Cybersecurity Consulting: An In-Depth Look at a Growing Field

As shortages continue, consulting could be one solution.

Cybersecurity consulting is a growing field in cybersecurity. A major shortage in qualified cybersecurity personnel has made it difficult for companies to hire permanent help in this area. Add to that a preference of many millennials and others entering the workforce for a more flexible, self-determined work schedule, and working with a consultant seems like a logical choice for companies.

What Do Cybersecurity Consultants Do?

Evaluating an IT system from the outside of the company’s existing IT workforce can have its advantages. Consultants may be more objective about flaws in the system than the person or people who built the system, and may be able to catch vulnerabilities better. Just having a second perspective on the network’s vulnerabilities can be a positive thing when trying to figure out how a hacker could get in.

Evaluating the current system is the first step in cybersecurity consulting services. After identifying vulnerabilities or even discovering a breach that has already occurred, consultants may be tasked with building a secure system or making the current system more secure. Training existing personnel about risks, safe behaviors, and how to navigate the new system could also be a part of a cybersecurity consultant’s job.

Consulting and cybersecurity
A major shortage in qualified cybersecurity personnel has made it difficult for companies to hire permanent help in the cybersecurity area.

How Do Cybersecurity Consulting Jobs Work?

Some cybersecurity consultants are freelancers who work under contract for one or more clients, while others work for a cybersecurity firm and take on clients assigned to them. Assignments could be full- or part-time, and consultants could potentially be working for more than one company or organization at a time. Consulting could be a good fit for a knowledgeable cybersecurity professional who likes new challenges and doesn’t want to be tied down to one company indefinitely.

It’s important to know the latest developments in consulting and cybersecurity in order to properly discover and counter security threats. Advanced degrees and certifications, as well as some experience in the IT field, are usually expected. If a cybersecurity consultant is working freelance or has their own consulting company, payment is usually on a contract basis and includes few, if any, benefits. Those working with a firm may be paid a salary and benefits like any other full-time employee or be contracted through that firm.

Advantages of Cybersecurity Consulting Services

Cybersecurity consulting services could be advantageous for both sides of the equation. For companies, they can get cybersecurity help without hiring a full-time, permanent employee. They can also get an outside perspective, and it may be easier to hire a consultant than a regular employee when cybersecurity talent is scarce.

The consultants themselves can gain experience rapidly working for several companies at once, and income potential could be much higher if they are willing to work more hours. Alternatively, consultants could also work fewer hours if they have family responsibilities or other commitments that would prevent them from taking a full-time job.

Read on to see how cybersecurity and smart cities can present challenges to local governments. Learn more about our cybersecurity program to see how it can prepare you for a career in the demanding but rewarding field of cybersecurity.


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