According to a report by Cybersecurity jobs, there will be 3.5 million available job openings by 2021 in cybersecurity, with cybercrime rising to six trillion in the same year.
Despite the high employment rates in this department, it can be quite tricky to get a high-paying job without the right job requirements. If you are serious about becoming an incident responder, you will need to work hard to get an edge over your colleagues.
This includes selecting the right college degree and getting the appropriate experience to add to your resume. Apart from this, you need a lot of technical skills to learn how to deal with security threats successfully.
To help you out, we have highlighted all the crucial steps to becoming an incident responder in the future.
A cybersecurity job requires a plethora of technical expertise and vast knowledge of Information Technology. Thus, you need to have the right skills, both hard and soft, in your hand, to succeed.
Although you develop many skills with experience, there are those that you need to learn beforehand.
Let us take a look at all the hard skills you might need as an incident responder
- Well-experienced with installing and configuring operating systems like Windows and UNIX
- Fluent in programming languages, including C, C#, C++, ASM, Java, PERL, and PHP
- Worked with advanced forensic software like EnCase, XRY, Helix, FTK, and Cellebrite
- Familiar with cloud computing and eDiscovery tools like Relativity, NUIX, and Clearwell
- Know about the security of applications linked to the Web
- Well-versed in system monitoring tools including, SIEM and SOAR
- Comfortable with computer communications and network using TCP/ICP protocol
- Experienced with backup techniques and arching relevant data
- Knowledge of different computer hardware and software programs
Apart from technical expertise, it is also essential to have excellent analytical and communication skills. Since an incident responder has to work with other cyber teams, they have to converse correctly and even guide others on individual security plans.
Without further due, let us look at some vital soft skills to help you become an incident responder.
- Quick thinking when it comes to responding to emergencies
- Confident while working under stress to make the right decisions
- Experienced in writing detailed analysis reports
- Excellent communication skills with colleagues and superiors
- Flexible enough to adapt well to immediate security threats
- Logical and creative thinker to find the appropriate solution to problems
- Well-spoken and well-versed to convey technical data to the team
Even though a good education is the first way to open up the path to your career, you do not require a bachelor’s degree to become an incident responder. However, obtaining a degree in computer science, computer forensics, cybersecurity, or related IT fields can give you an edge.
Not only will you learn different hard skills in your bachelor’s degree, but you will also be able to apply technical expertise in your work. Along with this, it will widen your career opportunities by enhancing your resume.
Apart from this, a degree can help you learn many vital soft skills too. By participating in group projects, you will learn how to communicate well with your colleagues.
Moreover, you will have to take part in internships as a part of your degree. Here, you can get familiar and get first-hand experience in cybersecurity. It will provide you with opportunities to learn both hard and soft skills.
If you want to consider a managerial position in your field, start thinking about a master’s degree in information security, information assurance, or incident response management. These degrees will help you get higher roles, like a senior incident responder, CSIRT manager, or a senior intrusion analyst.
Unlike these bachelor’s or master’s degrees, professionals can opt for earning relevant certifications to learn hard skills suited for their job too. We have listed all the related training programs in the section below.
Before applying for a reputable job like an incident responder, every company requires you to have some experience. Since it is a high-level job, you need to dedicate a few years to entry-level jobs to learn technical skills in this field.
As a result, organizations require a minimum of two to three years of experience in relevant areas of cybersecurity, computer forensics, and network administration to get an entry-level job as an incident responder.
For upper-level jobs like a senior incident responder or senior intrusion analyst, you need to have at least five years of experience in the same field. Besides this, taking online courses or participating in relevant training programs can give you an edge over your competitors.
Even though a bachelor’s degree in IT fields provides you with technical expertise in cybersecurity, you might be lacking in some areas. This is where certifications come in. As mentioned previously, relevant certifications in information security offer many vital hard skills to help you become a successful incident responder.
Not only can you boost your resume with additional training programs, but you can also link the gap between your education and the required skills.
Instead of signing up for just any certification, make sure to check for those required by your employer and your desired job. Keep in mind that different companies will have a different preference for hard skills.
As such, we have listed down a few crucial certifications which are crucial for incident responders.
- CEH- Certified Ethical Hacker
- CCFE- Certified Computer Forensics Examiner
- CCE- Certified Computer Examiner
- CPT- Certified Penetration Tester
- CMFE- Certified Mobile Forensics Examiner
- CREA- Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst
- GCIH- GIAC Certified Incident Handler
- GCFA- GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst
- GCIA- GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst