Cyber attacks, cyber crimes, security breaches, stolen identities, compromised customer information and computer attacks seem to happen every day.
We hear about these security events constantly on the news and on social media. Some of the biggest brands and government organizations have suffered some of the worst security breaches and attacks in history, including Target, Yahoo, Home Depot and the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
As a result, cybersecurity has become a primary concern and a priority for many companies today—a concern that has also forced us to think twice about sharing a picture or other information on social media or entering our addresses and social security numbers into an online web form.
There is a bright side.
Because cyber threats and security attacks are keeping business owners and executives up at night, the world of cybersecurity has a lot of opportunity for tech professionals.
What is Cyber Security?
Cybersecurity is a specialty within the information technology (IT) field. Cybersecurity specifically addresses the challenges brought on by security threats, attacks, and breaches, an area that can cost companies millions of dollars in damages and losses due to stolen information, damaged files and records, and interrupted services and production. A lot of companies today are paying good money to make sure their customer’s data is safe.
Businesses and organizations, including government agencies, such as the United States Department of Homeland Security are looking for highly qualified, educated, intelligent and experienced tech professionals who specialize in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity professionals understand how to analyze, categorize, and identify the risks and vulnerabilities within the organization, as well as help organizations make more informed decisions related to IT security.
The Information Security Job Market
It’s no secret that cyber attacks are increasing in severity and frequency, making the demand for cybersecurity professionals higher than the number of qualified candidates available, resulting in a huge work shortage.
In fact, according to Forbes, the cybersecurity job market is expected to grow by up to $170 billion by the year 2020, making it one of the quickest growing areas of information technology with plenty of room for advancement opportunities.
On top of that, a report published by U.S. News and World in 2016 ranked cybersecurity in the eighth position on a list of the 100 best jobs. Additionally, Cert magazine published a similar report showing that top cybersecurity professionals in major cities such as New York City and San Francisco can expect to make up to $300k—more than a healthcare physician!
The Leading Cyber Security Companies
So which companies are the leaders in cybersecurity today? Although there are over 500 cybersecurity companies worldwide, we have compiled a list of the top cybersecurity companies located throughout the United States and Europe.
Root9B is the number one cybersecurity company with headquarters located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and offices located in San Antonio, Texas; New York City, New York; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Root9B offers a range of cybersecurity consulting and operational support for customers worldwide.
Herjavec Group began outsourcing their security devices during a prolonged labor shortage of cybersecurity professionals. As a result, this is one cybersecurity company that is investing in onboarding cybersecurity professionals to help fulfill empty positions.
IBM Security and Cisco Security Group, two of the top cybersecurity companies formed a partnership to fight back against cybercrimes. By combining their top cybersecurity professionals and resources, these organizations will be working on improving security effectiveness and developing an IT security program for their customers through technology integration.
Thycotic, a leading provider in privileged account management solutions has a customer base spanning to more than 7,500 organizations worldwide. They are currently investing in a new Privilege Ready Program, which involves Thycotic’s integration capabilities and several leading security vendors around the world.
Digital Defense’s software, Frontline Vulnerability Manager (Frontline VM) is an innovative security management and assessment software, which involves scanning technology and the power of certified and knowledgeable security analysts behind it.
Palo Alto Networks and the Girl Scouts of the USA are collaborating to create 18 new National Cybersecurity Badges. As a result of these efforts, Girl Scouts of all ages will explore the world of cybersecurity and information technology while also develop problem-solving and leadership skills, skills which are essential for today’s working world.
These are just some examples of what the world’s leading cybersecurity companies are up to, and why they need cybersecurity professionals to fill the gap and empty positions in their workforces.
Where Are Cyber Security Jobs Located?
The number of cybersecurity jobs has grown significantly in the last decade. Cybersecurity jobs are available throughout the United States, with the majority located in Silicon Valley and throughout the state of California. A number of cybersecurity positions are also located in international companies located in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Here are some of the prime locations for cybersecurity positions:
- 120 companies located in Silicon Valley
- 77 cybersecurity companies located in the Northeast (including New England, New York, and New Jersey)
- 50 companies in the Washington D.C. metro area (the majority of these cybersecurity positions involve defense contractors and cyber defenders for government operations and agencies)
- 74 companies located in Europe and the United Kingdom
- 20 companies located in the midwest, including Colorado and San Antonio, Texas
What Kind of Talent Are These Companies Looking For?
So what skills, education, and experience are needed for a tech career in cybersecurity?
The majority of cybersecurity companies are looking for candidates with a background or formal education, such as a Bachelor’s degree in information technology, information security, information systems security or a related field.
Cybersecurity jobs will see an average job growth rate of 22 percent, and the median annual salary is approximately $90,000. Some examples of common cybersecurity positions include the following:
- Cybersecurity targeting analyst (up to $150,000 annual salary)
- Training specialist (up to $115,000 annual salary)
- Crisis specialist (up to $95,000 annual salary)
- Intelligent cyber analyst (up to $115,000 annual salary)
- Cybersecurity companies will be looking for candidates with the following experience and skills:
Compliance auditing – A professional that has experience with conducting comprehensive reviews of security guidelines and policies, user access controls, and risk management procedures, and how an organization adheres to those guidelines.
Cybersecurity detection – A cybersecurity professional must be able to successfully detect cybersecurity threats and communicate those threats accordingly to business leaders and executives.
Cybersecurity mitigation – In addition to clearly communicating cybersecurity threats, a cybersecurity professional must also understand how to mitigate those risks and threats and problem-solve accordingly.
Software security – A cybersecurity professional must be able to implement ideas on how to protect software against malicious attacks and security threats in order to ensure that software and services continue to function, minimizing potential risks and threats, and avoiding production downtime.
Project management – A background or experience in project management is crucial for a cybersecurity role, particularly in the areas of risk management, leadership, communication, and the ability to manage multiple cybersecurity projects.
Technical expertise – Having extensive technical expertise and a formal background and education in information technology or related field will set candidates apart from others.
Software development – Having a background and a track record of successful software development will be a key skill for cybersecurity professionals. Most cybersecurity positions may involve developing new security software or making improvements to existing security software.
Some of the leading companies mentioned above, such as Oracle and IBM hire graduates from schools such as Brown University, Pennsylvania State, Rensselaer Polytechnic and Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), just to name a few.
For more information on which colleges and universities leading cybersecurity companies hire from, visit Paysa.com.
What Does a Tech Career Path in Cybersecurity Look Like?
The number of cybersecurity jobs is increasing significantly. Most cybersecurity positions require at least a Bachelor’s degree in information technology-related fields and at least two to three years of professional experience. The states with the most cybersecurity opportunities are in California, the Midwest, New England, and the Washington D.C. area.
Most companies are willing to invest in training and onboarding an intelligent staff to avoid millions of dollars lost due to security attacks and breaches. As a result, most companies are providing in-house training for all new hires to ensure they are armed with the information and resources necessary to identify, combat, and mitigate the biggest security risks and threats.
Start Your Career in Cybersecurity
With identity theft, various forms of fraud, stolen or compromised information and other cyber attacks on the rise, intelligent and experienced cybersecurity specialists will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. On top of that the shortage in knowledgeable, experienced, and educated cybersecurity professionals in the workforce makes job security in cybersecurity very high.
Before you can make the most out of your career, you need to start it out right. Check out Paysa to research security companies and explore open positions and salaries.