The Nigerian Ministry of Communication was recently renamed to Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to further expand it’s mandate to capture the goals of digitization of the Nigerian Economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) a key agenda of the present administration. This was announced on 23rd October, 2019 after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting.
Digital Economy refers to new business models, markets, goods and services especially those based on digital technologies as a basic business infrastructure. Cyber Security is the cornerstone of the digital economy. Cyber Security ensures trust, without which no any form of business transaction would exist. World Economic Forum recently rates a large scale breach of cyber security as one of the five most serious risks facing the world today. And as it is known in cyber security circle cyber security breach is not a question of if you are attacked, it is a question of when you are attacked.
This post looks at 5 cyber security positions that would play a significant role in the Nigeria’s transformation to a digital economy.
1. Ethical Hackers/Penetration Testers
Ethical Hackers/Penetration testers are cyber security professionals who uses the same tools, techniques and procedures (TTP) to test the security strength of a computer network, computer system, web applications etc. Every business organization that process credit and debit cards as a means of payment for business transaction is expected as a regulatory requirement to indulge the services of a pentester/ethical hacker to test the security strength of the computer network that carries out the transactions at least annually and after any a significant change to the computer network. This regulatory requirement is referred to as PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Penetration testers also form part of a red team in a business organization and play exercise against the Blue Team to strength the defensive the skills of the latter. The most recognized Ethical Hacking/Penetration Testing Certifications include the Offensive Security Certifications, EC-Council Certification, CREST and GIAC’s GPEN and Comptia PenTest+
2. Secure Coders
The world of cyber security is moving from cyber security as an add-on to security by design. That is security is not added as an addition to applications but security is embedded right from the design of the applications. Secure coders will play a significant role in designing secured applications to minimize the existence of vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers to compromise the applications. To certify as a secure coder one can earn EC-Council’s Certified Secure Programmer and Certified Application Security Engineer.
3. Digital Forensic and Incidence Response
Since cyber attacks and crimes are bound to occur no matter what defensive measures we put in place, these cyber security professionals are there to respond to cyber crimes/attacks and carry out investigations in order to aid recovery, find the attacker and find digital evidence that could be presented in a court of law for the prosecution of the crime. Reputable cyber security certifications in this category include GIAC GCIH, EC-Council’s CHFI, Cyber Sec First Responder.
4. Malware Analysts/Reverse Engineers
Malware is the weapon of choice used by hackers to attack computers. Malware analysts are responsible for conducting both dynamic and static analyses of suspicious code in order to establish signatures that indicate its presence. They also determine how such code spreads through systems and develop tools and procedures to detect the code in advance of any infection. Malware Analysts will be relevant in business organizations to fight up malware infections. GIAC’s GREM remain an industry standard the field of Malware Analysis/Reverse Engineering.
5. Cyber Security Analyst/Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst
Cyber security analysts assess, plan, and enact security measures to help protect organization from security breaches and attacks on its computer networks and systems. This position involves simulating attacks to spot vulnerabilities, testing new software to help protect the company’s data, and helping users adhere to new regulations and processes to ensure the network stays safe. Cyber security analysts usually work as part of an IT department for various organizations and typically work a full-time schedule. Some great cyber security certifications for this position include Comptia CySA+ and CCNA Cyber Ops.