The rise of cybercrime has been consistent in recent years. This increase has caused an explosion of cybercrime jobs all over the world in search of cybercrime specialists. The entry of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the curve through cyberattacks.
While this increase is causing havoc to businesses, the situation has created more cybercrime jobs. It is a loss to businesses and a win to virtual assistants and freelancers worldwide.
The recent cybercrime trends have sent panic to businesses, governments, and individuals relying on the web to function in one way or another. This is prompting businesses worldwide to seek cybersecurity experts to help counter cybercriminals from cyberattacks. According to research carried by
Cybersecurity Ventures, by the end of 2021, cybersecurity experts predict that cybercrime will affect the globe economically at the cost of over $6 trillion.
But, of course, 2020 was the year when the curve changed, and that should prepare any business operating virtually for tough times ahead. Also, experts warn that cybercrime could soonest become the third-largest economy in the world.
These changes necessitate cybersecurity professionals or virtual assistants and freelancers with cybersecurity skills to help businesses counter the cybercrime menace.
How pandemic has affected the normal running of a business
While running a business online has the upper hand over the offline model, not many had anticipated the outcome of the pandemic in 2020. So, circumstances forced them to shift their business to online. Those who were working in an office setup had to work from home and sacrifice a fully-developed IT infrastructure security.
The majority of them are yet to adapt how things work online, becoming a target for cybercriminals.
The shifting process forced the organization to adapt the web system fast without making security a priority.
Also, the time to innovate and become accustomed to the online world did not allow most businesses to place proper security mechanisms to counter cyber threats.
That’s why you find cybercrime jobs are in high demand today, but very few skilled cybersecurity experts are available.
Top skills Virtual Assistant and Freelancers should possess when looking for Cybercrime jobs
If you are a virtual assistant or freelancer and wondering whether a career in cybersecurity is something you can do, should encourage you because Cybersecurity is in high demand in all sectors.
Possessing the right Cybersecurity skills is vital as a service provider to help you protect your business’s digital assets plus intelligence from security breaches.
If you are not sure about the skills you possess, search online what organizations are looking for to add necessary skills.
While you may find Cybercrime jobs posted all over the web, knowing what to offer before sending applications is vital.
Cybersecurity jobs require you to have a broad set of professional, functional skills, technical, soft skills, and specific cybersecurity skills that most organizations are looking for. The more equipped you are, the more marketable you become and stand a better chance than your competitors.
Skills you require for cybersecurity jobs
In this field, you need to be technologically savvy to help you perform the activities of a cybersecurity expert that are required of you daily. Some of the responsibilities you’ll provide are troubleshooting, providing real-time security solutions, maintaining, implementing continuous network monitoring, and updating information security systems.
A cybersecurity expert should be ready to solve problems that may arise in their day-day work.
In this field, you need to be creative by addressing intricate information security challenges across various prevailing digital environments and emerging technologies.
Attention to detail
Your core role in an organization is to make sure no issues of cyber breaches occur. You do that by sealing any loophole, staying vigilant and detail-oriented to detect any risk from cybercriminals.
Cybersecurity gives you the responsibility of network monitoring continuously and requires you to identify alarms and with a solution to counter any threats by providing real-time security responses.
Desire to learn
Virtual assistants and freelancers should stay updated with the changes happening in the world of cybersecurity. So, just like any other technical field, cybersecurity is evolving and the same with cybercrime jobs.
Therefore, keeping up with the current trends will allow you to be marketable or in demand for required services. Embrace continuous learning, whether is seeking professional assistance or self-educating; both will put you a step ahead of other virtual assistants or freelancers.
Computer forensic skills
Cybersecurity and computer forensic are different fields, but they are closely related. Sometimes you may see clients looking for computer forensic experts and can be classified as a cybercrime job.
That’s why you see virtual assistants and freelancers with a foundation in computer forensics do very well in the cybersecurity field.
Having this skill helps you effectively provide security to your organization’s digital assets and avert any security breaches. And in case things go wrong, these skills allow you to recover any compromised data.
In many institutions that offer cybercrime degree programs, make sure computer forensic component is included.
Security knowledge across various platforms
The majority of cybercrime students limit cybersecurity to computers only. But it is broad and requires approaching the subject with an open mind to deal with computer systems, operating systems, cloud networks, mobile devices, and wireless networks.
Also, you should always stay updated with the new advancement in the mentioned fields and more to outwit e-criminals before they do.
Understanding how hacking works
Pursuing a cybercrime career to protect an organization’s network effectively means understanding a hacker’s mind and how they operate.
You have to understand the common enemy every business on the web dread to meet. Your effectiveness as a virtual assistant or freelancer cybersecurity expert will come from your level of understanding of how you can exploit an organization’s network and infrastructure in the first place.
So, to counter a hacker or cybercriminals, you have to learn how to hack ethically.
Meaning you’ll have the same skills as the hacker to comprehend how to breach a system and come up with an effective solution to prevent such attacks from happening.
How can I learn cybersecurity skills?
Naturally, the skills listed above are a must for any cybersecurity expert to fight cybercrime effectively.
But you find there is a great shortage of such skills in the market, and most companies are advertising cybercrime jobs for years without any response because they cannot find qualified virtual assistants or freelancers, or those who apply fall short of the cybersecurity expertise required to handle the tasks.
Additional skills are the ones acquired during your formal training. If you are not ready to start a cybersecurity degree immediately, you can start with a certificate and keep advancing to gain a solid foundation in cybersecurity principles.
Ensure you focus on development, programming, digital forensic investigation, and other technical skills related to the computer, networking, and computer systems to empower your understanding.
And now, this field is constantly getting attention from all quarters; you can choose to pursue a cybersecurity degree program, either campus-based or online.
Before enrolling for any cybersecurity course, ensure the institution is accredited regionally, well-recognized, non-profit, and offers acceptable cybersecurity programs.
Also, the program should be recognized by the U.S. government, such as Champlain College and FIU, which has been designated as a center of Academic Excellence by NSA/ DHS (National Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.
How common are freelancing and remote work for a cybersecurity career?
Working remotely for freelancers gives them added advantages of getting a variety of jobs offered virtually.
But cybersecurity career is yet to attract a huge pool of freelancers focused on providing businesses cybersecurity solutions. If businesses hire freelancers to handle cybercrime issues, they can prevent cyber-attacks from cybercriminals from any place in the world.
They are available most of the time when needed, whether on the beach, on holiday, traveling, which makes them reliable for the job.
If software developers, web developers, and other freelancers working in other fields deliver their work effectively, it is time cybercrime jobs focused more on virtual service providers.
You will not find people referring to it as freelancing in cybersecurity. Instead, you will find three types of people for cybersecurity jobs: experienced, certified, accomplished, and experts who have acquired cybersecurity degrees from top universities.
Of course, they can work from anywhere, but some may be costly for small businesses that are starting. The only downside is some of the freelancers looking for cybersecurity jobs are not qualified enough.
So, there is a mismatch between what businesses are looking for and what freelancers offer. In addition, most of them are not skilled enough to counter the modern cyber threat affecting businesses worldwide.
So, both virtual assistants and freelancers should take the challenge to upgrade cybersecurity skills and stay up-to-date with cyber threats before fully providing cybersecurity freelancing services remotely.
Why is cybercrime a problem today?
This is a question every person relying on the web, whether to sell, purchase, or just have fun. The answer to the question is why cybercrime is a problem today because technology is continually advancing, and security measures are not put into place to protect the technology and the users.
Furthermore, the required security measures are not upgraded or advanced with technology advancement, leaving loopholes for e-criminals to utilize and thrive.
Data today has become the world’s most valuable commodity. For that reason, some would do anything to acquire the specific data both legally and illegally.
That’s why it has become a primary target of cybercriminals. They monitor areas where the data can be accessed unlawfully, easily obtained, or not adequately protected. And some of the notable data breaches that happened in recent years include:
In 2016 Deloitte global consulting firm was hacked using an unsecured account which compromised emails, passwords, usernames, and other privy information of over 300 clients.
In 2013, Yahoo experienced a data breach of over 3 billion users, where hackers bypassed encryption, leading to user’s names, emails, passwords, date of birth, and more.
In 2019, an Australian graphic design tool company Canva was hacked and exposed users’ emails, usernames, names, cities of residence, and more.
Others in the list include:
✅ eBay in 2014
✅ Dubsmash in 2018
✅ Zynga in 2019
✅ LinkedIn in 2016
✅ Marriott International in 2014 to 2018
✅ MySpace in 2013
✅ Sina Weibo in 2020
✅ My Fitness Pal in 2018
✅ Heartland Payment Systems in 2008
✅ Equifax in 2017
And this is just a drop in the ocean of how many businesses have been affected in the world. If cybercriminals can boldly hack these giant companies, that tells you cybercrime is a global phenomenon.
It is high time virtual assistants and freelancers take advantage of this need and turn it into a career by securing businesses from cybercriminals.
No doubt, this is a big problem every business is facing and constantly looking for cybersecurity experts to help thwart the threat.
What is organized cybercrime?
These are some of the organization’s virtual assistants and freelancers who need to decode and understand their operations. First, organized cybercrime is a network of cybercriminals whereby they collaborate to pull off immense heists on the web.
These organizations are groups of cybercriminals, tech bandits, programmers, and hackers that bring their skills and resources together to commit major crimes that are hard to crack.
Some of these groups are corporate, some are small, and others are well defined and established with leadership that delegates tasks depending on the ranks and roles.
The only way to capture these cybercriminals is by employing experts with a master’s degree in cybersecurity and years of experience to net organized cybercrime groups.
Even as you respond to cybercrime jobs advertised online, try to verify the company’s background to certify they are genuine. Some of the advertisers are illegally looking for professionals to help them do dirty work.
Cost of cybercrime 2021
Cybercrime is a big problem that the entire world needs to come together and fight. According to McAfee, cybercrime costs the world more than $1 trillion, approximately 1% of global GDP.
Furthermore, cybercrime loss causes businesses worldwide to include intellectual property theft, damage, and destruction of data plus stolen money.
If virtual assistants and freelancers come on board to bridge the gap of the lack of experts for cybercrime jobs offered, that can save the entire world a great deal.
FBI says that in 2019 cyberattacks caused the US to lose over $3.5 billion, and it could be higher since some of these intrusions are rarely noticed. So you can see statistics tell it all about the big gap the world is lacking for cybersecurity professionals to counter this threat.
If the current cybercrime trends continue, then it means by 2025, cybercrime will cost the world $10 trillion. After the entry of Covid, cybercrime shoot up by 600 percent, and this is a warning to every business to make cybersecurity a top priority.
What is the annual cost of the cybercrime study 2020?
According to a study carried out in 2020, it is estimated the cost of cybercrime will be $6 trillion by the end of 2021. This is double the cost of the cybercrime 2015 report, which shows you by the year 2025, the figure may even be higher than projected above.
The sad thing with this dramatic rise in cybercrime is that it increases with the number of organizations that are yet to put security mechanisms to prevent cyber-attacks.
The unpreparedness shows many organizations are not aware of these cybercrime statistics or they are unsure of what to do.
This information is vital to virtual assistants and freelancers to understand where to start their cybercrime careers.
The more you take the challenge to invest your time to learn in this field effectively, the easier it for you to respond to cybercrime jobs you come across.
Here are top stats as recorded in the cybercrime 2020 report:
- Healthcare was the most affected in data breach costs after losing over $7.3 million.
- About 80 percent of all the data breaches contained customer PII (Capita+Ponemon)
- IBM discovered that it takes approximately 280 days to detect and contain any data breach. You can imagine the damage caused during this time.
- In 2020 alone, organizations spent over $123 billion on data security.
Types of cybercriminals
Before you embark on a cybercrime career, you need to understand the types of hackers you are dealing with.
Getting armed with information prepares you for any eventuality, especially in the cybercrime field. And here are the hackers you will be dealing with from today onwards.
White hat hacker
This type of hacker is a legal expert that gains access to protected systems to experiment with their security. Another name of white hat hacker is “ethical hackers” keep testing by detecting susceptibilities in systems and networks to uncover them before malicious cybercriminals do.
Black hat hacker
This is the most dangerous type of hacker, and they maliciously break into organizations’ computer security protocols and networks to inject malware, steal data, modify it and sometimes destroy it.
Grey hat hacker
This type of hacker collaborates with a “white hat hacker” by exposing any vulnerability in systems and reporting issues to business owners.
Their approach is dangerous since they hack without any permission from the owner. When they identify any threat, Grey hat hackers request the business owner for a fee to fix the vulnerabilities.
Grey hat hacking is classified together with black hat hacking as they both use illegal means to access business data without consent.
Why work in cybersecurity?
There are a million reasons why you should consider starting your freelancing or virtual assistant career in cybersecurity. Whether you a college graduate, high school graduate or planning to switch jobs, this is a field you can start from any level.
With increasing cyber threats worldwide, cybercrime jobs will soon double what is there today.
According to a Cybersecurity workforce study, the world requires 145% of cybercrime professional s growth to meet the cybersecurity job demands. The U.S (United States) requires growth of 62% to bridge this gap.
Cyber Seek digs deeper to expose the shortage of cybersecurity experts in real numbers within one year. According to Cyber Seek, 144,700 cybercrime jobs were open between April 2020 and Marcy 2021.
However, out of all the posted job openings, only 131 000 were applied for. Meaning there’s an annual shortage of 13 700 jobs not yet applied for. If you are still adamant about starting a cybersecurity career, here is the reason to start.
Choosing to become a cybersecurity expert, you’ll enjoy job satisfaction than any other job out there. In North America, job satisfaction is high among cybersecurity experts, with over 71 percent of respondents agreeing unanimously to be satisfied with their jobs.
Also, 84 percent of respondents worldwide said they enjoy working as cybersecurity specialists, and the job allows them to attain what they always wanted.
Although cybersecurity professionals spend most of their time defending organizations and people against cyberattacks, they find their position fulfilling. Here are the benefits of working in the cybersecurity field.
You will never experience a dull moment in a cybersecurity role, but constantly learning new things while at the same time meeting new challenges that require your attention.
Meeting people of all walks of life pursuing your knowledge to help demystify cyberattack issues before hackers do.
Also, you get to interact with other cybercrime professionals when exchanging ideas to approach or prevent illegal access to organizations or business data.
Providing solutions to organizations’ security needs and protecting customers, employees, or patients’ information that cyber criminals most look for.
The future is digital
Not everyone is certain that cybersecurity will continue to become a vital part of most industries. However, the average cost of data breaches globally is approximately $4 million, and organizations constantly search for cybersecurity experts.
If the idea of working as a freelancer or virtual assistant, you can opt to work in the public or private sector.
Cybersecurity is in high demand and does not hold you to work in the same role. That is why working virtually for organizations allows you to offer services to as many clients in need as possible.
You have the liberty to work with small businesses, startups, or big enterprises with a big budget.
Education & Certification
Many upcoming freelancers and virtual assistants fear pursuing a cybersecurity career since they are not certified. There is a misconception that you require a cybercrime degree to offer cybersecurity services.
In recent years, various universities and colleges are offering cybercrime training, but the reality is that most cybercrime specialists are self-taught.
If you’re still considering pursuing a career in the cybercrime field, attending university may take more time or not afford the luxury of a degree.
Therefore, you can equip yourself with available online courses and connecting with cybersecurity experts to learn more from their experience.
Getting certified can help you rise through the cybersecurity ranks and attract better perks. The good thing with a cybersecurity career, you can specialize in one field and focus on it. Therefore, if you are looking for a certificate, you need to identify the area that fits you best.
Cyber Crime Salary
Most freelancers and virtual assistants avoid cybercrime jobs because they are not aware of their operations. And most of the time you’ll hear them ask questions such as:
- Is cybersecurity a promising career?
- Do cybersecurity jobs pay well?
Can cybersecurity make you rich? How much do cybersecurity professionals make? Of course, knowing the cybercrime salary range may allow you to consider whether an investment in this field is worth your time.
The truth of the matter is cybercrime jobs are the highest paying in both virtually and physically. In most cases, you will find a cybersecurity analyst taking an average salary of $90,000 and $160,000 annually.
And you are worth this much and more since your role will be creating, planning, and carrying out security measures to keep the organization’s infrastructure secure.
An experienced cybersecurity analyst can earn between $15,000 and $25,000. In comparison, an entry-level cybersecurity analyst earns around $8,000 less than an experienced analyst.
If you are planning to offer cybercrime as a career, salary varies, especially in countries where cybercrime jobs are in the highest demand.
- In the UK, an average annual salary range between $50,000 to $80,000
- In Australia, the average annual salary range between $75,000 to 135,000 Australian dollar
- In the US, the average annual salary range between $75,000 to $120,000
- In Canada, the average annual salary range from $80,000 to 150,000 Canadian dollar
The salary range depends on your level of cybersecurity education or experience. Also, the organization you are working with matters a lot. For instance, a cybersecurity analyst working in a startup may not earn the same as an analyst working in an established enterprise.
The talent gap in this field is large, and many organizations offer competitive pay to entice their prospective candidates. In addition, sometimes your salary range may be affected by your location. Therefore, put all these aspects into consideration before you switch your career to a cybersecurity professional.
What are the most in-demand cybersecurity jobs?
Every freelancer and virtual assistant eager to handle cybercrime jobs should pay attention to jobs that are in high demand. Instead of trying to gather every skill in this field, specializing in one in-demand cybersecurity job is enough for you. And as your experience advances, many organizations will seek your services constantly or even full time.
Here are some of the hot cake cybersecurity jobs to watch:
- Network engineer
- Information security analyst
- Cyber Security Consultant
- Ethical hacker
- Blockchain developer
- Cybersecurity project manager
- Security software developer
- Digital forensic analyst
- Chief information security officer (CISO)
Where to get Cybercrime jobs
If you are a freelancer or a virtual assistant, getting cybersecurity jobs is easy. The high demand for cybersecurity professionals is pushing organizations to use any avenue to secure the right experts. But here are some of the noticeable platforms you can get cybercrime experts.
- Cyber Security JobsZippia
- Cleared Jobs
This is a scratch on the surface comparing to numerous platforms where cybercrime jobs are posted. Therefore, keep checking on various platforms and apply the role that resonates with your skills.
Choosing a career in cybersecurity is rewarding, and the more you gain experience, the more you enjoy the returns.
If more freelancers and virtual assistants join the cybersecurity field, the big gap witnessed in the past with cybercrime jobs applicants will go down. This may also minimize cybercriminals from causing economic loss to many organizations.
You just need to identify a cybersecurity career that is right for you and offer services to needful clients.