Believe it or not, we all have a role to play when it comes to cybersecurity. The internet has brought us all together in more ways than one can imagine. The digital revolution has brought about tremendous change all over the world, and there is an insurmountable amount of data in circulation. With so much data being circulated and in use, thus arises the issue of data breaches and cyber threats. It was not long ago when the Yahoo and Facebook data breaches rocked the global headlines, with the statistics indicating that the Yahoo data breach was the largest data breach of all time, with 3 billion accounts compromised. According to IBM’s 2021 – Cost of a Data Breach Report, the data breach average cost increased 2.6% from USD 4.24 million in 2021 to USD 4.35 million in 2022. As a result, whether you are an IT professional or work in a completely unrelated field, securing cyberspace and data, whether it is your organization’s or your personal data, is critical. As quoted by Jeh Johnson, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security, “Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and it boils down to this: in cybersecurity, the more systems we secure, the more secure we all are.”
Therefore, obtaining a cyber security certification is the need of the hour, whether you are a beginner who wants to start a career in cybersecurity, a seasoned IT professional looking to upgrade your skills, or someone unrelated to IT, but wants to gain cybersecurity knowledge for personal data protection.
Why do you need a cybersecurity certification?
Cybersecurity certifications are highly valued and serve as the benchmark of your expertise because they are provided by accredited organizations that adhere to and uphold a set of industry-accepted standards. Obtaining globally recognized certifications will help you stand out from the crowd of other professionals in the field by validating your knowledge and expertise, as well as adding credibility in front of recruiters by demonstrating that you are in sync with industry standards.
There are different types of cybersecurity certifications available globally that can enhance your knowledge and skills. Consequently, regardless of your academic or professional background, the first step to take before obtaining the appropriate certification is to identify your goals and create a checklist of things you must do to improve your cybersecurity knowledge and skillset. The following points can help you in developing a strategy for achieving your goal:
- Identify your aptitude and needs
Consider your needs and choose the best training course to help you achieve your goal. For example, if you are a complete novice in the field of cybersecurity looking to start a new career, it is best to start with an introductory course that will teach you the fundamentals and also get you started on the right track. For professionals with few years of experience, it is best to earn an intermediate level certification like a certified ethical hacking that can help you develop the aptitude for detecting the vulnerabilities in your organization’s systems and networks. For Senior-level security experts, earn a specialist certification that helps you climb the ladder to a managerial position or display your prowess in running an organization’s security program.
- Learn the building blocks of cybersecurity skills
- What are the best cybersecurity certifications?
Most certifications require passing an exam and have different eligibility requirements. Enrolling in a cybersecurity training program can thus help you cover the important concepts and train you to achieve your goal. The Massachusetts institute of technology’s MIT SCC offers an excellent postgraduate program in cyber security that help you stay abreast of all the latest trends in cyber security and equip you with the necessary skills. The following is a list of the best cybersecurity certifications, ranging from entry-level to advanced/specialist levels.
- CompTIA Security+ certification: This well-known foundational certification establishes the fundamentals and helps assess a candidate’s knowledge of fundamental information security concepts. It covers a variety of security and information assurance topics, including network security, threats and vulnerabilities, access controls, cryptography, and risk management principles.
- CompTIA Security+: It is designed for professionals who want to advance to intermediate-level cyber security positions. It is globally recognized and provides individuals with the strong technical foundation required to work in a cyber security role. Network security, cryptography, risk management, compliance, operation security, threats, cloud security, host security, and other topics are covered in the certification.
- EC council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): It is regarded as the gold standard in the industry for individuals interested in a career as a penetration tester or ethical hacker. It focuses on preparing IT professionals for enterprise-level security duties, such as testing and assessing vulnerabilities in the systems and networks of an organization.
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) designation is a must-have for technology professionals looking to advance to management positions. It is a high-level certification that demonstrates the recipient has the knowledge and experience to manage security teams and enterprise-level applications, as well as to contribute to the development of an organization’s best practices for security operations.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): Anyone looking to advance their cybersecurity skills must have this top-tier certification, which is recognized as the world’s leading cybersecurity certification. The CISSP acknowledges your ability to plan, carry out, and oversee a top-notch program for cyber security. It is designed for executives, managers, and cybersecurity experts with at least five years of professional experience. The International Systems Security Certification Consortium provides the CISSP (ISC2)
- ISACA’s Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) certification is intended for professionals interested in auditing, controlling, and monitoring an enterprise’s information technology systems.