So you just received your first cybersecurity-related certification. Months of hard work paid off and you're ready to apply for your first position as a junior cybersecurity specialist.
But where to start?
In this article we’ll give you a head start on positions to look out for!
IT Help Desk and Technical Support Specialist
As a technical support or help desk employee you are an important link in the everyday functioning of an organization. It’s your role to help people solve problems in regards to their IT-related applications. Depending on the organization these might vary from day-to-day tools like email and account management, up to more specialized tooling like networking, virtualisation or cloud management.
Technical support specialist is a great entry-level role in which many cybersecurity specialists start. It allows you to get a feel for the way technologies relate to each other, what kind of difficulties IT specialists face on a daily basis and how IT functions within an enterprise environment.
Security Operations Center Analyst (SOC-Analyst)
As a Security Operations Center Analyst you keep an eye on the alerts generated by Security Incident and Event Management Systems (SIEMs), a.o. These are enterprise level log aggregation tools, which analyze data traffic on corporate networks, looking for signs of attacks and other security threats.
The role of the SOC-analyst is to analyze incoming alerts, escalate them if necessary and make baseline adjustments if the alarm turns out to be false. The responsibilities might differ per organization.
The role of SOC-Analyst offers newcomers a great function in which they can gain experience with real life cybersecurity scenarios. Monitoring data flows, analyzing alerts and collecting vulnerability intelligence will establish a great foundation for anyone stepping into the industry.
As security is a 24/7 process, SOC analysts often work in shifts, including night shifts. But this also depends on the organization.
Organizations work with a wide range of technologies, often intertwined and depending on each other. Over time services get outdated and need updates and upgrades. Not doing so might introduce vulnerabilities open to exploitation by those who want to do damage.
Vulnerability managers (VM’s) are employees dedicated to keeping track of these vulnerabilities and mitigating them according to set procedures. This is an often overlooked beginners role, which deserves a spotlight, because it’s a great position for a junior who wants to learn.
The role offers the opportunity to gain insights on how applications work, how they are connected, what vulnerabilities are out there and what can go wrong when systems aren’t kept up to date in general. Overall it's ideal for those finding their way in the cyber landscape.
Starting your first Cybersecurity job with no experience
Getting your foot in the door is always the most difficult part when breaking into a new industry, especially in a broad field like cybersecurity. However, these functions might give you some ideas of where to start. Keep in mind that almost everything in IT has a security aspect in it. See what fits your interest and long term goals, be prepared to start with a function that doesn’t have "security" in the title and most importantly, be creative.
Good luck on your job search and if you have any questions regarding cybersecurity education, feel free to contact us.