It’s no secret that the field of IT security is still experiencing a serious shortage of qualified professionals. While the glaring (and growing) need certainly exists, there remains a gap between those who are currently pursuing an education for a career in IT security and the available jobs that need to be filled. But while Forrester, Gartner and other experts have recommended leveraging automation, external expertise or some combination of both as an interim solution to bridge this gap, a picture of what new careers in the infosec realm will look like is beginning to take shape.
The Rise of the MSSP – One of the more prominent new roles emerging is that of the Managed Security Service Provider, or MSSP. But while seeking external support for IT security will remain an option moving forward, the amount and complexity of functions that are being outsourced are likely to be minimal. Since MSSPs don’t possess the deep knowledge or understanding necessary to provide context, most organizations will shift only basic or low-level functions outside while keeping high-skill responsibilities in-house.
Internal Threat Intelligence – In the past, many larger organizations outsourced their SOC responsibilities, but given the availability of more advanced technologies (such as automation), it’s expected that there will be a marked transition to bring incident response back in-house. As such, the need for individuals who possess the threat intelligence skills to develop and manage internal security operations centers will continue to rise over the coming months.
Cloud Security Specialists – As many enterprises move IT hardware and applications to the cloud, the need to keep that data secure will also become critical. Because they are still relatively rare at the moment, the skills necessary to handle cloud security architecture are expected to be in high demand. In fact, architect roles are currently among the highest paid in the cybersecurity realm, so the opportunity for success will be there for the taking.
Cybersecurity Auditors – Along the same concept of “hybrid” type IT roles, the cybersecurity auditing position is one that requires a combination of skills in both IT security and either financial or healthcare. This fast-growing role involves a great deal of risk assessment, particularly in the area of security infrastructure. Openings are most frequently seen in the finance and insurance industry and with few skilled professionals, remain among the hardest cybersecurity jobs to fill.
Big Data Analytics – As more and more data is being harnessed, the need for skilled workers who are capable of managing and manipulating that data to extract what’s useful is also on the rise. In terms of IT security, the widespread adoption of Big Data and the IoT will continue to open doors of opportunity for those skilled in the ability to analyze and proactively protect sensitive information.
As with recent years, it’s becoming obvious that the IT skills to pursue in 2017 and beyond will center on IT security. The roles and opportunities listed above represent just a small sampling of the many areas where skilled individuals can truly make a niche for themselves and achieve great success for many years to come.