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10 Cybersecurity Skills Today’s Employers Are Seeking


In recent years, the landscape of cybercrime has undergone a dramatic evolution, with incidents of breaches, hacks and data theft escalating at an alarming pace. According to recent statistics, global cybercrime damages are projected to add up to a staggering $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, highlighting the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures. 

Consequently, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has surged as organizations strive to strengthen their digital defenses against an ever-expanding range of threats. Excelling in a cybersecurity role requires a finely tuned skill set tailored to the intricacies of modern cybersecurity challenges.

Keep reading as we highlight some of the essential cybersecurity skills sought by today’s employers.

Cybersecurity professional view data on a tablet near a wall of wires

In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills

The job outlook for cybersecurity careers is undeniably bright, with roles like “information security analyst” projected to grow by 32 percent through 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is more than 10 times faster than the average of all other occupations.

One study by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2025. In order to be qualified to help meet this growing need, professionals should have a diverse range of cybersecurity skills tailored to combat evolving threats effectively.

The following competencies are in particularly high demand:

1. Incident Response

Professionals who are adept at incident response play an important role in addressing and managing cybersecurity incidents effectively. Incident response involves preparing for, detecting, analyzing and responding to security breaches, data breaches and other cyber threats in a timely and coordinated manner. By mastering this skill, cyber security professionals can mitigate the impact of cyber incidents, minimize down time and safeguard organizational assets. 

2. Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)

VAPT is a proactive approach to identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities within a system or network. It involves assessing the system for weaknesses, exploiting them in a controlled manner to understand potential impacts and recommending remediation measures. By conducting these tests, organizations can strengthen their cybersecurity defenses, reducing their risk of breaches.   

3. Network security

Foundational to cybersecurity, network security focuses on safeguarding interconnected systems from unauthorized access and cyber threats. It involves implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems and virtual private networks (VPNs) to protect against malware and phishing attacks. Proficiency in this area is crucial for ensuring data integrity and fortifying digital infrastructure against vulnerabilities. 

4. Endpoint security

With the rise of remote work and mobile devices, endpoint security has become more important than ever. This focuses on securing “endpoints” (like laptops and mobile devices) from malware and unauthorized access. It involves deploying endpoint protection solutions, managing antivirus software and implementing endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions to detect and remediate security incidents effectively. 

5. Cloud security

As organizations migrate their data to cloud environments, demand rises for cybersecurity experts who can secure cloud infrastructures, implement robust controls and ensure compliance with industry standards. Mastery in cloud security requires expertise in cloud computing technologies, identity and access management (IAM) and security best practices for cloud deployment. 

6. Threat intelligence analysis

Threat intelligence analysis is essential for proactive threat detection and incident response. It involves collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to identify potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities. By leveraging threat intelligence effectively, cybersecurity professionals can stay ahead of evolving threats, enhance threat detection capabilities and minimize the impact of security incidents. 

7. Encryption and cryptography

The ability to safeguard sensitive information through encryption is a top priority for organizations across industries. Encryption involves encoding data to prevent unauthorized access, while cryptography encompasses the mathematical algorithms and protocols used to create and decipher these codes. Cybersecurity professionals who are skilled in these techniques are essential for implementing strong security measures, protecting data privacy and ensuring secure communication channels. 

8. Security compliance and governance

Security compliance and governance are essential pillars of cybersecurity, ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements and establishing effective policies and procedures. Professionals skilled in this area create frameworks to maintain a secure environment and mitigate risks effectively. This helps organizations protect sensitive data and uphold industry standards. 

9. Digital forensics

In the aftermath of a cyberattack, digital forensics plays a crucial role in investigating and analyzing electronic evidence to uncover the root cause of the security breach. This skill involves meticulously collecting and examining data from various sources to reconstruct events and identify perpetrators. By mastering digital forensics, cybersecurity professionals can provide invaluable insights into incidents, facilitate legal proceedings and strengthen defenses against future threats. 

10. Security awareness and training

One of the most fundamental elements when building a cyber-resilient organization is security awareness and training. It’s important for cybersecurity professionals to possess the skills needed to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices, raising awareness of common threats and providing ongoing training to reinforce security protocols. By promoting a culture of security awareness, organizations can empower their workforce to become the first line of defense against cyberattacks. 

Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Skill Set

The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals is soaring as organizations grapple with increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. Mastering essential skills like those listed above can be crucial for success in your cybersecurity career. 

While technical expertise is paramount, it’s helpful to remember that soft skills like collaboration, communication, leadership and ethical decision-making are equally important, enabling teams to work cohesively and make informed choices in the face of challenges. 

If you’re interested in gaining the knowledge, skills and qualifications required in these roles, the cybersecurity programs at Saint Louis University can provide you with the preparation and guidance you’ll need. 

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