Top 10 Cybersecurity Skills for 2021


Our list of top 10 Cybersecurity skills covers what is in demand and expected to continue being in demand for 2021 and beyond. All approximate salaries are for US Market

1. DevSecOps

We see a growing demand of security professionals familiar with DevOps principles, who can collaborate effectively with software engineering teams.

Often engineering departments are focused on bringing a product out the door or on its functionality rather than security. That makes communication skills essential for this role. People involved in this field must be adaptable, as application security architecture is often delegated to business units outside of the security team’s direct control. The base pay for this role is $90,000 per year.

2. Cloud Security

More and more businesses are turning to cloud computing to store data and run applications. This is the reason we see a surge in requirement for Cloud Security Professionals. The primary requirements are related to developing a secure Infra with a Multi Cloud environment including leading platforms of AWS, Azure and GCP. Protecting data in Cloud environments is another key requirement.

The average salary for this skill is $135,000 per year.

3. Threat Intelligence and Analysis 

Threat analysis resources are abundant. But people who know how to use them effectively and contextualize and interpret threat patterns are in short supply. Companies have difficulty attracting people with this ability. It’s even more difficult to teach them. Strong analytical skills, curiosity, and the ability to handle high-stakes pressure are required for this position. Experts in threat intelligence can decipher digital forensics. They often have programming skills, especially in Python. The average salary for a person with this skill is $112,000 per year.

4. Network Security Professional

 Network security skills comes at number 4 in our list of top 10 cybersecurity skills. These skills are crucial for anyone working in the security sector. Since the fundamentals of security derive from understanding how networks operate, some of the best security people come from a network security background: If you don’t know how routers function, what firewall logs mean, or the basics of intrusion detection and prevention, you won’t be able to protect networks. The average salary per year for this skillset is $80,000.

5. Identity and Access Management

Compromised, poor, and reused passwords are responsible for the overwhelming majority of breaches (more than 80%). Communication skills are crucial once again. People who can identify and demonstrate the risks to organizations, and show them how to strengthen their password habits through using Google Authenticator, Authy, or other passwordless tools in their everyday work lives — fingerprints, face IDs, retina scans — are needed by companies. Companies also are interested in personnel who can handle identity and access control tools and set and manage network privileges to ensure that the company remains vigilant against intruders. This skill has an annual salary as high as $179,000 and as low as $30,500.

6. Red Teaming/penetration Testing

 Pen testers and red teamers are offensive security consultants who can go into businesses and tell them what’s wrong and how to repair it. Doing this job well requires many years of training and experience, so companies have difficulty finding them. The best pen testers assume they can break into any system. It takes a lot of self-assurance and bravado, but it also takes a lot of experience, which can be learned in the classroom, in hands-on seminars, or on the job. It has an annual salary of up to $167,000.

7. Auditing for Risk and Compliance 

      The skills you’ll need in this field will vary depending on the sector or department you work in. Companies that deal with e-commerce would need people who know how to comply with PCI DSS regulations; on the other hand, nearly any form of the company must deal with HIPAA enforcement for sensitive medical data. Organizations will soon need personnel familiar with data privacy laws, whether based on the GDPR of the European Union or the California Consumer Privacy Act. The average annual salary for a person with this skill is $105,000.

8. Securing Remote Workforce

Mobile-Remote computing is a term that refers to computing that is done. Many people would argue that this is an ability that should be higher on the list. Indeed, security teams spent most of their time rolling out VPNs or handling Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers so workers could access corporate software from home during the work-from-home timeframe in 2020-21. Even though there is some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a series of vaccinations, businesses will not immediately send their workers back to work. The average annual salary is $105,000.

9. Communication & Leadership

According to security training experts, soft-side communications and leadership skills are severely lacking in the security industry. Of course, this has always been a problem in the technology world. Still, it’s becoming even more so in business, because security professionals must learn to describe technological concepts in a way that businesspeople can comprehend. If Threat Hunters or Red Teamers can’t articulate basic security principles to business executives, they won’t be able to advance in their careers. This skill has an annual salary of $74,000.

10. The ability to think creatively. 

 This skill should ideally be ranked much higher in top 10 cybersecurity skills. While being the least technological ability, creativity is the one intangible that can propel people to the top of their cybersecurity careers. Creative security professionals can “think like a hacker,” imagining many what-if scenarios and keeping one step ahead of cybercriminals. Work will be like an intricate chess game at times. When hackers penetrate a company’s network for months, and the security team waits for them to act, it may feel like a police stakeout. While it’s actually not possible to give an exact salary range, we believe it’s the most important ability which will help you grow irrespective of your role in Cyber Security.

We  hope you enjoyed this post, do check out our weekly post around security events to keep you updated.

About Kumar AS.

Senior Cybersecurity Practitioner with more than a decade of experience under his belt in different roles. Specializing in Fortifying Defenses, Data Loss Protection, Email and Web protection and other security technologies.

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