The salary scale of these professionals ranges from Rs 4 lakh a year to as much as Rs 4 crore per annum.
Cybersecurity is one of the few areas where hiring has more than doubled, even though many other sectors have seen a freeze on recruitment because of the COVID-19 disruption.
According to industry experts, the demand for cybersecurity specialists has more than doubled in the last couple of months.
"Earlier, if there were 100 jobs per month, 10 would be for cybersecurity. Now 20 jobs are for such professionals," Sunil C, head of specialised staffing, TeamLease Digital, said. This demand, he said, would continue to go up in the near future.
The increased demand has come on the back of a rise in remote working, which in turn has resulted in rising cyberattacks. Experts Moneycontrol spoke to said there has been 6X increase in cyberattacks targeting Indian firms.
However, there is a huge talent crunch in this space with a large number of firms fighting for a limited talent pool.
That is why, hiring experts pointed out, this is one of the few spaces that could guarantee jobs. With the risk of cyberattacks increasing, it is not only the IT firms, but various industries are also looking for security professionals.
How do you become a cybersecurity professional?
Jobs in cybersecurity could be broadly classified into four, said Anand Narayanan, Chief Product Officer, Simplilearn, an e-learning platform. These include an auditor, manager, architect, ethical hackers and chief information security officer.
The primary role of a systems auditor includes maintaining systems such as firewalls, routers, switches and virtual private networks. They should also be able to identify vulnerabilities. Narayanan pointed out that the demand for auditors increased 120 percent in the last four months, since COVID-19.
Currently, there are about 13,000 openings for this role, according to job search portals.
What is the qualification needed? To become a systems auditor, one needs to be a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), certified by ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance. Completing CISA could cost between Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000.
Payscale: Certified professionals can earn anywhere from Rs 4 lakh per annum to Rs 8 lakh per annum, Narayanan said.
Managers oversee the information security of organisations. They are also involved in designing and developing security practices and policies for the company.
What is the qualification needed? One needs to be a Certificated Information Security Manager (CISM) certified by ISACA. Candidates will have to spend Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 to earn the certificate.
Pay scale: A certified professional’s remuneration starts at Rs 12 lakh per annum and increases as you accumulate more experience.
Architects are those who set up the security architecture for a company, without whom the company would be vulnerable to attacks, pointed out Narayanan. These professionals design and implement the infrastructure for the company.
Though the role of managers and architects are similar, the former's role is purely management focused. An architect needs to have both managerial and technical skills to design, engineer, implement and manage information security systems.
There are close to 18,000 openings for this role, according to job search portals.
What is the qualification needed? One should be a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) provided by International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². Candidates will have to spend close to Rs 50,000 to earn the certificate.
Pay scale: According to Simplilearn, the average pay of a security architect begins at Rs 17 lakh per annum.
Ethical hackers are almost synonymous with cybersecurity. These professionals are the ones who assess the security by finding and exploiting vulnerabilities of various systems just like a malicious hacker. However, they do it legally and ethically.
In the last few months, demand for hackers from large organisations to assess their vulnerability increased and they have been paid handsomely in return.
What is the qualification needed? One needs to obtain a Certified Ethical Hacker qualification under EC Council to be employed.
Pay scale: Average pay scale for an ethical hacker is about Rs 5 lakh per annum. However, with experience, they can earn up to Rs 15 lakh per annum.
Chief Information Security Officer
This is a senior executive role within an organisation, who is responsible for establishing and maintaining the enterprise's security strategy to ensure that information assets and technologies are adequately protected.
CISO typically will work auditors, manager and architects to design, develop and implement security architecture so that the company is not vulnerable to cyberattacks.
What is the qualification needed? Narayanan said that a CISO should have knowledge of systems auditor, security manager and architect to understand and implement a robust security network.Pay scale: According to various reports, salary could range anywhere between Rs 30 lakh per annum and Rs 4 crore.