization. They are responsible for forming teams in the event of an incident, and taking full ownership of the results. Hence, it is an executive-level role that requires leadership aptitude and problem-solving abilities. Typically, you can advance to this managerial role after obtaining suitable credentials that demonstrate your skills. The average salary is about Rs. 6.5 lakhs in India.
The role of a cybersecurity consultant requires adequate industry experience as well as the necessary skills and professional certifications. Consultants are generally hired on a contract basis and can expect to earn a salary of approximately Rs.8.6 lakh per annum.
Cloud Security Engineer
Professionals can also earn an average of approximately Rs. 8.3 lakh per annum in the role of a cloud security engineer. A cloud security engineer must not only handle the organization’s cloud computing environments and core infrastructure, platforms, and software but they are also called upon to provide recommendations on service design and application development for security infrastructure. In addition, they are tasked with building, maintenance and continuous improvement of an organization’s cloud-based networks and systems.
Given the reputational and business risks that a cybersecurity threat can pose, a large majority of companies now have a chief information security officer (CISO) as part of their management team. The CISO has a crucial role in ensuring that the company’s cybersecurity infrastructure is aligned with a company’s vision, operations, and technologies. The role of a CISO is certainly an aspirational one for all cybersecurity professions.
In addition to the roles listed above, roles such as information risk auditors, intrusion detection specialists, cryptologists, and vulnerability assessors, which are seeing demand across industries such as healthcare, finance, defence, and others.. As the dependence on digital technologies continues to grow across sectors, the demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals is set to grow as well.