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Risks of a cybersecurity career

Cybersecurity is one of buzz-words promising the la-la land these days. Everyone is running towards it. However, it will help if one is aware of the 2 big risks.
Risks of a cybersecurity career
Photo by Sammie Chaffin / Unsplash

Cybersecurity is the buzz-word promising the la-la land, these days. Everyone is running towards it. However, it will help if one is aware of the 2 big risks.

They are,

  1. Burn-out, and
  2. Not knowing the “why cybersecurity” ?

Burn-out is real, more so in cybersecurity. While regulation is driving it, & the field is maturing (Anant Srivastava has more to say on this, in his Diversseccon Keynote), it hasn’t yet reached a scale similar to other allied branches in IT (e.g., system / network administration).

Anant Srivastava's Diversseccon Keynote

As a result, There are many moving parts in a day and juggling them can take a toll on one’s physical and mental health. Not recognizing it is a recipe for disaster.

But burn-out is not the biggest risk.

The biggest risk is not knowing why you want to get into cybersecurity.

  • Is it becoz you like the glamour associated with the way attackers compromise machines?
  • Is it becoz you think there is lot of money involved?
  • Is it becoz you want a future-proof job?
  • It is becoz you like the way ppl catch cyber-criminals?
  • etc.

Cybersecurity can be a paradigm shift (if you choose offense — aka pentesting — for example) or a-run-of-the-mill-job that you get better at, by acquiring a skill. Acquiring that skill, however, will take many days and nights (away from family, friends, that party, etc). There will be times when you won’t understand whatever is going on, and will question your sanity quotient (on) the day you chose this field.

That’s ok. It happens with everyone who wants to acquire any skill.

What’s not ok, however, is forgetting that “why”.

That “why” will be the only thing that could guide you from darkness to light, from “being naked” to “running naked with eureka”.

So get that “why” sorted out. You’re gonna need it.