The past two years have been overwhelming for cyber security teams and organizations. Case in point, businesses in 2021 lost a total of $6 trillion due to unrelenting cyber attacks. And as digital transformation continues apace, data privacy and security threats are only expected to rise to staggering levels.
As Ashley Mataya, Senior Manager for Cyber Security Partnerships at Lighthouse Labs Bootcamp, says, “The pandemic has only shown us that there is a great need for cyber security professionals because so many companies are now in the digital space…It is a growing field as long as we live our lives digitally.” Indeed, data shows that companies in the US alone increased their cyber security spending by 12 percent, valued at $150 billion in 2021.
So what exactly does this mean for you?
Companies scrambling to fill their cyber security ranks create an opportunity for you to get trained and break into the industry. The good news is that you do not need a four-year IT degree to join the cyber security workforce. Lighthouse Labs, a leading tech bootcamp that caters to students in Canada, introduces Cyber Security Bootcamp for tech novices, professionals with some experience in web applications, and career shifters.
But before you send in your application, let’s find out if a career in cyber security is right for you.
What Makes A Good Cyber Security Expert?
Having the will and interest is not enough to build a thriving career in cyber security. It’s a grueling job that comes with a list of responsibilities. Below are some characteristics that successful cyber security professionals possess:
1. You Are Always Curious and Love Learning
As technology evolves, cybercriminals get more sophisticated in their methods, too. Thus, the daily activities of a cyber security expert involve constant sleuthing for bugs, malware, and breaches.
The nature of cyber security jobs demands one to be relentlessly curious. You need to be on your toes seeking information on the latest cyber attack trends and security tools. This also entails embracing the continuous process of learning. On average, small to medium businesses use 15 to 60 security tools for monitoring, firewall, encryption, and antivirus, among others.
2. You Are Detail-Oriented and Analytic
In 2021, Microsoft reported that North America—particularly the United States—experienced the most cyber attacks. Ransomware affected startups and small to medium enterprises, holding customer data hostage unless they paid a substantial amount to hackers.
A cyber attack can cost a business more than you think—from loss of intellectual property, disruption in services, and decreased revenue to tarnished customer relationships, litigation fees, and running technical investigations. To avoid these, cyber security experts should always be one step ahead to prevent breaches.
This is where being detail-oriented comes in handy as you assess every facet of digital infrastructure and tools, leaving nothing to chance. Becoming savvy and analytical at collecting and interpreting data and identifying patterns is vital, too. An analytic cyber security expert is more effective in formulating actionable strategies to minimize risks and fortify the safety and security of a company’s digital platforms.
3. You Have a Strong Moral Compass
Working in cyber security requires a strong understanding of cyber-ethics and the moral side of the business. While cyber-ethics can be a slippery slope, you need to keep your credibility in mind. It is essential not to abuse your privilege to sensitive information and guide the organization you work with to set and follow guidelines that respect and protect the interest of their digital users.
Do you think you fit the bill? Then, Lighthouse Labs may have the right cyber security course for you.
Lighthouse Labs guides aspiring cyber security experts from the classroom to the real world with its well-designed 12-week curriculum and lifetime access to career services.Get in touch to learn more.
What to Expect from Lighthouse Labs’ Cyber Security Bootcamp
- Cyber Security Bootcamp Tuition: $14,000
- Bootcamp Duration: 12 weeks
Contrary to popular belief that cyber security is only for the so-called tech geniuses, the field presents plenty of career options. For instance, Lighthouse Labs is no stranger to welcoming former cooks, chefs, creatives, and service staff to their Cyber Security Bootcamp, keeping in line with their mission of producing a well-trained generation of tech talents.
Ashley explains, “Building technical skills in cyber security is your first step, which makes Lighthouse Labs a great option. The bootcamp helps you through the process of learning. Additionally, our career services can make a huge difference as you jump into a new career and make the experience less daunting.”
The curriculum integrates the National Initiative for Workforce Framework for Cyber Security (NICE Framework), ensuring that students learn the practical and vital hard skills, soft skills, and industry knowledge vital to performing their responsibilities effectively.
“At the moment, we are pumping out talent faster to meet the needs of companies…So when companies tell us they need 200 people in the next year, we can deliver that talent for them and adjust our curriculum based on the skills they need them to have,” says Ashley.
Your Cyber Security Bootcamp experience lasts for 12 weeks and is split into three phases: Prework, Foundational Modules, and Advanced Modules.
The self-paced Prework phase evens the playing field by introducing you to tools like Wireshark and Putty and gives an overview of the bootcamp. It is best to complete the prep modules a week or two before the bootcamp begins, so you have enough time to digest the lessons and adjust your expectations.
The foundational modules follow, lasting five weeks. During this time, the bootcamp tackles lessons in Network Admin, Network and Application Security, and Incident Handling. After building a solid foundation, you move on to advanced modules. Here, expect to dive deep into concepts like:
- Forensics. Identify, analyze, and conduct proper investigations on digital threats like a pro. Some of the tools you will use are Volatility Framework, ShellBags Explorer, and Redline.
- Ethical Hacking and Incident Response. Defend your cyber platform by launching ethical cyber attacks against potential threats. The module teaches you about the incident response life cycles, assessing insider and outsider threats, and strategizing cyber security protection plans.
- Threat Intelligence. Stay one step ahead by learning how to profile the enemy. In this module, you will build your knowledge on Google Hacking, Dark Web and Dark Market Investigation, and the Threat Intelligence Cycle Methodology and Industry Implementation.
Keeping accessibility and flexibility in mind, Lighthouse Labs delivers some lessons through live online classes, while others are tackled through self-guided learning. Your competency will be tested through a final exam and a group project that requires you to solve real-world cyber security challenges. Topping it off, Lighthouse Labs’ Career Services team will work alongside you to prepare you for the job market.
Reskilling is just half the journey to breaking into cyber security. Fortunately, Lighthouse Labs has a dedicated team that can help you get hired once you graduate from the bootcamp.
“[The Career Services team] comes in the last week or two of the program where we do a general overview of [how to create and improve your] resume and interview skills…And then, we start meeting with the students individually until they find a job,” says Ashley.
The one-on-one consultations aim to help career coaches get to know the students more, like their skills, past career experience, and career aspirations. Doing so aids the formulation of a career strategy aligned with each student’s goals and interests.
Ashley explains, “We create tech unicorns out of people coming from different careers, like communications, marketing, help desk, dietary aid or prep cook. We make sure that your transferable skills are highlighted going forward.”
For instance, Ashley recounts that some of their students who were cooks bring their ability to remain focused, their passion for what they do, and their ability to collaborate with others. These are transferable skills that will help one thrive when working in cyber security.
On the partnership side, the Career Services team fosters a network of employers looking for highly trained entry-level talent. Lighthouse Labs aims to connect its graduates with employers who care about their well-being and career growth.
Ashley adds, “I’m obsessed with company culture. I ask them, ‘Do you have an equity, diversity, and inclusion mandate in your company? Do you have people in place who manage that department?’…People aren’t just a commodity. Lighthouse Labs wants to ensure that [our graduates] get into a company with room for growth.”
Moreover, Lighthouse Labs continue to help alums seeking their next roles—whether in a new company or a higher position. True enough, the bootcamp becomes your lifetime advocate, from upskilling to establishing your career in the professional world.
Cyber security is an exciting and fast-paced field to be a part of. You can kick off your career as a Digital Forensics Analyst, a Cyber Security Specialist, a Cyber Security responder, or an IT auditor. And if you’re wondering about your potential earnings, you’re off to a great start as entry-level digital forensics analysts can average $88,079 annually as of September 2022.
Ashley has one piece of advice for those who aspire to join the field: “Start joining cyber security organizations or groups in your area…There are national organizations and events in Canada that you can join for free, like job fairs, conferences, and virtual meet-ups to help you understand what to expect…[At Lighthouse Labs], we used to do cyber security socials across Canada.”
Better yet, you can chat with an alum or get in touch with the Lighthouse Labs admissions team to learn more about the Cyber Security Bootcamp!
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.