Cybersecurity Specialist Career Path Job Description & Salary

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Many companies have an incident response plan that outlines the steps, and the security team contributes to both creating that plan and executing it when the time comes. We have compiled all the relevant information about the security specialist role, so you can decide whether this is the ideal career path for you. We reveal the essential aspects of the position, how to get hired, data on salary expectations, and the best companies that are hiring.

it security specialist skills

By asking this question, employers are looking for evidence of your hands-on experience with these tools and your understanding of how they can be leveraged to protect an organization’s digital assets. While there are a number of other skills that can help in a career in cyber security, these skills are the key to protecting your network resources and security. Without much experience working in the cyber security field, you’ll probably need to apply for entry-level IT or cyber security positions. These will give you the relevant experience you need before you can be considered for a security specialist job. On the other hand, if you already have relevant experience working in a cyber security team, then you will stand a much better chance of getting hired as a security specialist. Security specialists will also use a range of tools to assess the level of security in an organization’s computer and network systems.

Undertaking measures to secure IT infrastructure

This question is aimed at understanding your knowledge of the unique security challenges posed by Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These devices are becoming increasingly common in corporate environments, and while they can offer significant benefits, they also introduce new vulnerabilities. Therefore, it’s essential for IT security specialists to have a robust strategy for securing these devices and protecting the overall integrity of the corporate network. In terms of IDS, I’ve used tools like Snort and Suricata for real-time traffic analysis and packet logging on IP networks. I understand the importance of signature-based detection methods as well as anomaly-based detection to identify potential threats. With new threats emerging daily, it’s imperative for an IT Security Specialist to stay abreast of the latest trends and threats.

An employer might want candidates to have gained specific certificates, as these can teach you particular essential skills. Also, even if one of these certificates isn’t required for a role, it may still be preferable, or at least beneficial. To get hired as a security specialist, you always want to develop your skills and knowledge as much as possible, and certificates help you to do exactly that. Many entry-level cybersecurity roles do not require programming skills, but it is an important skill for mid- and senior-level cybersecurity jobs. Cybersecurity analysts use a combination of technical and workplace skills to assess vulnerabilities and respond to security incidents. If you have a background in information technology (IT) you may already have some of the technical skills, and many of the workplace skills carry over from a wide variety of occupations.

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A good password management tool can help in maintaining complex passwords without burdening the users. To ensure the information was absorbed, I incorporated quizzes at the end of each section. This not only made the sessions engaging but also helped me gauge their understanding. However, you will also be expected to engage in manual checks and tests to ensure that you don’t miss any issues. CASP+ is an advanced certification that validates critical thinking and judgment across a spectrum of security disciplines in complex environments.

  • CompTIA A+ skills, and the certification itself, are key for resumes because businesses want a reliable way to quickly evaluate potential hires on their knowledge and skills.
  • As a guardian against potentially devastating digital threats, you’ll be one of the most important people within any organisation.
  • Information technology security specialists take home a median annual wage of $112,000, according to the latest salary data from the U.S.
  • For mitigating the risk of cyberattacks, it is important to have a deeper understanding of an attacker’s mindset.
  • The question is posed to ascertain if you have the requisite knowledge to safeguard the company’s digital assets and ensure that only authorized individuals have access to certain information.
  • You will play a pivotal role in making strategic decisions, thereby providing tactical advice to secure business-critical operations.

This question helps them to assess your technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and understanding of the latest security practices. Cyber security jobs of all sorts are becoming increasingly crucial in the digital age. From a specialist to an analyst to the IT security director, there are many jobs that focus on network security and all of these positions are vital for information security success. As a result, cyber security jobs have only grown in importance and demand—especially with the growth of ransomware attacks and data breaches that expose sensitive information. A cybersecurity specialist is a security professional who leverages skills, technology expertise and training to secure an enterprise’s sensitive data from both internal and external threats. This professional identifies vulnerabilities and conducts threat and risk analysis to monitor and combat intrusions against company infrastructure.

Ability to perform deep analysis with an eye for detail

It’s a good idea to let your employer know about your plans to study, as they might be willing to help with the funding. After all, the knowledge and skills you gain will benefit your career and, in turn, the organization. However, check beforehand whether an employer does want you to have a cyber security certificate, and which specific one they have in mind. After all, you don’t want to waste your time, effort, and money on a qualification you don’t need or that won’t come in handy for your chosen career path. Security specialists can find employment in a broad range of commercial, governmental, and not-for-profit organizations. To qualify for this position, you tend to need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a related subject.

it security specialist skills

By ensuring only authorized individuals can access sensitive information, we significantly reduce the risk of breaches. During the audit, I’d use various tools and techniques such as vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and reviewing system configurations to assess the effectiveness of our security measures. Security audits are a critical part of maintaining and improving the overall security stance of an organization. Hiring managers want to know that you not only understand how to conduct a robust and comprehensive audit, but also how to interpret the findings and implement changes based on these results. This is an integral part of the role, demonstrating your ability to act proactively, make strategic decisions and manage risk to the organization. For virtual servers, my focus is on strong firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and regular vulnerability assessments.


It demonstrates your interpersonal skills, teaching abilities, and your understanding of the importance of a company-wide security culture. Facing a security breach can be a defining moment for any IT Security Specialist. It’s a test of your technical skills, decision-making abilities, and your capacity to remain calm under pressure. By asking this question, how to become a security specialist hiring managers are trying to gauge your experience with such incidents, and more importantly, your approach to managing them. They want to understand your problem-solving skills and whether you can take swift, effective action when it matters the most. Next, I ensure these policies are effectively communicated across all levels of the organization.

  • As the next step from there, DevSecOps is an emerging industry trend, particularly among large enterprises that need agile and rapid deployment for the applications they’re building.
  • After containing the breach, we focused on recovery and strengthening security measures.
  • As you might expect, IT security specialists require extensive technical skills and knowledge to effectively do their jobs.
  • Security specialists will also use a range of tools to assess the level of security in an organization’s computer and network systems.