How to Become A Security Consultant?

How to Become A Security Consultant?

A security consultant is a person who knows about every feature of the security industry. He works for the business organization for risk determination, problem assessment, and evaluating solutions for different security issues. It’s a part of his duty to define and implement the best security solution for the organization. A security consultant can work for self-employed contractors or for consulting firms. He sometimes also works as a guide and as a qualified expert.

Security consultants deal with numerous risks and threats to computer security. Computer hackers, terrorists, and even attacks on physical assets; all are different forms of security threats. There are specializations for security consultants such as for; security of a building, security against natural and man-made disaster, or security of all the computer-related issues.

Cyber-security consultant:

A cyber-security consultant is a person who deals with the digital security of a company. Some of the most highlighted roles security consultants are doing for companies, or private individuals are the installation of video surveillance and alarm systems for physical protection. As you might know that cyber-security consultants are experts who protect the organizations against hackers, malware and employee mistakes, and even natural disasters.

In order to break into this field, the person must possess hands-on experience, extensive training, and management skills. Sometimes the consultant works as both the attacker and the defender in the computer systems to find out all the weaknesses of the system and fixing them as soon as they can. They have to access IT systems, servers and databases, and computer infrastructures.

The cyber-security consultant can be specified easily if we attach only one word before it. This word expresses the type of cyber-security. Some of these consultant jobs are named as:

  • Information security consultant
  • Computer security consultant
  • Database security consultant
  • Network security consultant

Qualifications:

There are no definite education requirements to become a cyber-security consultant. But here we will be telling you the most common and easy way how most people start their careers in this field. Firstly, you need to get a bachelor’s degree; it can be a degree in information technology (IT), computer science (CS), and cyber-security and even particularly in security consultancy. If you already have degrees in other fields and still want to pursue this area, then we recommend you to gain some certifications and equivalent work experience.

 Certifications

There is nothing wrong with gaining information; even if you have a bachelor’s degree, we still recommend you to take one or two courses related to cybersecurity it will give you a broader perspective and will allow you to think intensely. Some of the most common cybersecurity certifications in this field of cybersecurity are:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Cyber-Security Analyst (CySA+)
  • Certified Protection Professional (CPP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
  • Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)
  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Technical skills:

Every project in the tech industry requires specific demands for security experts. Some of the skills that you might need before getting on board with your cyber-security consultancy job are listed below. These are just general technical skills; after getting a job, you can also specialize in a particular field according to your organization’s demand.

  • Penetration testing

The penetration testing skills means that you have to work both as attacker and protector, its similar to error and trial method. A practical example of this is vulnerability testing of a client’s applications and software, the consultant keeps attacking the system, and if it breaches, he tries to fix it, before a real attack may happen.

 

  • Firewall management

Cyber-security consultants must have expertise in firewall management skills. The firewall management means to detect breaches and maintain backups; it also includes safety features and preventing protocols.

 

  • Encryption technologies

Encryption is rapidly being used for defense against data-stealing and destruction. Cyber-security consultants must understand how different encryptions will impact the company’s setups and how the encryption solution can be applied. He must be able to send and receive data over the internet without yielding to any cyber-criminals.

 

  • Advanced persistent threat management

This type of management means that consultants should have adequate knowledge about network access control, social engineering, and also phishing in order to proceed with the work and tackle multi-stage attacks.

 

  • Operating systems

A cyber-security consultant will need at least an intermediate level of awareness about Windows, macOS, Linux, and many other operating systems. Sometimes, while working as a security consultant, you might need to break into any of the above-mentioned operating systems (with the organization’s permission). Therefore, the more you know, the better it is.

 

  • Ethical hacking and coding practices

A security consultant requires some talents, such as ethical hacking, because without understanding what the black hacker is going to do with the system, you can evaluate the solution. For better security, a consultant must think like cyber-attackers and hackers. A defensive mindset is always appreciated here. Also, a better understanding of coding can teach you better threat modeling and configuration skills.

 

  • Programming languages

Similarly, like operating systems, the same rule applies here. A security consultant who has brief knowledge about different programming skills is very much appreciated and is considered a guru. He uses these programming skills to store raw data and processing. 

 

  • Analysis

Cyber-security consultants require strong analysis skills more than any other person in the cyber-security field. This comprises all the applications of the standard analysis of the industry, such as analyzing business’s security solutions. They must have an eye of a lion to analyze situations before they even happen.

 

Personal Skills

The job also requires the use of soft skills such as the following:

  • Leadership Skills

A consultant is a person who keeps the whole cyber team together, and he requires excellent leadership skills. He is also responsible for running the entire security team operations; therefore, without leadership skills, he might face some problems.

 

  • Negotiation Skills

Cyber-security is still considered to be the puzzling part of the digital world; a good security consultant must understand the power of negotiations when required. He should make a clear decision about any actions, considering the cyber rules may differ from one country to another.

 

  • Communication Skills

Effective communication with the security team is always a plus point for the cyber consultant. He must be able to convey his message to the other people in a way that they can understand.

Career Path:

If you have decided to step forward in the US region, then you should start it by collecting information and taking a bunch of intermediate level jobs. Experience is useful, and it will lead you to new heights of prosperity, you must have sufficient preparation time before jumping to security consultant job. Some of the extensive but experience gaining entry-level jobs are security administrator, security specialist, security analyst, and security engineer and also as security auditor.

After getting sufficient experience in entry-level positions, you can then apply for a Security Consultant. If you think you have gained enough experience and now can apply for higher-level positions that deal with more technical and managerial domains, then you should apply for security architect, security manager, and even as IT security manager. 

Finally, after some more experience, you will be promoted to the upper-level post of a security director and CISO.

Responsibilities:

Here is a list of all the responsibilities that a security consultant has to perform while working in an organization:

  • Designing a competent strategy to protect computers and their networks from potential attacks.
  • Staying in touch with the security staff and heads to resolve the cyber-security issues.
  • Performing some vulnerability tasks on the systems.
  • Keeping the knowledge about all the new security systems, security standards, and authentication protocols.
  • Determining the required cost for strategic security plans.
  • Making security solutions will not have side effects on the system with the passage of time.
  • Informing the Security Director or the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) about everything.
  • Supervising the security teams of the organization.
  • Defining the corporate security policies.
  • Responding immediately if any potential security incident happens.
  • Analyzing and making a clear report about any incident.
  • Ensuring that all the security systems are efficient and upgraded.
  • Collaborating with other it project managers and security manager.

Conclusion

If anyone is looking for being a boss and is already very much into cyber-security, we suggest them to pursue becoming a cyber-security consultant. If you are motivated enough, we think you can acquire the skills, education, and training required to be a security consultant. A cyber consultant must be a fast thinker because it is a part of your duty to evaluate solutions to almost every problem within a short span of time.

We hope it was all helpful to you, keep reading our articles for more information.