Do you want to profit from the fast growing global cyber security threat? If YES, here are 50 lucrative innovative business ideas in the cyber security industry.
According to a report from Cisco, the demand for cyber security jobs is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019. For those already in the tech field that are looking to become entrepreneurs in the cyber security should expect to make more money as this is a growing field that has seen professionals earning big bucks.
Why Start a Cyber Security Business?
The high demand for cyber security professionals is mostly due to the fact that cyber attacks are becoming more common and harmful as everyone – individual or business – with an online presence is susceptible to cyber attacks.
However, even though, more schools are now offering degrees in cyber security, it is not yet a staple course; and so individuals with a degree in cyber security are making serious money, especially as more companies and individuals are seeking their services.
Starting a Cyber Security Business – Industry Overview
Cyber security companies or IT security consulting firms manage IT security services such as firewalls, intrusion prevention, security threat analysis, proactive security vulnerability and penetration testing and incident preparation and response, which includes IT forensics.
According to a recent research findings published by Ponemon Institute, within the year 2015, the costs associated with cybercrime had risen to 19 percent, higher than it was in 2014. Globally, a hack in 2014 cost companies $7.7 million on the average. This has led to 20 percent of companies globally to create cybercrimes budget between $1 million and $4.9 million depending on the scale of the company and ensure strict implementation.
This has also led to huge investments in cyber security firms, as the first half of 2015 saw investors pumping nearly $1.2 billion into start-ups in this industry. According to forecasts, the investments were likely to reach $77 billion as at the end of 2015. The industry has also been pegged to reach $170 billion by the year 2020.
A research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) stated that globally, 58 percent of companies have an overall security strategy; 49 percent conduct periodic threat assessments, 48 percent monitor and analyze security intelligence actively. However, according to KPMG, 50 percent of fortunes 500 CEOs globally with more than $500 million in revenue are usually not prepared as they should for a cyber-attack.
However worrisome the threat of an attack externally is, companies now also have to worry about internal attacks from employees. According to a survey by SANS 2015, 74 percent of Chief Information Security Officers, CISOs are more worried about internal than external cyber-attacks. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 34 percent of cyber-attacks in 2015 were from current employees and 28 percent from former employees.
The damage caused by cybercrime is estimated to hit $6 trillion by the year 2021. This has led to a forecast that there will be an estimated increase in spending by companies for cyber security between the periods of 2017 and 2021 to $1 trillion. According to Gartner, as at 2016, more than $80 billion was spent on products and services related to cyber security. This is however expected to exceed $1 trillion globally within a five-year period.
As a matter of fact, the cyber security industry is one that is fast paced as there is zero percent unemployment rates in this industry. The industry in fact has unfilled positions that are expected to reach 1.5 million by the year 2019. This shows that there is severe shortage of talent especially as more cybercrimes are being committed almost every other day.
It has been estimated that by 2020, more than 4 billion people will be susceptible to attacks over the internet. The United States Government between the periods of 2006 and 2016 has spent over $100 billion on cybercrime. It also budgeted a whopping $14 billion in 2016 for cyber security.
A recent report research conducted by Intel shows that the number of devices that will be connected might reach 200 billion in 2020; this is from the 15 billion connected devices in 2015. However, Microsoft and Cisco has countered the report claiming that only 50 billion devices will have been connected by 2020. Regardless of the estimated number, the report points to the same fact that more people will be online and will be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Despite the fact that cyber security companies can easily be found in the United States of America and in the cyberspace, does not in any way make the industry to be over saturated. The fact that there are people and organizations out there who would always need the professional services of cyber security companies from time to time to sort out cyber security related issues et al makes the business ever green.
So, if you are thinking of starting a business this year that is lucrative, then you should start thinking towards the field of cyber security. However, you should know that the field of cyber security is one where you are either the hero or villain. The villains are the hackers who cause cyber attacks.
If you need a lucrative business idea in the cyber security industry, and you are technology savvy, then you might do well to consider some of those that will be listed below. Most of the ideas listed below would make you become really wealthy, you would however, need to look carefully through these lucrative ideas and choose that which suits you.
50 Lucrative Business ideas in Cyber Security Industry
The software business is a huge one as there are various kinds of software that one can produce to make money – from essentials, antivirus, to customized software. All you need as a business person is to identify the specific area that is likely to bring in money. You also would need to ensure that once created, your software can easily be used by those whom you have built it for.
If you want to make money via your software business, the only route is in marketing it. Marketing would require that you focus on a client based segment and focus on that segment whilst marketing, especially as your software might not be for everyone. You could decide in what forms you want to make money from your software
2. Systems Analyst
A systems analyst is responsible for ensuring that certain requirements should be implemented in code. This means that a systems analyst bridges the gap between the requirement of a project and the specifications that were stated by the client.
Knowing what to do in cyber security is very vital and as such you must be very proficient in this business. Clients are always more confident if they can view your certifications, and so you might need to brush up on getting your certifications.
3. Threat Response Engineering Consultant
Malwares are one great threat to any business. It usually refers to a variety of intrusive software which includes computer viruses as well as other malicious programs. It can destroy a business, if specified by the hacker to do so.
As a threat response engineering consultant, you are tasked with ensuring that you perform an in-depth analysis on malwares affecting your clients, proffer solutions as well as give assurance to your clients. You must have knowledge of analytic tools such as Wireshark, Softice, IdaPro, Ollydebug as well as others that can help in solving your client’s problem on time.
4. Solution Architect
Even though businesses need technology to be able to function better, there are usually those who can better connect these businesses to technology. These kinds of people are referred to as solutions architects.
As a solutions architect, you are to oversee all the aspects of a systems solution especially those that have to do with customer relations, supply chains, human resources, and product life cycles. A solutions architect usually ensures that each solution is crafted to adapt to a client’s specific problem.
5. Computer Network Architect
In this global and fast-paced world, any business that does not have a means of reaching customers or be reached by customers, competitors as well as other businesses can be regarded as a dead one. Even within a company or firm, there is the need to reach everyone especially if the office is a huge one.
This is where you come in as a computer network architect. As a computer network architect, your task is to ensure that you help businesses meet their data communications goals by studying their business plan. The systems connection could be as small as just connecting offices to each other or erecting a global communications system.
6. Cloud Engineer
Nowadays businesses are currently seeing the need to back up their important documents on cloud. They do this in two ways, either getting someone to constructing a cloud for them or subscribing to a cloud computing business for a fee.
As a cloud engineer you are responsible for any technological duties that are associated with cloud computing which might range from the design, planning, management, maintenance as well as support for your client. You would need to choose a specific role from cloud software engineer, cloud architect, cloud security engineer, cloud network engineer, and cloud systems engineer as each role focuses on a different aspect of cloud computing.
7. Applications Development Consultant
This is one who is responsible for all the aspects of developing as well as supporting internally created software or supported application software. Most businesses usually outsource their web and software developments and so usually would also need the help of an applications development consultant to ensure that the intended jobs are done according to specifications.
This is a huge task that usually requires the consultant to understand as well as analyze complex business problems in order to ensure that the correct technology is created.
The concept of cyber security for government agencies, industries and the public alike has become more popular especially after certain leaks came to the knowledge of the public. Cyber attacks could come from small scale hackers to extensive communities of activists, to even organized crime as well as from foreign governments. This has led to the government, industries as well as individuals seeking for protection against cyber attacks.
As a cyber security consultant, you would need to be creative, be a natural cynic as well as possess a technical knowledge of what to do. You should be able to probe complex problems so as to bring the required solution for your client.
9. Business Systems Analyst
Businesses often need someone who understands their needs and then define the requirements that would be needed and or address the changes of the business as related to information technology.
As a business systems analyst, you must understand and be knowledgeable about certain fields even if you probably might not need to use them. For example, you should have a programming experience even though you might not use it. You must also be able to test software as well as query the database.
10. Marketing Technologists
Marketing technologists are those who merge traditional marketing roles with information technology. According to research, from the last decade and a half, new digital security threats have tripled beyond measure.
As a marketing technologist, you would need to be aware of the various threats that your client might face from its marketers who might not see misplacing a thumb drive as a security risk. You would need to educate your clients’ marketing staff on the importance of ensuring that their actions are one that protect the security of the clients at all times.
11. Content Engineer
Every organization wants to create and deliver engaging content experiences to customers across various channels which can be quite challenging no matter the scale of the organization. Content engineering ensures that the gap between strategy and development is bridged to the benefit of the organization.
A content engineer organizes the shape, structure and application of content assets. As an engineer, you would need to target how content assets will be created as well as the platforms and what forms of publications it will take. You might need to work with a content strategist so as to specify how audiences should receive content, and how the content might be best displayed on their devices.
12. CRM Analyst
Companies use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in building a healthy bottom line as well as maintain the loyalty of the customer in the long run. As a CRM analyst, your task is to use CRM software so as not just to analyze customer data but also to make recommendations as regards sales, marketing as well as customer service initiatives.
Asides, having knowledge in customer service, marketing, and customer relationship management; a CRM analyst is also required to have a strong knowledge of analytical software particularly one that is linked to CRM.
13. Software Systems Engineer
As a software systems engineer, your task is to understand the client’s business as well as the support requirements to design solutions. This means you would design and create engineering specifications so as to build software programs. Every software systems engineer would need to work with a quality assurance and hardware engineers so as to develop testing plans.
14. E-Commerce Analyst
Companies who run businesses online often need analysts that will help them make more money in their online trading activities than their competitors. An e-commerce analyst focuses on internet transactions, researching ways by which existing sales goals can be improved.
Working as an e-commerce consultant for any client, you would first need to be certified – renewable every year so as to remain relevant – as well as skilled in the use of analytics software and Excel to get data from the users that can be used to improve the conversion rate for your clients.
15. ERP Business Analyst
Before any ERP project can be carried out, a good business analysis is needed. Therefore a business analyst is responsible for the analysis, design, development and communications of business solutions. The ERP business analyst acts as a liaison amongst stakeholders during a project and is also responsible for ensuring that key stake holders come to a consensus.
A business analyst is one who is responsible for identifying the need of the business for a change by performing an Enterprise Analysis. The business analyst is also responsible for proffering solutions and even though his task starts with a project, it ends with the project as well.
16. Wireless Network Engineer
Wireless network engineering is part of data communications technologies and businesses are becoming more dependent on the wireless technology to connect workers in remote areas as well as mobile workers to the company network, which is where wireless engineers come in.
As a wireless network engineer, your task is to design, implement, as well as optimize a company’s wireless LAN and other technologies that are wireless. To be successful in this business, you would need to be certified as this will give clients more confidence in your ability.
17. Programmer Analyst
This is usually the combination of two roles – computer programmer and systems analyst. Computer programmers write computer programs and also update and repair existing programs, while systems analysts design and develop computer systems and software.
Depending on the type of client, a programmer analyst could work on tasks that are financial, engineering or scientific in nature and ensures that the work is tailored to the need of the client.
18. Portal Administrator
A portal administrator ensures that the portal layout is developed and also that the functionality of the site is maintained. It is also the task of the portal administrator to integrate a new technology system into the portal as well as supervise content for all the pages in the portal.
19. Pre-Sales Engineer
They are also referred to as technical sales engineers and use their technical knowledge to provide advice on a range of products. Using a technical perspective, they help with bids and tenders for new clients. Most of the clients for a pre-sales engineer include technical staff from non-retail organizations such as hospitals, local authorities, and factories.
To work as a freelance in this field, you would need to have established and developed contacts that are in the wider business sector, since this is mostly a difficult field to break into.
20. CRM Technical Consultant
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) consultant advises clients on the best practices as regards CRM through development or integration processes. They usually act as a technical SME for clients and internal teams. A CRM consultant might be responsible depending on the client for extending Dynamics CRM, as well as developing the user interface or backend.
21. Forensics Expert
While most cyber security tasks ensures keeping hackers out or ensuring that the damages a client incurs is mopped up to at least a manageable level, a forensics expert would actually see that those behind the hacking goes to jail.
As a forensics expert, you are expected to analyze how intruders breached the infrastructure, and also what other networks of your clients have been compromised. As a forensic expert you would need to be proficient in the latest response, forensic as well as have reverse engineering skills.
22. Web Penetration Tester
While there are those who hack illegally, as a web penetration tester, your clients will pay you to hack as a way of checking the vulnerabilities in target networks, systems and applications so as to help businesses improve on their security. The flaws when then identified can give insights into how best they can be upgraded against security attacks.
To be successful as a web penetration tester, you would need to be a creative thinker, and also one that thinks out of the box. You would need to be focused, pay attention to details so as to easily spot flaws and weaknesses that others might have missed.
23. CRM Technical Developer
A CRM technical developer is one who develops solutions that will cater to the both the internal (such as sales staff, admin, system developers and support staff) and external (such as vendors, customers, partners and researchers) web components.
A CRM Technical developer must have an experience with a specific CRM system, must also be able to custom configure a CRM used by the client, and must also integrate CRM features into an organization’s computer systems especially with the one that is meant for customer use.
24. Network Analyst
A network analyst who is sometimes referred to as a support engineer, usually works with a variety of networks types; LANs, WANs, MANs, and GANs by determining which network capacity requirements the client needs and ensuring that the available infrastructure can handle the network. A network analyst also monitors and administrates the network as well as trouble shoot problems.
The structure of an organization might determine if the network analyst can work alone or if he or she might have to work with others. Also, the size of the organization will determine how long a project might likely take.
25. Business Continuity Analyst
A business continuity analyst helps a business to recover from a disaster after a computer system crises. As a business continuity analyst, you must help businesses develop strategies that will be necessary at handling resumption after disasters, and also how to prevent disasters.
Asides this, a computer system has to be designed and developed that will support continuous operations. During this period, you might need to interact with vendors so that they remain assured of the continuity of your client’s business.
This role also requires that you have risk management experience as most of your risk reports for your client will be limited to senior management.
26. ERP Technical Analyst
This role is mostly focused on an area of expertise that is usually within the ERP software or not, depending on the required knowledge needed. Most businesses who usually require the use of ERP are manufacturing companies, which is why the role which includes information technology usually varies depending on the organization.
In order to be proficient in this field, you would need to understand the operations of businesses and how ERP supports them and also ensure that developments are improved upon.
27. Database Administrator
A database administrator needs to be able to design, implement and maintain the database of an organization. Most administrators usually work with a database architect so as to help in ensuring data integrity and also ensure that data is secured and backed up.
As a database administrator, you can write and maintain codes and queries for more than one database in an organization and even for several other organizations as well.
28. Application Development Manager
This is a role that requires technicality, and also that you have a background s an application developer. An application development manager will need to interact with workers across various departments to help them not only keep track of milestone achievements but to help in driving a project forward as well as resolve existing bottlenecks.
29. Network Security Engineer
A network security engineer monitors and analyzes network usage for security problems and issues. They also help in trouble shooting network problems and to become one that reputable organizations would desire to use, you would need to be certified and have certain specific knowledge related to network securities.
This is also a task that might require physical effort as cabling and installation of physical wires are usually involved.
30. Network System Administrator
A network system administrator is responsible for the implementation as well as the follow up of a network security plan for an organization. Other responsibilities include documenting the networking infrastructure, monitoring and implementing disaster recovery plans, making use of vulnerability assessment tools so as to determine potential risks, as well as keeping up to date with changing networking technology.
Also, software and hardware must be constantly reviewed so as to recommend upgrades when necessary. You would need to be proficient as a network administrator as only satisfied clients can refer you to other businesses and colleagues in other industries.
31. Web Development
A web developer is one who has a specialist function that includes developing a website from the backend, which might also incorporate a highly complex search functions. The web developer has to ensure that the website is tested at different stages of the design so as to ensure that users don’t have a problem when using.
The task of a web developer depends on the kind of client and the requirements the client has. This kind of job can be done from anywhere, thereby ensuring that your overheads are low.
32. Security Auditor
Due to the rapid advancement of new information technology, companies are choosing to continually improve their businesses by buying into new products. Sometimes however, the new products bought often requires checks due to the growing concern about IT security, data integrity as well as the safety of the business. As a result, businesses are constantly on the look-out for security auditors.
An IT security auditor helps clients test the effectiveness of systems and their security components. It is the information gotten from here that he reports to his client enabling the client knows the next step to take.
33. Application penetration Tester
An application penetration tester is also known as an ethical hacker especially as you are paid to probe for, as well as exploit security vulnerabilities in the client’s applications, which could be web-based or mobile or even both.
Series of penetration tools are often used to simulate cyber attacks and you might be required to build some of these tools yourself. The aim is so as to help your client improve the security of its business. Unlike the bad hackers, as a penetration tester, you would need to document your findings and the job usually comes with a tight deadline.
34. Systems Security Administrator
This is basically the point person for every cyber security systems in an organization. They are usually responsible for installing, administering and troubleshooting an organization’s security solutions. Not many organizations out-source this kind of job but there are still some who do and those are the ones you pitch your services to.
As a systems security administrator, you defend the system against unauthorized access, perform vulnerability scanning assessments, monitor the network traffic so as to spot unusual activities, and configure security tools such as antivirus, and firewalls.
35. Data Architect
A data architect plays a very important role, as they create blueprints that can be used for data management systems. A data architect usually assesses a company’s potential data source – both internal and external as well as design a plan that would integrate, protect, centralize and maintain the data.
This ensures that the employees within an organization can access critical information at the right time and place. This is often a difficult job as you would need several years of experience under your belt, but it is also a job that comes in six figures, allowing you live that comfortable lifestyle you have always wanted.
36. User Experience Design
Every business is out to own a website in these times where owning a website is absolutely necessary, this however, does not mean that all businesses care about how users feel on their site. For the businesses that are ultra concerned about the users of their site, they usually hire a user experience designer.
A user experience designer helps in keeping customers on the site and in ensuring that their experiences are consistent throughout their stay on your site.
37. Data Modeler
Data modeling is a complex affair as the process usually involves separating a mass of data into a structure and ensuing that is intelligible enough to the binary processes of computers as well as useful to a business or large institution.
Data modelers are often system analysts that translate a client’s requirements into conceptual, logical, and physical data models. Data modelers also focus on redundancy issues by reducing redundant data from an existing system, or improving the data itself.
As a data modeler, you should be dedicated to customer service as well as quality control.
38. Software Product Manager
Businesses want someone who can assess a customer’s needs and then identify a new software product that might help the business gain more customers and have a healthy bottom line. A software product manager also performs market research and creates software product management across company’s existing business units.
The software product manager has to work hand in hand with engineers so as to be able to define the requirements of the software products that would be released. This therefore means that a software product manager must be technically inclined to be able to achieve half of their tasks.
39. Applications Development
Businesses, including the finance and public sector often sometimes require an application done to project the image of the business to clients, and when such a need arises; they often approach an applications developer. Applications can usually be written for a particular system or across various platforms.
As an applications developer, you would be required to translate software requirements into a workable programming code as well as maintain and develop programs that can be used in business.
40. Incident Responder
As an incident responder, you are regarded as a cyber firefighter that helps businesses address security incidents and threats that happen within their premises. An incident responder is a first responder that will need to use a lot of forensics tools so as to find out the root cause of a problem.
They also help in limiting the damage and ensure that it never happens again. As an incident responder, you owe it to your clients to educate your client on what they can do to prevent the incident from occurring the next time.
41. Exploit Developer
Some businesses, government agencies and even the government as a whole are sometimes engaged in cyber attacks with an aim to know how weak the system of their enemies is. The new maxim is that, it is no longer good enough to be defensive cyber wise, but taking an offensive stance is also necessary, which is how exploit developers have come into existence.
As an exploit developer, you are not only responsible for analyzing software to check out their vulnerabilities but you would also need to develop exploit codes for your client, which has to be documented as well as any underlying flaws.
42. Malware Analyst
Anyone who is highly specialized in reverse engineering, is skilled in programming and pays attention to details, such a person is known as a malware analyst. A malware analyst uses various tools and expert knowledge to accomplish their task and know what a malware can do and how it does it.
A malware analyst not only require a large number of focus and discipline, a great amount of practice to know the inner workings of computer systems as well as programming methodologies in various languages is required.
43. Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst plans as well as carry out security measures that will protect a client’s organization computer networks and systems. This includes monitoring the network of the organization for a security breach and carrying out an investigation when the breach occurs.
You would also need to install and make use of certain software so as to protect sensitive information. As an information security analyst, you would need to stay a step ahead of cyber attackers by staying updated on the latest methods these hackers are using to infiltrate computer systems as well as staying updated on IT security.
44. Mobile Applications Developer
As a mobile application developer, you would be translating software requirements into workable programming codes maintain and develop same programmes for use in business. Being a mobile application developer means specializing in mobile phones that will be used across different platforms and devices.
You would be required to have an in-depth knowledge of at least one computer language. A mobile application can get a client from any sector of the business, and even the public sectors as well. You might need to work alone or as part of a team of other IT professionals, depending on what your client is looking to achieve.
45. Database Developer
A database developer takes responsibility of new and existing databases. The database developer also carries out testing and development from the initial planning phase of the database and gathers data, ensuring that the database continues to function effectively.
The role of a database developer might vary depending on the client and the structure of the organization. Becoming a database developer would need you having knowledge of the industry specific software such as Oracle. Also, clients are more confident, once they see that you have some accredited certifications from a reputable place.
46. Cyber Security Specialist
The growing cyber crime rate means that globally, businesses and government agencies are often facing constant threat to their financial information, military, trade secrets as well as customer data. This is why many entrepreneurs are choosing to become cyber security specialists so as to protect these organizations and government agencies from scammers, hackers and any other online criminals.
There has been a growing demand for cyber security specialists and if you are an entrepreneur that is technically inclined with the right knowledge of cyber security, then this is a field you should consider going into. You would need to have acquired accredited certifications so as to give you an edge over other cyber security specialists.
47. Security Architect
A security architect designs, builds and ensures the implementation of network and computer security for an organization. A security architect needs to have a complete understanding of a company’s technology and information systems.
The main role a security architect performs is the planning, designing and researching robust security architectures for any IT project that might crop up. Your task also involves developing requirements for local area networks, wide area networks, virtual private networks as well as routers, and firewalls.
48. Network Architect
Network architects are those in charge of designing and reviewing networking requirements and capabilities for clients effectively. They are also responsible in validating design plans that are of high level so as to get optimal network implementation. The network architect is the primary contact for any troubleshooting as well as the development of innovative solutions.
As a network architect, you would need to pay strong attention to details as this will help you in preventing network issues as well as incompatibility. You would also need to manage your client’s expectations while following strict standards and network protocols. All solved problems must be documented so that future re-occurring problems can be quickly handled.
49. Disaster Recovery Consultant
This is part of a security plan that involves protecting an organization from the effects of significant negative events such as a cyber attack, equipment failure, as well as natural disasters that might occur. A disaster recovery consultant makes use of documents such as procedures, policies and actions so as to limit the disruption in an organization that has been caused by the negative significant event.
A disaster recovery consultant may need to restore servers with backups, re-establish private branch exchanges or provision local area networks so as to meet with a business’ immediate needs.
50. Vulnerability Researcher
A vulnerability researcher is a security research engineer responsible for the research and analysis of new exploits. The task of a vulnerability researcher can differ depending on the client.
However, duties often include reviewing, isolating, analyzing and reverse-engineering vulnerable or malicious programs so as to determine the nature of threat the malicious program holds. A vulnerability researcher must have extensive knowledge of various programming languages, as well as experience with system security.
The above listed businesses are serious ones, as any entrepreneur in this field would know. Carrying out a thorough research is necessary as it helps you identify all the pitfalls and obstacles that your intended business is likely to throw up, and how you can readily overcome them.
Part of what you would need is a business plan as it would not only help in identifying strengths and weaknesses, but also help in getting financial help from investors, should you need cash to start or further your business.