From Coding to Cybersecurity: Your Guide to A Flourishing Career
Last Updated : 04 May, 2023
Cybercrimes are expected to cost $8 trillion in 2023. (Source: www.forbes.com)
The alarming figure above implies one basic maxim- companies have to warm up their cybersecurity measures ‘to ensure their software and applications are as bulletproof as possible against bad actors’(Source: www.forbes.com). The good thing is, that the growing awareness of cybercrime has brought exponential growth in the domain of cybersecurity jobs. As of 2023, cybersecurity extends rewarding job opportunities not just for core cybersecurity professionals but also for professionals from other domains who are planning to transition into the cybersecurity world. Professionals, especially from a tech background, say, from software development, hold the potential to establish a successful career in the world of cybersecurity.
The post below offers a guide on how a software developer could transition to a career in cybersecurity.
Why Cybersecurity As A Career?
There is not one but multiple reasons to transition to the field of cybersecurity.
- Cybersecurity is a growing and on-demand industry
- The cybersecurity job sector is predicted to have around 3.5 million openings by 2025 (https://www.forbes.com/)
- The cybersecurity world offers a long list of job roles and opportunities, such as Cybersecurity Engineer, Penetration Testing Security Engineer, Security Architect, Cybersecurity Analyst, Network Security Manager, and more
- The cybersecurity salary could reach up to 24 LPA INR
- Cybersecurity professionals have openings in a wide range of industries; added to tech, you will also find job openings in healthcare, military, automobile, logistics, finance, and so on.
In reality, a software developer in cybersecurity is a unicorn. These professionals know the essentials of software development and can fix the vulnerabilities within the system – a win-win situation for organisations who hire them.
Cyber Security vs Software Engineering: Head-to-head Comparison
Cyber security and software development do share certain similar aspects but there are some major differences as well. To start with, both domains require a degree in the field of Computer Science. Then, both software developers and cybersecurity professionals deal with systems and applications.
Regarding differences, the core focus is different for both domains. While cybersecurity focuses on securing computer networks and systems, software engineering involves designing and developing software products. Also, the cybersecurity domain shows much higher job prospects in comparison with software developers. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a career in cybersecurity is projected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029, while a career in software development will grow by only 22%. Both cybersecurity and software engineering are high-paying careers, but the projected growth in cybersecurity is slightly higher.
Why do Software Developers need to Understand Cybersecurity?
For software developers, understanding cybersecurity is critical to building secure and resilient software. The Prosper Insights & Analytics Survey revealed, “most consumers have not taken any steps to protect their digital/online privacy”. Therefore it’s crucial for companies to invest in cybersecurity protocols to ensure their software and applications stay safe against possible threats.
As technology continues to advance, the future of cybersecurity is poised to evolve at an unprecedented pace. The rapid shift to digital and the fast-paced nature of business requires developers to churn out new applications to market. Unfortunately, this unprecedented push for newer product development could lead to flaws or security issues within their code.
Today, the industry requires software developers in cybersecurity because they are the ‘lifeblood of an organisation’s digital transformation journey’. By understanding cybersecurity, software developers can design software with security in mind, implement secure coding practices, and stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats and solutions. Ultimately, a strong understanding of cybersecurity is essential for developers to build software that is secure, reliable, and trustworthy.
How Long Does it Take to Get Into Cybersecurity From Software Develoopment?
For someone with an IT or computer science background, it will need less time to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Generally, anyone entering the cybersecurity domain should start with entry-level certifications, such as CompTIA Security+ or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Once completed, they can switch to more advanced specialities.
However, as cybersecurity is an ever-evolving world, industry professionals need to go through continuous learning to stay updated about the latest technologies and threats in the cyber world.
Here is a detailed roadmap for building a career in cybersecurity:
Start with the Foundation:
Begin by understanding the basics of cybersecurity, including the different types of attacks, threat modelling, and defence mechanisms. You can do this through online courses or books on the topic.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certification In Ethical Hacking, Cyber Security Essential Program, or CompTIA Security+ will give you credibility and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.
Sign-up for Specialised Courses:
After learning the fundamentals of cybersecurity, it’s time to delve into specialised courses, such as penetration testing, incident response, or risk management.
Get hands-on Experience:
Gain practical experience by working on security-related projects or contributing to open-source security tools. Or you could participate in bug bounty programs or hackathons to gain practical experience and develop your skills.
Apply for Jobs:
Look for entry-level cybersecurity roles or internships to gain more experience and continue learning. Networking with cybersecurity communities or attending conferences or meetups is an excellent way to connect with professionals in the field and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.
Software Development to Cybersecurity: The Jobs You Could Get
Most software development job roles transition into mid-level and advanced-level cybersecurity titles with few years of experience.
These professionals are responsible for monitoring and analysing security risks and vulnerabilities, as well as developing and implementing security policies and procedures to protect an organisation’s technology infrastructure and data. Additionally, they create a disaster recovery plan for the company to follow in emergencies. These professionals could earn between ₹5.8 to ₹ 9.6 LPA (Source: www.ambitionbox.com).
The responsibilities of a security engineer include identifying, designing, implementing, and maintaining security systems. They develop solutions to protect an organisation’s digital assets and work with the core team to document standard operating procedures and protocols. On average, a security engineer could earn up to ₹8.31 LPA in the first year of the job.
A penetration tester is responsible for testing an organisation’s security measures by attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in its systems. They are responsible for developing new testing methods to identify these vulnerabilities. The national average salary in India for a Penetration Tester is ₹5.0 LPA.
They are responsible for providing expert advice and guidance to organisations on cybersecurity best practices and risk management strategies.
It is a senior-level position- a Cybersecurity Architect is responsible for planning, designing, testing, implementing, and maintaining an organisation’s computer and network security infrastructure. These professionals in India could earn between ₹ 15.0 Lakhs to ₹ 48.7 Lakhs depending on their skills and years of experience.
Cybersecurity is a booming sector with immense potential for growth. With us becoming more and more dependent on technology, the surge for skilled cybersecurity experts is rising exponentially. From software development to cybersecurity, this could be the right time to transition. There are plenty of job opportunities for cybersecurity professionals in the market with generous salaries.
For a software developer, cybersecurity could be a promising career option. In comparison to other domains, a software developer in cybersecurity holds the unique advantage of being well-versed in programming and software design while having a fundamental understanding of security principles.
With the right training, these professionals could play a proactive role in eliminating vulnerabilities in networks and applications and ensuring optimised safety for the systems.