10 Reasons to Get Your Cybersecurity Certification This YearIf you work in IT, you can’t ignore the importance of cybersecurity. The average cost of a cyberattack in 2017 was $1.3 million for enterprises and $117,000 for small businesses. In fact, the global cost of cybercrime is expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021.Businesses and organizations recognize the growing threat to their privacy and are on the lookout for IT specialists well-versed in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity certifications provide the skills that employers are looking for and prepare you for the diverse security needs that will arise as cybercrime becomes more sophisticated. Here are 10 reasons 2019 is the year to pursue additional cybersecurity credentials.

1. Competence to Address IT Security and Privacy Challenges

Pursuing a cybersecurity certification goes beyond studying security information, it also includes application in real-world scenarios. Since cybercrime is always evolving, security requirements follow suit, and you need to be prepared with the latest ways to respond to the variety of threats and challenges that organizations face.

In addition to security, privacy continues to be a major issue for companies of all sizes. Certification encompasses training in multiple areas such as data protection, identity management and access control which gives you the tools to meet the needs of your company or organization as its customer and user bases grow.

2. Provide Much-Needed Expertise

Companies see certifications as validation of your skills, knowledge and expertise in the field of cybersecurity. Even if you have years of IT experience and are familiar with the latest security and privacy protocols, employers want to see proof of what you can do.

Becoming a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is particularly beneficial given today’s diverse cybersecurity needs. A CISSP knows how to address every aspect of a strong cybersecurity program, including design, implementation and ongoing management, and this is the kind of multifaceted approach that is essential in the protection against modern security threats.

3. Pursue a Successful IT Security Career

Many professionals benefit from additional or ongoing training during their careers. Due to how rapidly technology changes and the equally rapid responses required to keep up with security concerns, IT professionals should take particular concern to develop the knowledge necessary for adapting to the shifting landscape.

Cybersecurity certifications prepare you to handle a multitude of scenarios relating to privacy, security and compliance and to either establish new systems or work within existing systems to improve security protocols and disaster responses within your organization.

4. Better Job Opportunities (and a Higher Salary)

Unemployment in the cybersecurity sector was nonexistent as of 2016, and this scenario is expected to stay the same until at least 2021. Salaries are increasing across the board, averaging a growth of 6.3 percent between 2015 and 2016. Some of the highest earnings include:

  • Chief Security Officers – $145,000 to $248,000
  • Systems Security Administrators – $92,750 to $156,000
  • Network Security Administrators – $92,000 to $150,000

Getting certified in addition to your current credentials can increase your salary by $10,000 or more per year and make you 24 percent more likely to get a bonus than uncertified colleagues. A CISSP designation has the potential to boost salaries of professionals such as Information Security Analysts from around $71,000 to over $86,000 per year. Such a significant difference reveals just how high a priority cybersecurity is for companies and organizations. Business owners, government officials and other top authorities are familiar with the cost of a breach and are willing to pay for the best talent to prevent cybercrime from affecting their organizations.

5. High Potential for Mobility

IT professionals with several years of industry experience have all the prerequisites necessary to pursue cybersecurity certification. Those just starting out in IT or security should obtain the appropriate degree for the niche in which they wish to work, keeping in mind any requirements for relevant additional certification. Overall, the barrier to entry in the cybersecurity sector is low, and becoming certified opens doors for mobility within companies and across industries.

When you’re a certified IT security professional, you pretty much have your pick of where you want to work. Government, healthcare and educational organizations all require robust security protocols, and businesses of all sizes are facing unprecedented security challenges. Whatever industry interests you could use the knowledge certification provides.

6. IT Certification Training is Readily Available

You can qualify for credential exams by meeting certain education and experience requirements, but you’re more likely to pass the test if you enroll in IT certification training. Training programs from companies like Interwork Technologies connect you with instructors whose experience in the industry gives them valuable insight into how the skills associated with certification can be applied on the job.

The instructors at Interwork have over 20 years of IT security industry experience and have worked with organizations of all sizes in North America and around the world.

7. Designations are Recognized Around the World

Standards for most cybersecurity certifications are the same around the world, so these credentials remain valid wherever your career path takes you. Certification bodies are globally regulated to provide consistency, making this type of certification more stable than certain college degrees.

With the growing prevalence and popularity of remote work and the ease with which companies can set up and connect locations in multiple countries, such stability is essential. IT professionals need the freedom to move from place to place without the need for constant re-certification. Book a consult with one of Interwork Technologies Certified Training Consultants today to find out which certification meets your mobility needs.

8. Stay Up on the Latest Security and Industry Trends

From spear phishing to increasingly sophisticated ransomware, new cybersecurity threats are appearing every year. Working in IT puts you right up against this rising tide, and you need to know how to implement proactive responses to minimize the level of risk for your company or organization. Should a breach be detected, employers look to cybersecurity professionals to launch the fastest and most appropriate countermeasures.

Certification also provides familiarity with the latest trends in cybersecurity and the laws governing data privacy and protection. Technologies like IoT and AI have quickly become standard in many industries making it critical for IT professionals to expand their knowledge of the tools, protocols and strategies available to improve security and control user access.

9. Gain a Better Understanding of Compliance Needs

Failing to maintain compliance with privacy and security laws can cost a business $14.82 million in fines, losses and disruptions. By contrast, compliance requires an investment of just $5.47 million, including the cost of hiring certified cybersecurity specialists.

Obtaining Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) credentials prepares you to address compliance needs across multiple sectors:

  • Education
  • Financial
  • Medical
  • Telecommunications and marketing

With a solid understanding of laws, litigation and workplace privacy, you can help companies provide the level of protection the government requires for employees and consumers.

10. Become an Expert in a High Demand Industry

According to CSO, there may be 500,000 or more unfilled positions in the cybersecurity sector by 2021, which seems likely when you consider job openings increased 74 percent more in 2015 than in the previous five years combined. Twenty-three percent of companies say they have a “significant shortage” of dedicated cybersecurity staff, and 40 percent report a “slight shortage.” By becoming certified, you bring much-needed credentials to the high demand job market and help to close the gap in an industry experiencing a serious shortage in labor.

As an IT professional or aspiring cybersecurity specialist, there’s no better time to pursue certification. Getting your CIPP can boost your salary to nearly $125,000, and CISSP certification has earnings potential of as much as $110,000, so pursing credentials today pays off with not only more knowledge but also long-term benefits for you IT career. Everyone working in the IT field must deal with some aspect of security – and getting certified prepares you to meet the challenges your industry faces today and those arising in the future.

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Deciding which Certification to obtain? Read this blog about the industry’s top cybersecurity certifications: