Is Cloud Security a Good Career Choice in 2024?
Cloud computing has become an integral part of how most organizations operate today. 98% of organizations currently use cloud services in some way, with the majority running at least some part of their business in the cloud. However, with the rapid adoption of cloud-based solutions, a new set of security challenges has emerged.
Data breaches, identity theft, unauthorized access, insecure APIs, malware injection attacks – threats in the cloud are evolving rapidly. And most organizations struggle to fully secure their cloud environments due to the lack of in-house expertise. This is precisely why careers in cloud security are booming.
But is cloud security a good career choice in 2024? What are the pros and cons, expected salary, and skills required? Let’s dig in.
Why is Cloud Security Critical for Organizations?
If an organization uses services like Microsoft Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to store data or run applications, they are using the public cloud.
The public cloud provides unmatched flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency. But it also brings unique security threats that traditional network security tools are often ill-equipped to handle.
Some stats to put things in perspective:
- According to Thales Group, 39% of businesses experienced a data breach in the public cloud in 2022 and is expected to rise over the next few years.
- 33% of businesses described themselves as ‘extremely concerned’ about the security of the public cloud.
- Another 42% said they are ‘very concerned’ about data compromises in the cloud.
This calls for dedicated cloud security professionals who understand the unique risks the cloud brings and know how to effectively address them.
Some typical cloud security threats organizations face today include:
- Malware injection: Attackers exploiting vulnerabilities to deploy malware.
- Data exfiltration: Sensitive data getting extracted and moved without authorization.
- Broken authentication: Flaws enabling unauthorized access to systems and data.
- Misconfiguration: Errors in how systems, applications are set up creating gaps.
- Insufficient due diligence: Not keeping up with patches, compliance needs.
- DDoS attacks: Attempts to disrupt services by overloading resources.
Dealing with threats like these requires specialized skills – which most enterprises sorely lack today.
Cloud Security vs Cybersecurity: Key Differences
While often used synonymously, cloud security and cybersecurity are technically different areas:
- Cybersecurity aims to protect IT infrastructure, data etc. regardless where they reside – on-premise or cloud.
- Cloud security exclusively focuses on safeguarding assets residing in public/private cloud environments and addresses unique needs they bring.
However, with workloads increasingly moving to the cloud, the distinction is getting blurred. Good cybersecurity now necessitates strong cloud security knowledge and vice versa.
Many organizations now have consolidated cloud security teams vs separate cybersecurity groups.
Why is a Career in Cloud Security Worth Pursuing?
With growing adoption of cloud-based resources and increasing cyber attacks targeting them, there is a huge shortfall of qualified cloud security professionals.
Per EC-Council, demand for roles like ‘cloud security engineer’ and ‘cloud security architect’ in the US is expected to grow by 115% from 2020 to 2025. All indicators suggest demand will continue rising significantly through 2025.
At the same time, existing network/IT security skill sets do not directly translate to the cloud sphere. Legacy tools and controls simply weren’t designed for ephemeral cloud infrastructure or microservices apps. This is why organizations see cloud security is a truly recession-proof career choice right now.
Let’s look at some core advantages of specializing in this field:
Extremely Strong Demand Across Industries and Company Sizes
Today, startups offering digital services rely on the cloud – but so do established Fortune 500 corporations across different industries. This translates to ample job opportunities across niches.
Whether you are interested in working for a Cloud Service Provider like AWS helping design security features or join a growing firm to secure their cloud deployment – there are exciting options.
Sectors witnessing maximum cloud adoption (and needing security skills) include:
- Financial Services
- Media and Entertainment
- Critical Infrastructure
In a nutshell, cloud security professionals are sought after by practically every industry vertical now because of continually evolving threats and the difficulty in finding qualified talent.
Exciting, Cutting-Edge Work Environment
Unlike traditional enterprise IT which often tends to get stagnant, innovations happen at a very rapid clip in the cloud domain. New attack techniques, vulnerabilities, and security capabilities get released continually.
So much so – even the most experienced security specialist can feel constantly challenged keeping up with everything happening in the cloud sphere. And mastering completely new solutions is a big part of the learning curve.
You will continually work with bleeding-edge technology like containers, server-less computing, distributed databases when helping secure cloud environments. For information security professionals who like learning new things regularly, few careers can match up here.
Of course, new developments also make cloud security perpetually exciting and full of opportunities to innovate solutions. Discovering problems before anyone else or developing ways to address them better is par for the course.
Cloud Security Salary: High Compensation, Excellent Growth Prospects
Let’s face it – competitive pay is a major influencing factor for any career choice today.
And on that front, cloud security delivers in spades.
With massive talent shortage in the market, it is common to see salaries exceed $150,000 per year for experienced professionals. Even newbies can expect to start around $80,000 to $90,000 in cloud security roles.
Large organizations shell out immense sums to agencies and freelancers alike to help fully secure cloud deployments. So consultants/analysts from niche vendors also tend to make a fortune.
High ground-floor compensation and career growth potential aside, your skills will remain perpetually in demand given the massive cloud adoption wave. So job stability is better than practically any other IT sphere too.
In a nutshell, if you have the drive, cloud security offers great financial stability and personal growth opportunities for those who work hard and want to succeed.
Exploring Different Cloud Security Career Paths
There are diverse areas you can choose to specialize in under the broad cloud security umbrella:
- Cloud Security Engineering – Hands-on roles securing cloud platforms, infrastructure, data, and applications.
- Cloud Forensics – Leverage digital forensic skills to investigate breaches, reconstruct timelines etc.
- Cloud Security Architecture – Design and implement comprehensive cloud security solutions meeting compliance needs.
- Threat Intelligence – Specialize in researching the latest attack techniques, IOCs and educating organizations.
- Cloud Security Operations – Manage daily security monitoring, alerting and incident response workflows.
- Governance and Risk Management – Define cloud security policies, frameworks, auditing processes to manage risk posture.
Pick an area that best matches your abilities and interests.
Types of Entry-level Cloud Security Jobs
Some common entry-points in the cloud security space include:
- Cloud Security Analyst – Get hands-on experience supporting various cloud security operations like access control, encryption, log analysis etc.
- Cloud Network Engineer – Build skills securing cloud networks, load balancers, implementing firewalls etc.
- Security Administrator – Manage identity and access governance, compliance tasks.
- Cloud Software Developer – Work on integrating security into cloud native applications. Gain application security insights.
Such positions help you understand organizational security needs better and allow developing well-rounded technical skills required in specialist roles.
Core Technical Proficiencies Needed
While requirements vary based on the exact role, most cloud security jobs need expertise in areas like:
- Cloud Platform Knowledge: Get familiar with security administration tasks across platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure.
- Infrastructure Security: Know how to securely configure networks, databases, storage, applications in cloud environments.
- Data Security: Master encryption, tokenization, access control fundamentals to protect sensitive information.
- Compliance Skills: Learn frameworks like PCI DSS, HIPAA to manage governance needs.
- Scripting/Automation: Help secure things programmatically leveraging languages like Python, PowerShell, Bash etc.
- Incident Response: Develop ability to detect threats, trace origins and impacts to support forensics.
How to Get Started in a Cloud Security Career
Considering a career in cloud security? Jessup University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science presents an in-depth program that fuses theoretical foundations with practical application. With options for both in-person and online learning, our approach is adaptable to various educational preferences, allowing students to excel in their chosen format.
In-person attendees will benefit from 15-week courses, immersive community involvement, and comprehensive resource access. Those opting for the online route can take advantage of shorter, 7-week courses, flexible scheduling, and six annual start dates. This program offers specializations in Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Data Science, Information Technology, and Software Engineering, providing a customized educational journey whether you’re on campus or studying from afar.
Jessup University’s Program Focus Areas and Principal Courses:
Cybersecurity (Online Only):
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
- Cybercrime and Governance
- Contemporary Cybersecurity
- Network and System Security
- Cyber Forensics
Data Analytics (Online Only):
- Foundations of Data Analytics I & II
- Data Analytics Principles & Techniques I & II
- Data Analytics Practicum
What is Data Science:
- Data Science 1 & 2
- Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- Calculus II, Linear Algebra, Intro to Mathematical Proofs
Software Engineering Concentration:
- Mobile Computing
- Web Stack Technologies
- Data Structures & Algorithms 2
- Database Systems
Crucial Skills for Success in Computer Science
What is computer science? It’s the field of study that focuses on computation, information, and automation using computers and computational systems. It’s the backbone and foundation behind software engineering, and can lead you many directions within the tech space.
Prospering in the ever-changing field of computer science is tied to a robust skill set. Jessup University’s program stresses expertise in advanced programming languages, proficiency in modern software development methodologies, and effective technical communication – to bring you the cloud computing skills necessary to conquer this world.
The curriculum deepens understanding of computational challenges, their requirements, and constraints. Additionally, it embeds a Christian ethical outlook towards technology, preparing graduates to be proficient and morally responsible in their field.
Whether participating in on-campus activities or via online modules, students are groomed to deploy their skills in various professional settings, armed with our Computer Science degree.
Cloud Computing and You: Jumpstart Your New Career Today!
What is cloud computing? Cloud computing is more than a virtualized data center model – it’s a portal to the transformative technologies that underpin the way we solve challenges and imagine new opportunities.
Cloud solutions make it economical for companies to embrace emerging innovations without be slowed down by physical IT limitations or associated costs. But security is a must. Imagine leveraging cloud’s nearly limitless scale, geographic reach, and intelligent services to tackle your most ambitious visions. What breakthroughs will you develop in cloud security? In what ways will you contribute and make a difference harnessing this potential? There are countless possibilities, only limited by creativity and drive to keep pushing boundaries using tools computer science places at your fingertips.
The world of cloud computing overflows with potential waiting to be tapped. Your ideas have the power to make real, positive impacts transforming lives and companies. Jessup University is where your passion for technology can evolve into a fulfilling career centered around conceiving what’s next. Contact us today to start your journey and begin shaping the future of cloud!