6 In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills

Two cybersecurity professionals meeting at a desk in front of computers.

As the digital world continues to expand, the need for strong cybersecurity grows in lockstep. A good indication of anticipated growth in cybersecurity is the value of the worldwide cybersecurity market. According to a report from market research firm Fortune Business Insights, cybersecurity spending is projected to increase significantly from $172.32 billion in 2023 to $424.97 billion in 2030.

Cybersecurity is important in every aspect of information technology, and having enough cybersecurity professionals to provide important security controls is critical. Anyone who is considering earning an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science in Information Security Management, should learn about the cybersecurity skills that organizations need to defend against cyber threats.

The Need for Skilled Cybersecurity Professionals

Most organizations lack the cybersecurity controls they need. In 2023, information technology firm Cisco reported just 15 percent of organizations it surveyed worldwide had attained a mature level of preparedness to fight risks in the cyber world. At the same time, 82 percent of surveyed organizations anticipated experiencing a cybersecurity incident in the next one to two years that would disrupt their operations.

Implementing strong cybersecurity controls is critical because there is no shortage of cybersecurity threats. Organizations need to protect themselves from an array of risks, such as:

  • Theft of confidential data
  • Ransomware attacks in which perpetrators hold information resources hostage until the victims pay a ransom
  • Interruption of supply chains through the malicious installation of malware
  • Website spoofing, in which perpetrators attempt to mimic an organization’s website to steal users’ information

Meeting the demand for cybersecurity professionals to provide organizations with strong controls will be challenging. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that, from 2022 to 2032:

  • Employment of information security analysts will grow 32 percent
  • Employment of computer and information research scientists (whose responsibilities can include cybersecurity duties) will grow 23 percent

Each of those growth rates is significantly higher than the 3 percent rate the BLS projects for the U.S. job market as a whole during the same time frame.

6 Top Cybersecurity Skills

Those who would like to move into a career in cybersecurity can benefit from developing the types of skills in cybersecurity that employers demand. The following are examples of those skills.

1. Application Security

Organizations that develop applications need cybersecurity professionals to ensure the applications contain the necessary security controls to protect users. Software developers sometimes focus on maximizing application functionality or bringing an application to the market quickly, so employing developers who have cybersecurity expertise can help ensure that applications also are secure.

2. Threat Intelligence

It’s important for organizations to employ cybersecurity professionals who can identify and analyze potential security threats. Examples of specific skills in threat intelligence include the ability to use threat intelligence tools and skills in interpreting digital forensics data.

3. Penetration Testing

To minimize the risk of unauthorized access, organizations can benefit from hiring cybersecurity personnel who have skills in penetration testing. These professionals can examine an organization’s information technology and conduct tests to identify ways in which incidents of unauthorized access to systems or data could occur.

4. Network Security

Securing an organization’s networks is a fundamental component of ensuring strong cybersecurity. This requires skills in areas such as employing effective network firewalls, as well as knowledge of methods for identifying and preventing unauthorized network access.

5. Cloud Computing Security

Organizations are increasingly turning to the cloud to store information technology assets and data. As a result, having the skills to secure those assets in the cloud is becoming more important. Additionally, skills in cloud computing security are critical to understanding security agreements between organizations and the cloud computing vendors with which they contract.

6. Compliance Auditing Related to Information Technology Security

Organizations need to comply with a range of requirements related to information technology security. For example, organizations that engage in e-commerce need to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements to protect items such as users’ credit card information. Several states also have enacted data privacy laws with which organizations need to comply. It’s important for organizations to employ individuals who are familiar with these requirements, can assess whether organizations comply with requirements and can analyze the risks associated with noncompliance.

How to Develop Advanced Cybersecurity Skills

Whether aspiring to become a cybersecurity architect, specialize in penetration testing or focus on security for cloud computing, it’s important to keep advancing cybersecurity skills. A number of options for developing advanced skills in cybersecurity are available. For example, individuals can:

  • Earn an advanced degree in cybersecurity. For instance, pursuing a master’s degree in information security management can enable an individual to acquire strong skills in managing cybersecurity risks, preventing cyberattacks and deploying security policies. Possessing an advanced degree in the field is evidence of an individual’s commitment to acquiring top-level expertise that can be critical to any organization.
  • Pursue specific cybersecurity certifications. Obtaining certifications in areas such as ethical hacking, information systems auditing and cybersecurity analysis can boost cybersecurity skills and demonstrate expertise in specific facets of cybersecurity.
  • Attend cybersecurity conferences. Conferences that focus on cybersecurity are a good place to learn about developments in a host of cybersecurity areas such as risk management, policy development and cybersecurity testing.
  • Network with other cybersecurity professionals. Learning from other cybersecurity professionals can be a good way to enhance cybersecurity skills. Professional associations and networking sites such as LinkedIn can be good spaces for interacting with others in the field and engaging in discussions about cybersecurity techniques.

Strong Cybersecurity Skills Can Be the Foundation for a Fulfilling Career

Expertise in cybersecurity is a valuable commodity that organizations of all types and in all sectors are seeking. Equipped with a robust cybersecurity skill set, you can help all types of organizations defend against the many threats to information technology and data.

If you are interested in advancing your knowledge and skills in cybersecurity, explore the Augusta University Online Master of Science in Information Security Management (MSISM) degree program to learn how it can help you achieve your goals. Offering up-to-date courses that prepare you for leadership roles, the program could be the springboard to a rewarding career.

Start making progress on your cybersecurity career path today.

Recommended Readings
AI Privacy Guide for You, Your Family and Your Business
Cybersecurity Career Paths
Cybersecurity Ethics: What Cyber Professionals Need to Know

Bloomberg Law, “Which States Have Consumer Data Privacy Laws?”
CIO, “The Changing Face of Cybersecurity Threats in 2023”
Cisco, “New Cisco Study Finds Only 15% of Companies Surveyed Are Ready to Defend Against Cybersecurity Threats”
Code Intelligence, “Top 10 Cybersecurity Conferences of 2023”
Digital Guardian, “Top 50 InfoSec Networking Groups to Join”
The Enterprise Strategy Group and Information Systems Security Association, The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2021 Volume V
Forbes, “Cybersecurity Trends & Statistics; More Sophisticated and Persistent Threats So Far in 2023”
Fortune Business Insights, “Technology/Cyber Security Market”
TechRepublic, “6 Best Cybersecurity Certifications of 2023”
TechTarget, “10 Must-Have Cybersecurity Skills for Career Success in 2023”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Research Scientists
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts

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