10 Essential Cyber Security Skills You Need to Master in 2024

Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Learn essential cybersecurity skills to protect against evolving cyber threats and boost your career in this rapidly growing field.    

We all got exposed to some kind of cyber threat at some point. Now you must be thinking, how’s that possible? Well, with the world turning into a digital space, the vulnerabilities are limitless. The importance of cyber security has never been more crucial. As with each passing day, these cyber threats becoming more evolved, posing a worldwide threat.  

It’s no longer a need anymore, but a necessity to learn cyber security skills to fight against this threat. Now you know the main reason why skilled cybersecurity engineers are growing at such a pace.  

Do you Know? The demand for cyber security experts is set to increase by 32% between 2022 and 2032, which will generate 16,800 job openings per year (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)*. 

In 2023, the data breaches surged by 72%, setting a new record for the highest number of breaches to date (ITRC Annual Data Breach Report)*. 

The cyber battle is underway, and the only way to obtain an advantage over cyber threats is to learn fundamental cyber security skills. To protect the digital landscape in 2024, one should learn the following 10 skills: 

Network Security

It’s a wide-range approach to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data transmitted over computer networks. If you want a complete network protection it is essential to implement strong perimeter defenses such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and virtual private networks (VPNs) to monitor and control network traffic.  
Implementing network segmentation, access control lists (ACLs), and network-based authentication systems can help mitigate the effect of threats. You can try to integrate network monitoring and threat detection technology for rapid detection and reaction to suspicious activity. 

Cloud Security 
Cloud is a very fresh concept that provides both opportunities and challenges for cyber security professionals. Those who want to master clouds must understand the shared responsibility model, where cloud service providers (CSPs) secure the main infrastructure while user secures their data and applications.  

Additional cloud services help mitigate the risk of unauthorized data breaches and cloud-based attacks. Cloud-native security services strengthen the overall security of cloud environments. 
Risk and Compliance Auditing 

Auditing is a crucial skill that give cyber experts an extra advantage over risks. Conducting risk assessments and compliance audits can helps identify vulnerabilities and non-compliance issues allowing professionals to mitigate risks.  
Implementing risk management frameworks, such as the NIST cyber security Framework or ISO 27001, helps organizations establish a systematic approach dealing Cyber security risks.  
Threat Intelligence Analysis 
Threat analysis is a prime skill for cybersecurity professionals. It includes gathering, analyzing, and presenting data on potential risks and vulnerabilities. The skill helps organizations discover cyber threats and prepare themselves for the attack, 
Industry leaders and information sharing & analysis centers (ISACs) improves cyber security resilience across sectors through sharing threat intelligence. 

A leader is one who leads with responsibility and engages with cross-functional teams. Being an ideal leader means one has to convey security risks and promote a safe culture inside the organization.  
Strong leadership helps cyber security experts execute their objectives, create governance frameworks, and promote security practices throughout their team or organization. Emotional intelligence, active listening, and conflict-resolution skills should also be regulated by a leader. 

Application Security Development 
Cyber attackers often target vulnerable software through multiple means. The security development skill helps prevent common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and buffer overflows. 
Also, the Integration of security testing tools into the software development procedure can help detect and fix security flaws at a prior stage. 
Penetration Testing 
The skill imitates real-world cyber-attacks in order to audit an organization's security structure and ability to defend against risks in real-time. Penetration testers identify and exploit vulnerabilities in systems, applications, and networks by combining automated and manual methodologies.  
Organizations improve their entire security structure by performing frequent penetration testing to identify flaws and prioritize fixing them. 
Identity and Access Management 
IAM manages and controls user identities in an organization's IT system. The use of authentication technologies such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and biometric authentication helps companies to authenticate user identities, restricting unwanted access. 
Integrating centralized identity management systems and identity federation protocols also allows safe access to resources across diverse IT environments 
Mobile and Remote Computing Security 
The rise of remote labor and the usage of mobile devices has increased firms' vulnerability to security attacks. Using mobile device management (MDM) technologies enforce security regulations, remotely erase devices, and secure data via device encryption and data protection. 
Secure remote access connections using virtual private networks (VPNs), secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption, and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect data exchanged between distant users and corporate networks. Furthermore, educating users on mobile security best practices, such as avoiding unsecured Wi-Fi networks and frequently upgrading device software, increases overall security knowledge and resilience. 
If you're looking for an entry-level career, you may not need to know anything about programming. In contrast, mid and high-level jobs need the use of coding abilities to undertake various types of analysis and testing. The following are the top five programming languages used in cybersecurity. 

  • Python  

  • Java  

  • PHP  

  • C++ 

What’s Next? 

The need for cyber security professionals is currently at an all-time high, with organizations across industries seeking skilled individuals to protect their digital assets from cyber threats. Pursue an MS in Cyber Security Engineering or MS in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership and unlock entry-level roles such as security analysts and penetration testers to senior positions such as chief information security officers (CISOs). 

Apply now and explore all University of San Diego online degree programs, which offer a wide range of rewarding career opportunities with ample room for growth and advancement.