A day in the life of a cyber security professional

Ritu Chaudhary
July 26, 2019

Their mornings begin with a strong dose of caffeine, and their nights are equally demanding. They are responsible for making our lives safer, more secure. They are modern-day cyber-security professionals. Also known as Cyber-Security Analysts (CSAs) or Incident Response Analysts, their core job is to protect the sanctity and integrity of data of an organization or a network. In the wake of modern times where cyber-attacks are more sophisticated, stealth and destructive than ever, these professionals stand at the frontlines day-and-night, protecting sensitive and confidential information from malicious intents. 

Cyber-Security professionals are all hot in demand. It is estimated that there will be an increase of around 30 percent in the jobs pertaining to cyber-security between 2016 and 2026. It makes us wonder about what a typical day in the lives of such professionals looks like. And no, it is not like any other 9-5 job as you may think. Let us give you a clearer picture.

Mapping Vulnerabilities

Ask any cyber-security analyst and you will know how obsessed they are with their organization’s vulnerabilities. And, their fixation on it is only justified. For example, a CSA working in a Fintech company is always busy figuring out small ‘leaks’ and ‘windows’ that might let an intruder in and compromise the data of millions of users. They often rely on sophisticated tools like Vehere’s PacketWorker for traffic analysis to gain awareness of the network’s situation in real-time. 

Every day is Unpredictable!

We already established that a Cyber-security Analyst’s day is not like any other professional’s. While some tasks and core responsibilities are to be undertaken on a daily basis, a CSA has to investigate multiple incidents in a day. Each incident is different from the other, and each one has to be treated like a potentially destructive attack. Incident responses and investigation procedures are guided by the Security Operations Center of the organization. 

Updating Self with Modern Cyber-security trends

Upskilling and staying abreast of the latest trends in one’s domain is a necessity in every professional field. Cyber-security professionals, especially, have to take care of this. They have to stay updated about the types of emerging threats, new tactics being employed by hackers, new vulnerabilities and going through case studies. Though, with rising traffic, automated attacks, and reliance of the enterprises on Cloud & IoT, the risk of ‘unknown’ threats is at an all-time high. Thanks to Network Situational Awareness tools that make this an easy task. Cyber-security tools employing NSA can even detect ‘outlier incidents’ and even new-types of attacks through their ML-engine and real-time traffic analysis capabilities. 

Being on Alert, always!

Call them the armed-forces of digital frontiers (except that they are armed with Sophisticated Cyber-Security tools instead of assault rifles!), a typical CSA has to be on alert at all the given times. An imminent threat alert can be sent anytime. They might even wake-up at night to an intruder trying to breach the security perimeters. When invaluable data, the privacy of millions of people, and an insurmountable amount of money are at stake, a CSA has to respond to the incident to contain the damage at all costs. They sometimes do it without knowing ‘what’ hit them, and ‘how’ it hit them. Though, with tools like the PacketWorker, the incident response capabilities of organizations have been augmented. Instead of waiting for Incident Response consulting teams and hiring them at hefty hourly-prices, a cutting-edge tool like Vehere saves the day for an average Cyber-Security Analyst. 

What is your day like compared to that of a CSA? Let us know in the comments below!     

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