In today’s security environment, there is a shortage of qualified cyber security professionals with cyber security certifications to fill in critical positions and address vulnerabilities within the network. An ever-growing demand persists for experienced individuals who are security minded and technically competent to defend against evolving cyber threats. The federal and local governments are struggling to muster up responses in order to keep pace and protect assets that house confidential and sensitive data. Cybersecurity professionals who have cyber security certifications and credentials will often be the first ones to be considered for cyber security jobs and are well positioned to respond to cyber security challenges.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is another term coined for information or network security that has been mentioned frequently within the past decade. The mention of cyber in people’s ears won’t cause them to perk up until other words such as data breach, theft, spying, and hacking comes into play. There have been several instances within the last ten years where there were major data breaches due to lack of proper security controls to keep systems secure from hacking threats. Even today, government and corporate organizations alike are still struggling to respond to these attacks, either due to a lack of funding or lack of willpower to engage these problems head-on.
Examples of security controls that are used within an office environment include policies related to onboarding and offboarding, clear desk, multi-factor authentication, biometrics, and monitoring. Combined with network security and user management tools, these measures are meant to mitigate and prevent an insider or external threats from causing harm to enterprise assets.
Cyber security needs to be examined at strategic and tactical levels, as well. The governance of and compliance with cyber laws is a continuous process due to the changing technology and regulatory environment to strengthen the security landscape. The internet has made the world become more connected than ever before, prompting the need for technical solutions such as blockchain and edge computing to keep organizations protected from malicious cyber activity.
Some of the events that occurred over the past decade, including the Yahoo email hack in 2014, the Wanna Cry ransomware attack in 2017, and the Sony PlayStation Network hack in 2011 are some of the most severe cyber attacks ever experienced in history. All attacks usually resulted in the theft of credit card, personal data, and all sorts of other sensitive information that have been leaked out into the open. Many industries are at risk because of a lack of adequate security and improper controls to address the problems that permeate in the cyber world. The problems continue to fester to the point where they can easily amount to millions in damages, as well as loss of trust in institutions by the public to keep their information safe.
Cyber Security Certifications
You’re probably asking yourself: “Why should I bother to pursue certifications?” Like any other industry, cyber security certifications are certifications awarded to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in various cybersecurity areas. These revolve around technical, procedural, and managerial work that provides test-takers the necessary framework in order to solve problems that exist within the computer network environment. As cybersecurity is a wide profession and not everyone can be an expert in all areas of cybersecurity, various organizations offer specialized cybersecurity certifications to meet the needs of the industry and cybersecurity professionals based on their interest and market demand.
The Identity Management Institute (IMI) offers online certification training that helps its members learn the fundamentals of cyber security, with an extended focus on identity management. IMI offers courses for both newcomers and experienced professionals alike. If you’re new to the cyber world, there is a cyber security course for beginners offered by IMI to teach the fundamentals necessary to succeed. Cybersecurity and in particular identity and access management domains are not just focused on system security but to be successful, cyber security professionals must also focus on and address processes to mitigate the cybersecurity risks which is why IMI offers various fraud, identity theft, and cyber security certification programs which collectively address the cyber security and identity management risks.
When pursuing IMI’s certifications, candidates will need to demonstrate knowledge related to subject areas within each certification domain and pass the related exams. By obtaining specific certifications, professionals can demonstrate cyber security skills in specific areas in which they are employed or are interested in and, employers can easily identify the best candidates for their jobs.
Identity Management Institute offers eight different certification paths to choose from:
The CIAM certification focuses on the identity and access management processes and risks. CIAM professionals are capable of assessing identity and access management risks and proposing solutions that help organizations manage user identity and access seamlessly, monitor user access to detect abnormalities, and maintain compliance within the enterprise.
CAMS certified professionals are individuals who administer user access. They process user access requests, document related approvals, audit access reports, and review exceptions. CAMS are ultimately responsible for system access and perform access certification periodically to ensure access is appropriate.
Aimed towards professionals who hold executive leadership positions within organizations, these personnel can propose and adopt industry identity management frameworks for their organizations. They also offer new standards and policies in the governance of enterprise-level identity management.
The CIMP program’s primary focus is identity management projects that require touch labor support, project management responsibilities or consultations on the design and implementation of technically-oriented identity/access management solutions. Personnel who are CIMP-certified will usually hold managerial, technical, or special member positions on identity management projects while simultaneously coordinating with various stakeholders on the implementation of solutions.
CIST professionals are technical leaders who specialize in the development, selection, and assessment of identity management and security systems. They are experts in the cyber security field when it comes to choosing and implementing technologies that manage and enhance identity security.
CIPAs are professionals that specialize in identity theft management. They support people in the detection, prevention, and resolution of anything related to identity theft. This program educates candidates on current risks related to identity theft and offer solutions on how to prevent identity theft as well as investigate and recover identities. People who earn the CIPA program become advisors to clients who need assistance with identity theft prevention, detection, and resolution.
Based on the Red Flags Rule imposed by the U.S. government, candidates are focused on the area of identity fraud prevention as part of their training. Candidates who certify through the CRFS program will be able to aid organizations with identity theft risk mitigation and fraud prevention through their knowledge of identity theft red flags throughout the business transactions.
Teaches students on the development and management of data protection program and system security to protect data based on business risks and compliance requirements to maintain adherence to the goals of availability, confidentiality and integrity of corporate data security and privacy.
Cyber Security Professionals
These professionals are often experienced managers, consultants and administrators who deal with various aspects of cyber security programs. They cover the technical aspects of information system security and provide oversight and enforcement of policies to maintain enterprise security. CSPs often hold different positions such as chief information security officer, information systems security officer and information systems security manager, to name a few. These are typically government or corporate positions where these individuals will be responsible in managing programs related to network security management and information assurance management. They are also charged with safeguarding organizational files and other data housed within the network.
Cyber security personnel are paid competitive salaries due to the skill sets they possess. Cyber security personnel may sometimes be the first to be blamed if something goes wrong but this is something that is part of the realities of the profession and should be kept in mind at all times.
In addition, cybersecurity jobs usually require security clearances via an extensive vetting process. This is necessary because professionals in this particular field hold positions of trust, and it is absolutely essential that this trust is not broken in order to maintain integrity and overall security.
There are many cybersecurity courses that teach trainees the fundamentals of cyber security, as well as the industry frameworks which are adopted and guide the policies of companies and government agencies. While it’s possible to gleam some basics through one course, it is not enough to understand the breadth and scope of the cybersecurity world. Many universities and colleges across the country offer programs where students can study cybersecurity at length as part of their degree program in computer science, information systems management or any other cyber-related degree.
Skills related to cyber security often revolve around the following:
- Identity and access management
- Securing and patching systems
- Incident response management
- Investigation and forensic analysis
Careers in cybersecurity involve a degree of technical expertise and problem solving skills. Depending on which position you occupy, you’ll direct a technical staff of system administrators to apply patches, deploy systems such as firewalls to harden a network, and run scans to assess system security vulnerabilities. If you’re in an advisory position, you will give recommendations to corporate executives and management on actions they can take to remediate security gaps and mitigate risks to keep assets and data safe. Since cyber security is a vast field, professionals in this field will have to gain many of years of on the job experience before they can see the big picture and have a good understanding of the cyber world.
Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field for interested professionals. There is no better time to learn about this field and become a member of the cybersecurity workforce. Here are some of the job positions in cyber security that will help give you an idea of what to expect:
Security Systems Administrator: The title may be different, but job responsibilities typically reconcile with that of system administrators. Security system administrators are responsible for the installation, administration and maintenance of enterprise security systems including some troubleshooting in-between if something breaks. These administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of systems that fall within their job scope.
Tasks may include backups, the monitoring of systems, and the management of user accounts that are on the network which involves account creation and deletion.
Security Architect: Crafts technically-oriented security solutions for a network. They develop complex security mechanisms designed to defend against malicious activity such as DDoS attacks and malware.
Security Consultant: An all-round cybersecurity expert. They are focused on evaluating cybersecurity risks, threats, problems, and recommend solutions on what organizations can do to bolster their network security. They deal with a slew of security issues encountered across multiple enterprises and view everything from a top-down perspective.
Ethical Hackers: Alternatively known as white-hats, these hackers are trained to breach systems internally to assess their defenses and assume the role of black hat hackers, which is a moniker for individuals who engage in malicious hacking activity. They use the same protocols as this particular group of hackers in order to test network defenses. If there are weaknesses found, upgrades can be developed and installed to improve network security.
Computer Forensics Analysts: Highly technical, they work with companies and law enforcement agencies on the analysis of cyber crimes. This involves record keeping as well as the interpretation of data, file recovery, and any other form of analysis in relation to criminal acts.
IT Security Consultant: Operates in a similar capacity to security consultants, except they are primarily focused on system security rather than operations security.
These are just a sampling of the cybersecurity careers and titles available to you. Whichever you pursue as a professional, you will not be limited to just certain tasks. Sometimes you will be required to work with teams to help keep the network secure. You will be required to understand what others are doing as part of their jobs to secure the organization.
In closing, we discussed the need for cybersecurity experts to address the ongoing threat of cyber attacks that persists in today’s networking environment. In order to occupy the right cybersecurity positions, individuals will need to assess their interest ad skills and then design a career plan that includes attending the right cybersecurity courses and obtaining the right cybersecurity certifications. Cyber security professionals are hard to find and will be even more in demand in the future to secure government and corporate digital assets, and there is no better time to prepare and learn now. Identity Management Institute serves as the leader in cybersecurity that focuses on identity and access management. Join IMI and enhance your cybersecurity career by focusing on the fast growing identity and access management segment of the cyber security industry.