In cybersecurity, there are always problems that need to be resolved. And with the advent of rising technology, there is a constant surge in cyber threats faced by organizations. It brings in the demand for qualified consulting services specializing in cybersecurity to solve these day-to-day challenges.
A cybersecurity consultant is someone trained with the requisite guidance and skillsets to formulate and implement suitable solutions to cybersecurity issues.
So that brings us to the topic of this article –
- How do you become a cyber security consultant?
- What skills are required to become a consultant?
- How to start a cybersecurity consultancy business?
Let’s address all these questions one by one.
What is Cybersecurity Consulting?
Cybersecurity consulting is the practice of helping organizations identify, assess, and mitigate security threats.
Consultants also help organizations to develop plans for dealing with cyber incidents. It may involve developing incident response plans, training exercises, and testing defense tactics against simulated attacks.
Ultimately, the goal of any good cybersecurity consultant is to help organizations keep their data safe and secure.
How to Become a Cyber Security Consultant?
With 2.2 Billion records exposed and 6500 security breaches in 2018 alone, it’s without a question that cybersecurity is indeed one of the hottest jobs in this data-driven era.
So how do you become a Cyber security consultant?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question; however, there are a few general tips that can help you get started in this field –
A bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field is typically the minimum requirement for most entry-level positions in this field.
However, established companies in this space prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a highly respected credential in the information security industry.
The CISSP curriculum covers a wide range of security topics. The certification acts as a stronghold proof that you have the knowledge and skillsets to design and manage an effective cybersecurity program.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a globally recognized certification for IS audit control, assurance, and security professionals.
The CISA credential is sponsored by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and administered by Prometric.
To earn the CISA designation, candidates must pass an exam and have five years of experience in IS auditing, control, or security.
The CompTIA Security+ certification is a vendor-neutral entry-level credential covering cybersecurity basics.
To earn this credential, candidates must pass an exam and have at least two years of experience in IT administration with a focus on cybersecurity.
The exam focuses on risk management, network security, cryptography, and identity management.
In addition to the credentials mentioned earlier and experience, on the technical side, consultants must be well-versed in security protocols, proper configuration of firewalls, and other security measures.
Some of these include –
- Persistent threat Management.
- Encryption capabilities.
- Network access control.
- Penetration testing.
- Working knowledge of threat configuration and modeling.
What does a cyber security consultant do?
A cyber security consultant is responsible for planning, designing, implementing, and monitoring security controls to protect data against unauthorized access and use.
Cyber security consultants may specialize in the prevention, detection, or response measures or may handle all three areas.
In most cases, a consultant will work with an organization’s IT department to assess the risks posed by its current infrastructure. To prevent data breaches, consultants may plan and implement security controls such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
For detection and response, consultants may code and monitor systems for signs of unusual activity. Sometimes, a consultant may be called to provide expert testimony in court cases involving cybercrime.
Cyber security consultants play an important role in making the internet safer for corporate organizations.
Cyber Security Consulting Services and Strategies
With digitization mainstreaming within the corporate world, organizations are adopting advanced security frameworks to protect their infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Here are a few of the major services offered by cybersecurity consultants to keep the organizations devoid of potential security threats –
Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) is a comprehensive approach to security testing that identifies, quantifies, and helps mitigate system vulnerabilities.
The goal of VAPT is to determine the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls by simulating real-world attacks.
VAPT assesses an organization’s IT infrastructure, applications, and devices for weaknesses that attackers could exploit.
It also includes testing physical security controls like access control systems and CCTV cameras. VAPT methods range from simple scans of systems and devices to more sophisticated techniques that attempt to exploit vulnerabilities.
Phishing exposure assessment
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that tricks users into clicking on malicious links or opening attachments that install malware.
A phishing exposure assessment tests an organization’s ability to detect and respond to phishing attacks.
The assessment typically begins with the consultant sending out simulated phishing emails to employees. Those who click on the links or open the attachments are contacted by the consultant and provided training on recognizing and avoiding phishing attacks.
The consultant may also recommend improving the organization’s email security, such as implementing multi-factor authentication.
Identity and Access Management Services (IAMS) is a set of security procedures that enable an organization to manage its digital identity assets efficiently.
Organizations can benefit from expert guidance in designing and implementing effective identity and access management strategies by partnering with a cyber security consulting firm specializing in IAMS.
IAMS solutions can help organizations to protect their data from unauthorized access, streamline user authentication processes, and improve compliance with industry regulations.
Application security assessment
An application security assessment comprehensively reviews an organization’s application security program.
The assessment includes evaluating the policies, procedures, and controls to secure applications. It also assesses the organization’s ability to detect and respond to attacks.
The consultant reviews the code of applications to look for vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit. After the assessment, the consultant will provide the organization with a report that includes recommendations on improving its application security program.
Best cybersecurity consulting providers
Location – Denver, Colorado.
Optiv is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions that help organizations plan, build, and run successful cyber security programs.
The Company works with clients of all sizes to tailor services to their specific needs and objectives. Experts at Optiv deeply understand the latest threat landscape and can provide comprehensive guidance on protecting data and systems against cyberattacks.
Optiv also offers a wide range of managed security services that can proactively monitor your network and respond to any threats that may arise along the way.
Location – London, United Kingdom
Deloitte is a global leader in providing professional services, including audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and other cybersecurity services.
With more than 200,000 professionals in over 150 countries, Deloitte is one of the largest professional services firms in the world.
Deloitte’s cyber security services include incident response, threat intelligence, vulnerability management, and privacy and data protection.
McAfee Security Services
Location – Santa Clara, CA, US
McAfee helps organizations worldwide secure their systems and overall security posture.
The team of experts at McAfee is armed with the latest tools and strategies to address global-level security needs, and the comprehensive services include everything from incident response and security risk assessments to customized deployments and training.
With the full range of services spanning the McAfee portfolio of solutions, the Company promises to provide all users with heightened visibility into their security posture.
Location – Japan.
As a leading provider of cybersecurity consulting services, EY has the experience and expertise to help businesses navigate the current landscape.
With over 5000+ practitioners in 150 countries, the company is uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive service covering all aspects of organizational risk including 6 core pillars – Cyber Digital & Analytics, Cyber Defense & Response, Cyber Strategy & Architecture, Cyber Operations, Cyber Governance & Compliance, and Cyber Technology & Innovation.
All six offer over 160 unique offerings that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any given business.
Location – Atlanta, Georgia, US
Secureworks is a cybersecurity consulting provider that helps organizations of all sizes prevent, detect, respond to and predict cyberattacks.
Since 1999, Secureworks has defended organizations from cyber threats, all credits for their high-end experience and top-tier threat intelligence technology.
Secureworks has a solid mission to stay focused on committing to client security above all. The Company has designed its services to help protect the data, systems, and reputations of its huge client base.
Location – Milptas, CA, US
With its deep understanding of cyber threats and extensive experience in incident response, FireEye is uniquely positioned to help organizations protect their data and systems from attackers.
FireEye offers many services, including endpoint security, malware removal, and incident response.
The Company’s products are used by some of the largest organizations in the world, including the US government and Fortune 500 companies.
Saint Security Suite
Location – Palo Alto, CA, US
Saint Security is dedicated to helping organizations of all sizes keep their systems and data safe from attack.
The comprehensive suite of security solutions combines the latest technologies with expert insight and analysis to provide clients with the best protection against modern cyber threats.
From vulnerability scanning and web application scanning to mobile assessments and penetration testing, Saint Security has many tools and expertise to help you secure your business against even the most sophisticated cyber attacks.
Cybersecurity Consulting FAQs
What skills are needed for cyber security consulting?
Following are the set of skills to establish yourself as a cyber security consultant –
- Strong technical background in understanding complex systems.
- Excellent soft skills and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines.
- Be flexible and adaptable to the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.
What qualifications do I need to be a cyber security consultant?
To be qualified for this role, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.
Multiple years of experience working in IT security is a big plus. Furthermore, it will be an added advantage if you are certified in one or more cybersecurity frameworks.
How do I start a cyber security consultancy?
To start a cyber security consultancy, you first need to develop a niche. Drive your focus on a specific spectrum of cybersecurity, incident response, or application security, to name a few.
Once you have developed a specialty, the next step is building your contacts network. You can do this by attending network events, participating in online forums, and building your authority through content marketing and SEO.
You will also need to create a business website and social media profiles to promote your consultancy to potential clients.
What is the salary of a security consultant?
The salary of a security consultant varies depending on experience and qualifications.
However, per the official data, the base pay for a security consultant is $96,000 per year.
Cyber security consultant roles and responsibilities?
The responsibilities of a cyber security consultant vary a lot depending on the client’s needs.
However, some common tasks include conducting security audits, reviewing code for vulnerabilities, and providing recommendations on improving the organization’s security posture.
Consultants may also be required to provide training on security practices or help with the incident response during an organizational intrusion.
Is cybersecurity consulting a good career?
Yes, cybersecurity consulting is a good career. The demand for qualified consultants is growing as organizations become more aware of the need to improve their security posture.
How long does it take to become a cyber security consultant?
The time it takes to become a cyber security consultant varies depending on your experience and qualifications. If you have a few years of experience working in IT security, you can likely transition into consulting relatively quickly.
However, starting from scratch may take a few years to gain the necessary experience and build up your network of contacts.