How Much Do Cybersecurity Jobs Pay?

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the role of cybersecurity professionals has never been more critical. From cyber engineers fortifying digital infrastructures to security consultants providing strategic guidance, each role plays a crucial part in safeguarding organizations against cyber threats. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for skilled security analysts is expected to grow by 32% through the year 2032. If you have wondered “How much do cybersecurity jobs pay?” you have come to the right blog post. 

Below you will find profiles of the average salaries for four common cybersecurity jobs, plus details on what the roles entail and the key skills needed to succeed.

Cybersecurity Engineer (Information Security Engineer)

Cybersecurity engineers, also known as information security engineers, are vital in protecting an organization’s digital assets from cyber threats. They identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities through risk assessments and penetration testing. Once these vulnerabilities are pinpointed, they develop and implement security measures such as firewalls, encryption protocols, and intrusion detection systems.

Cybersecurity engineers continuously monitor network traffic and systems for unusual activities, responding swiftly to security breaches and incidents. They also create and maintain security policies and procedures to ensure compliance with regulations and standards. Additionally, they train staff on security best practices and conduct regular security audits.

Cybersecurity engineer salary

According to ZipRecruiter, as of May 2024 the average yearly cybersecurity engineer salary in the U.S. is roughly $123,000. 

Cybersecurity engineer skills

  1. Technical proficiency: Understanding of network architecture, operating systems, and database management. Proficiency in programming languages like Python, C++, and Java.
  2. Cybersecurity tools: Expertise in using firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and penetration testing tools.
  3. Risk management: Ability to conduct risk assessments and develop mitigation strategies.
  4. Incident response: Skills in detecting, responding to, and recovering from security incidents.
  5. Analytical thinking: Strong problem-solving skills for addressing complex security issues.
  6. Attention to detail: Precision in monitoring security logs and identifying potential threats.
  7. Communication: Effective communication to articulate security policies and work with IT professionals.
  8. Continuous learning: Staying updated with cybersecurity trends and obtaining certifications (e.g., CISSP, CEH, CompTIA Security+).
  9. Compliance knowledge: Understanding regulatory requirements like GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO/IEC 27001.
  10. Project management: Managing security projects and conducting training sessions.

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Security Analyst

Security analysts are tasked with safeguarding a company’s digital assets against unauthorized access and cyber threats. Their responsibilities include securing both online and on-premise infrastructures, ensuring robust protection across all platforms. They actively monitor network traffic, systems, and data for suspicious activities, utilizing advanced security tools and software.

When potential threats are detected, security analysts investigate and respond to mitigate risks, implementing necessary security measures to prevent breaches. They conduct regular security assessments and audits to evaluate the effectiveness of existing security protocols and identify areas for improvement.

Additionally, they develop and enforce security policies, procedures, and guidelines to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. Security analysts also play a key role in educating employees about security best practices and fostering a culture of security awareness within the organization. 

Security analyst salary

According to ZipRecruiter, as of May 2024 the average yearly security analyst salary in the U.S. is roughly $107,000. 

Security analyst skills

  1. Technical expertise: In-depth knowledge of network security, operating systems, and cybersecurity tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software.
  2. Analytical skills: Strong ability to analyze data and identify patterns indicative of security threats.
  3. Risk assessment: Proficiency in conducting risk assessments and developing strategies to address vulnerabilities.
  4. Incident response: Skills in detecting, investigating, and responding to security incidents quickly and effectively.
  5. Attention to detail: Keen eye for detail to accurately monitor and analyze security logs and reports.
  6. Communication: Excellent communication skills to explain complex security issues to non-technical staff and collaborate with IT teams.
  7. Continuous learning: Commitment to staying current with the latest cybersecurity trends, threats, and technologies through ongoing education and certifications (e.g., CompTIA Security+, CISSP, CISM).
  8. Compliance knowledge: Understanding of relevant regulatory requirements and industry standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO/IEC 27001.
  9. Problem solving: Strong problem-solving skills to develop effective solutions to security challenges.
  10. Team collaboration: Ability to work well within a team, often collaborating with other IT professionals to enhance the organization’s overall security posture.

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers, also known as ethical hackers, play a crucial role in enhancing an organization’s security posture by identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities. Their primary function is to simulate cyber attacks on digital assets and computer networks, mimicking the tactics, techniques, and procedures of malicious hackers. This involves planning and executing controlled attacks on systems, networks, and applications to uncover weaknesses that could be exploited. 

Penetration testers use various tools and methodologies to perform vulnerability assessments, conduct penetration tests, and analyze the results to pinpoint security flaws. After testing, they document their findings, providing detailed reports that outline the vulnerabilities discovered, the potential impact of these weaknesses, and recommendations for remediation. They often collaborate with other IT and security teams to implement these recommendations and ensure that security measures are effectively reinforced. 

Additionally, penetration testers stay abreast of the latest security threats and hacking techniques to continually refine their skills and improve testing strategies. 

Penetration tester salary 

According to ZipRecruiter, as of May 2024 the average yearly penetration tester salary in the U.S. is roughly $120,000. 

Penetration tester skills

  1. Technical proficiency: In-depth knowledge of network protocols, operating systems, and security frameworks. Proficiency in programming and scripting languages such as Python, Bash, and PowerShell.
  2. Hacking techniques: Expertise in penetration testing methodologies and tools such as Metasploit, Nmap, Burp Suite, and Wireshark.
  3. Analytical: Strong analytical abilities to assess the security landscape, identify vulnerabilities, and determine potential impacts.
  4. Problem solving: Creative problem-solving skills to develop effective strategies for breaching security defenses.
  5. Attention to detail: Meticulous attention to detail to thoroughly analyze systems and identify subtle security flaws.
  6. Report writing: Ability to document findings clearly and concisely, creating detailed reports with actionable recommendations.
  7. Communication: Strong communication skills to explain complex security issues to stakeholders and work collaboratively with IT teams.
  8. Continuous learning: Commitment to ongoing education and certification in cybersecurity to stay current with emerging threats and technologies.
  9. Regulatory knowledge: Understanding of regulatory standards and compliance requirements relevant to cybersecurity.
  10. Ethical standards: Adherence to high ethical standards, ensuring that testing activities are conducted responsibly and within legal boundaries.

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Security Consultant

A security consultant acts as an expert advisor, guiding organizations in the development and implementation of comprehensive security measures to protect their assets. Their primary responsibilities include assessing potential security threats and vulnerabilities across the company’s digital and physical landscapes. 

Security consultants conduct detailed risk assessments and security audits to identify weaknesses in existing security protocols. Based on their findings, they develop customized security strategies, contingency plans, and protocols to mitigate identified risks. They design and recommend the implementation of security solutions such as advanced surveillance systems, cybersecurity tools, and access control mechanisms. 

Additionally, security consultants ensure that security policies and procedures are aligned with industry standards and regulatory requirements. They also play a supervisory role, overseeing the execution of security measures and coordinating with internal security teams to ensure effective implementation. Security consultants provide training and guidance to staff on security best practices and emergency response procedures. In the event of a security breach, they assist in the incident response process, helping to manage and contain the threat, investigate the incident, and develop measures to prevent future occurrences. 

Security consultant salary 

According to ZipRecruiter, as of May 2024 the average yearly security consultant salary in the U.S. is roughly $106,000. 

Security consultant skills

  1. Security expertise: Comprehensive knowledge of physical security systems, cybersecurity principles, and risk management strategies.
  2. Analytical: Strong analytical abilities to conduct thorough security assessments and identify potential threats and vulnerabilities.
  3. Problem solving: Creative problem-solving skills to develop effective security solutions and contingency plans.
  4. Project management: Proficiency in managing security projects, including planning, implementation, and oversight.
  5. Communication: Excellent communication skills to articulate security strategies and protocols to clients and internal teams.
  6. Regulatory knowledge: Understanding of relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards related to security.
  7. Continuous learning: Commitment to staying updated with the latest security trends, technologies, and best practices through ongoing education and certifications (e.g., CISSP, CPP).
  8. Interpersonal: Strong interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate with various stakeholders, including clients, security personnel, and management.
  9. Attention to detail: Meticulous attention to detail to ensure thorough security assessments and precise implementation of security measures.
  10. Leadership: Leadership abilities to supervise security teams and oversee the execution of security plans and protocols.

Conclusion: How Much Do Cybersecurity Jobs Pay?

With some of the top cybersecurity jobs boasting average salaries exceeding $100,000, the field offers a lucrative career path for those passionate about digital security. By staying abreast of the latest trends, continuously honing their skills, and embracing a proactive approach, cybersecurity professionals play a pivotal role in ensuring business resilience in a world saturated with cyber threats. Their dedication and proficiency are fundamental to maintaining trust and integrity within digital ecosystems. These tireless efforts are not only essential for individual organizations but also for the collective security of our interconnected world.

Fastrack a Career in Cybersecurity

Gain cybersecurity skills employers want in as little as 15 weeks in Flatiron’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp. Flatiron offers three easy ways to pay tuition, multiple course start dates throughout the year, and post-graduation career services that include 180 days of 1:1 career coaching. Learn more by scheduling a quick 10-minute call with our Admissions team. 

Atticus Olmedo: International Affairs to Cybersecurity

Atticus Olmedo, a 2022 graduate of Flatiron School’s cybersecurity bootcamp, is a shining example of someone who took charge of their future and landed their dream job. Atticus’s path to cyber and national security is anything but ordinary, and his story is filled with valuable insights for anyone considering a career change in tech.

Before Flatiron: What were you doing and why did you decide to switch gears?

“My interest in changing gears was simply getting my hands dirty and becoming more technically attuned with my computer and home lab. Covert and stealthy cyber threats that compromise US national security became a scary but invigorating topic to learn about, hence my decision to join the ranks of the world’s greatest Air Force,” Atticus reflected. 

“Prior to Flatiron I worked in every possible industry and job title,” says Atticus. This diverse background, spanning non-profit, government, and industrial sectors, speaks to Atticus’s curiosity and adaptability. However, a yearning for a more technical skillset grew stronger. Intrigued by the world of cybersecurity and its role in protecting national security, Atticus decided to make a switch.

During Flatiron: What surprised you most about yourself and the learning process during your time at Flatiron School?

Atticus’s decision to pursue a career in cybersecurity wasn’t solely driven by technical fascination. “Careers around US National Security are not to be taken lightly,” he reflects. Atticus highlights the importance of introspection and a strong commitment to public service. He added, “It also requires constant and maniacal attention to current affairs.” His international affairs background proved valuable, but Flatiron helped him confront his own biases and refine his critical thinking in the complex world of cyber threats.

“I was surprised how much personal biases and heuristics play a big role in deciding who, what, when, where, and why to develop and counter a cyber attack,” says Atticus. Flatiron’s curriculum equipped him to navigate this challenging landscape, while also revealing surprising gaps in his knowledge. “In the cyber intelligence world where I work, I was also surprised to learn how ahead and behind I was on all things considered about events in the corporate and intelligence world,” he shares. This realization further solidified his interest in the field and fueled his dedication to learning.

After Flatiron: What are you most proud of in your new tech career?

Atticus’s journey wasn’t without its hurdles. As a self-described millennial, he found the introductory modules familiar. “I grew up on computers, early internet, and touchpad devices.” However, “the mid-modules that focused on coding and setting up complex network typologies hands-on were difficult,” he admits. Limited access to equipment presented an additional challenge, but the supportive Flatiron community provided a valuable safety net. “Having a shared community on Slack made learning from one another’s mistakes a fun and interactive bootcamp experience,” he reflects.

Today, Atticus Olmedo is proud to contribute his technical expertise and unwavering dedication to service in his role as an Active Duty Airman for the US Air Force. “I am proud of the invaluable skill I can bring to my unit whether it is technical, or theoretical, and my team’s willingness to sacrifice our comfort for the mission. My team consists of people from all over the world [and] all are committed to public service,” he says.

Flatiron Empowers Career Changers Like Atticus

Atticus’s story is a testament to the transformative power of Flatiron School. Flatiron’s immersive bootcamp provided him with the technical skills and foundational knowledge needed to thrive in the cybersecurity field.  More importantly, it fostered a spirit of self-discovery, critical thinking, and collaboration – all essential for success in today’s dynamic tech landscape.

Inspired by Atticus’s Story? Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Atticus Olmedo in a program that sets you apart from the competition. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Unlocking Enhanced Security: The Zero Trust Approach

Zero Trust challenges the longstanding assumption of implicit trust within network environments. Unlike conventional models that rely on perimeter defenses, it operates on the principle of continuous verification, demanding strict identity authentication for every user and device seeking access to network resources, regardless of their location.

Imagine a castle with no safe haven; that’s the ethos of Zero Trust. In this dynamic landscape, potential threats exist both outside and within the network, necessitating constant vigilance. Every user identity and device integrity undergoes regular scrutiny, with connections timing out periodically, compelling re-verification. This proactive stance ensures that security remains a proactive endeavor, rather than a reactive afterthought.

Zero Trust Principles

At the heart of Zero Trust lies the principle of least privilege—access is not a right but a privilege, granted only to those who truly need it. This approach mirrors military operations, where information is disseminated strictly on a need-to-know basis. By minimizing user exposure to critical network segments, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of breaches and data leaks.

But Zero Trust doesn’t stop at user-centric controls; it extends its reach to device management as well. Rigorous protocols govern device authorization, monitoring the influx of new devices while assessing their security standing. By maintaining strict control over device access, organizations can shrink their attack surface and bolster network resilience.

Microsegmentation is another cornerstone. By dividing network perimeters into discrete zones, each operating autonomously, Zero Trust ensures that a breach in one segment doesn’t compromise the integrity of the entire network. This granular approach adds an extra layer of defense, confounding would-be intruders and limiting the scope of potential damage.

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Moreover, Zero Trust is designed to thwart lateral movement—the bane of conventional security models. By erecting virtual barriers between network segments, it impedes the progress of intruders, confining their activities to isolated pockets. In the event of a breach, swift containment measures isolate compromised elements, curtailing the spread of malicious activity.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is the final piece of the Zero Trust puzzle. By requiring multiple forms of identification, such as passwords and verification codes, MFA fortifies authentication processes, rendering them resilient to brute-force attacks.

3D Rendering abstract technological digital city from data in cyberspace, information storage in the information space

Navigating the Zero Trust Architecture: A Roadmap to Security Implementation

Zero Trust implementation is not without hurdles. The complexity of technology stacks, organizational silos, and budgetary constraints pose formidable challenges. Yet, amidst these obstacles, there is a roadmap to guide organizations along the Zero Trust journey, tailored to their unique needs and priorities.

Stage 1: Visualize

The initial step in the journey is to visualize the entirety of the digital landscape. This entails comprehending all resources, their access points, and associated risks. Key objectives include clarifying every entity—from identities and endpoints to workloads—and discerning vulnerabilities or risks inherent within them. Achieving this level of insight demands vigilance, especially when navigating diverse business units, mergers, and acquisitions scenarios, or multi-cloud environments.

Best practices in this phase involve bridging visibility gaps and scrutinizing all entities, regardless of their location or ownership. Threats against the entire identity store, encompassing protocols like Windows New Technology LAN Manager (NTLM) and relay attacks, must be vigilantly monitored to safeguard the entire ecosystem from compromise.

Stage 2: Mitigate

Having visualized the landscape, the next stage focuses on proactive threat mitigation and response. Real-time detection mechanisms, coupled with behavioral analytics, are deployed to thwart insider threats and credential takeovers. Segmentation and least privilege principles serve as bulwarks against breaches, curbing lateral movement within the environment.

Optimizing this phase entails minimizing operational overhead through identity-based segmentation and adopting a policy model that aligns with security and compliance needs seamlessly. Automation plays a pivotal role in expediting response times and bolstering cost efficiency, with policy actions seamlessly integrated into existing Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) workflows.

Stage 3: Optimize

The final leg of the journey revolves around extending protection across all facets of the IT infrastructure, without compromising user experience. Conditional access mechanisms, driven by risk-based factors, ensure continuous verification while mitigating MFA fatigue. Legacy systems are not exempt from scrutiny, as MFA protection is extended to safeguard the most vulnerable assets.

Key best practices at this juncture involve embracing risk-based, conditional access to mitigate user friction, particularly among privileged users. Detecting and responding to threats in public clouds and Single Sign On (SSO) credentials, even in the absence of deployed sensors or agents, underscores the importance of a comprehensive security posture.

The Zero Trust journey is a multi-faceted endeavor, demanding a strategic blend of technology, collaboration, and foresight. By heeding Flatiron’s recommendations and charting a course aligned with organizational imperatives, enterprises can traverse the Zero Trust landscape with confidence, fortified against the ever-present specter of cyber threats.

Navigating the Benefits and Drawbacks

Once a niche concept in cybersecurity, Zero Trust has now emerged as a standard in fortifying organizational defenses against an evolving threat landscape. While the benefits are compelling, the journey is not without its challenges. Let’s delve into both aspects to understand the intricacies of this transformative security archetype.

Zero trust benefits

Enhanced security

The foremost advantage of Zero Trust lies in its ability to elevate security postures to unprecedented levels. By embracing advanced security tools such as Identity and Access Management (IAM), MFA, and Extended Detection and Response (XDR), organizations fortify their defenses against a myriad of threats. Notably, the adoption of Zero Trust has led to notable improvements in Security Operations Center (SOC) efficiency, with automation capabilities streamlining detection and response mechanisms.

Simplifying security architecture and enhancing user experience

Zero Trust not only bolsters security but also streamlines organizational architectures, empowering security teams to respond to security events with agility. Through the consolidation of access for end-users, organizations can achieve a Zero Trust posture while ensuring a seamless user experience. The implementation of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) or Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) architectures further augments user enablement, irrespective of device or location.

Adapting to remote work and cloud adoption

Amidst the paradigm shift towards remote work and cloud adoption, Zero Trust emerges as a beacon of resilience. By meticulously authenticating and continually verifying user identities, it mitigates the risks associated with decentralized environments. Also, its scalability ensures seamless connectivity for remote employees while safeguarding cloud infrastructures from unauthorized access.

Zero Trust Drawbacks

Scope of the initiative

One of the primary challenges in implementing Zero Trust lies in the vast scope of the initiative. Organizations must navigate a multitude of systems, applications, and data repositories, a task that often spans years. Prioritization becomes paramount to prevent overwhelm, with many organizations opting to start with specific use cases before gradually expanding their Zero Trust footprint.

Need for a strong identity system

Central to the efficacy of Zero Trust is a powerfully built identity system, a cornerstone in authentication and authorization processes. Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools play a pivotal role in verifying user and device identities, yet they remain prime targets for malicious actors. The resilience of an organization’s identity system directly influences the success of its Zero Trust implementation, underscoring the need for stringent security measures.

Remaining security risks

Despite its name, Zero Trust does not eliminate all security risks. Entities granted a degree of trust are susceptible to compromise, necessitating continuous vigilance. While it significantly enhances security postures, organizations must remain vigilant against emerging threats, ensuring the integrity of their security frameworks.

Zero Trust offers a compelling promise of enhanced security and resilience in an era defined by digital disruption. While challenges abound, organizations equipped with a strategic approach can navigate the Zero Trust landscape with confidence, forging a path towards a future fortified against cyber threats.

The Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals is Growing Rapidly

As of May 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 32% national growth for cybersecurity analysts through the year 2032. Flatiron School’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp can help you fast-track a career in cybersecurity in a matter of months. Begin the application process today or book a 10-minute call with our Admissions team to learn more. 

Exploring the Benefits of Online vs. In-Person Cybersecurity Bootcamps

In the fast-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, staying ahead of the curve is imperative. With the rise of online learning platforms and bootcamps, aspiring cybersecurity professionals now have more options than ever to acquire the skills needed to thrive in this dynamic field. However, like any educational model, online learning in cybersecurity bootcamps comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.

Benefits of Online Cybersecurity Bootcamps


One of the most touted benefits of online learning in cybersecurity bootcamps is flexibility. Students can access course materials and participate in virtual classes from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing for greater flexibility in scheduling and accommodating personal and professional commitments.


Online bootcamps break down geographical barriers, enabling individuals from diverse backgrounds and locations to access high-quality cybersecurity education. This accessibility democratizes learning opportunities and fosters inclusivity within the cybersecurity community.


Online learning often entails lower tuition fees compared to traditional offline programs. With reduced expenses associated with campus-only learning, online cybersecurity bootcamps can offer more affordable options without compromising on the quality of teaching.

Self-paced learning

Online platforms typically offer self-paced learning modules, allowing students to progress through course materials at their own speed. This empowers learners to tailor their educational journey according to their individual learning styles and preferences.


Potential for distractions

Learning from the comfort of home can be conducive to distractions, ranging from household responsibilities to digital temptations. Maintaining focus and discipline in an online learning environment requires self-regulation and effective time-management skills.

Technical challenges

Reliable internet connectivity and access to compatible devices are prerequisites for successful online learning. Technical glitches and connectivity issues can disrupt learning experiences and pose challenges for students with limited access to technology.

Online Cybersecurity Bootcamps: Summary

Online learning in cybersecurity bootcamps presents a multitude of benefits, including flexibility, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and self-paced learning. However, it also comes with inherent drawbacks such as potential distractions and technical challenges. Ultimately, the effectiveness of online learning depends on individual learning preferences, resource availability, and the ability to adapt to the demands of a digital learning environment.

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Benefits of In-person Cybersecurity Bootcamps

In the realm of cybersecurity education, in-person learning remains a cornerstone for many aspiring professionals seeking hands-on experience and personalized mentorship. While online platforms offer convenience and flexibility, in-person cybersecurity bootcamps bring their own set of advantages and challenges. Let’s first look at the benefits.

Hands-on experience

In-person cybersecurity bootcamps provide invaluable hands-on experience with real-world tools and technologies. Students have access to physical labs and equipment, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios and develop essential technical skills.

Personalized mentorship

Face-to-face interaction with experienced instructors fosters personalized mentorship opportunities. Students can seek guidance, ask questions, and receive immediate feedback, enhancing their understanding and mastery of complex cybersecurity concepts.

Collaborative learning environment

In-person bootcamps facilitate collaborative learning experiences, enabling students to engage with peers, share ideas, and work on team projects. The sense of camaraderie and community fosters a supportive learning environment conducive to professional growth and networking.

Networking opportunities

In-person bootcamps offer networking opportunities with industry professionals, guest speakers, and fellow students. Building connections and establishing relationships within the cybersecurity community can lead to career advancement and potential job opportunities.


Limited flexibility

In-person cybersecurity bootcamps typically follow fixed schedules and require physical attendance, limiting flexibility for students with busy schedules or personal commitments. This rigidity may pose challenges for individuals juggling work, family, or other obligations.

Higher cost

Traditional in-person learning often comes with higher tuition fees compared to online alternatives. The costs associated with maintaining physical facilities, equipment, and staff contribute to the overall expense of attending in-person bootcamps.

In-person Cybersecurity Bootcamps: Summary

In-person learning in cybersecurity bootcamps offers distinct advantages, including hands-on experience, personalized mentorship, collaborative learning environments, and networking opportunities. However, it also comes with drawbacks such as limited flexibility and higher costs. Ultimately, the choice between online and in-person learning depends on individual preferences, learning objectives, and circumstances.

Flatiron Offers In-person and Online Bootcamp Experiences

Flatiron School’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp offers a transformative experience for aspiring professionals seeking to enter the dynamic field of cybersecurity. We offer the flexibility of both in-person and online bootcamp experiences to accommodate diverse learning preferences and schedules, allowing individuals to pursue their cybersecurity education without constraints. Whether opting for in-person or online learning, Flatiron School provides a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the cybersecurity landscape.

Additional advantages include the 180 days of career coaching our Career Services department offers all graduates, plus established connections with leading companies in the cybersecurity sector, which can help graduates find jobs with some of the top companies in the field. Learn more by scheduling a 10-minute call with our Admissions department today!

Why Patch Management is Essential for Businesses

Cybersecurity threats are a constant concern for businesses of all sizes. Cybersecurity solutions like firewalls and antivirus software are important lines of defense, but another critical part of any organization’s security posture is effective patch management.

This post will explore the importance of patch management and reveal why keeping software and firmware up to date is important for protecting an organization’s data and systems. It will also explore the risk of outdated software, common ways software can be exploited by threat actors, and effective patching solutions for businesses. Finally, we’ll explore the potential and limitations of using automated patching. 

The Importance of Software Updates

Cybersecurity teams work with software developers to constantly identify and address vulnerabilities in software products through security patches. These patches are designed to fix bugs, close security holes, and improve overall system stability. Timely response to vulnerabilities is important, as even seemingly minor security vulnerabilities can be exploited by threat actors.

Imagine that there is a digital fence surrounding your data. Outdated or insecurely built software creates gaps in this fence, making it easier for attackers to infiltrate systems and steal sensitive data, like credit card information. Patch management helps to strengthen this fence, ensuring its integrity and reducing the risk of a data breach.

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Security Patches: Plugging the Holes

Security patches address specific vulnerabilities in software and firmware. These vulnerabilities can take different forms, such as coding errors or flaws in the application design. Once a vulnerability is discovered, attackers can develop exploits or malware specifically designed to target the vulnerability.  

And while generative AI still likely needs a human threat actor to review vulnerabilities it finds to build a successful exploit, in the future, AI could be used to discover and exploit vulnerabilities in software within minutes or seconds.

Here are some ways attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.

Remote Code Execution (RCE)

Remote code execution (RCE) allows an attacker to run arbitrary code on a target system over a network, typically without the need for authentication. This can lead to complete control over the affected system, enabling the attacker to manipulate or steal data, install malware, and propagate the attack to other systems.

SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection attacks are a type of threat where malicious SQL code is inserted into input fields of a web application. This allows attackers to exploit vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to a database or manipulate its contents.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks 

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks involve injecting malicious scripts into web pages viewed by other users. These scripts can execute on the victim’s browser, leading to data theft, session hijacking, or other forms of compromise.

By promptly applying security patches, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of these exploits and protect their valuable assets.

Vulnerabilities of Outdated Software 

Vulnerabilities in outdated software can lead to things like data breaches, financial loss for the organization, and disruptions and downtime.   

Data Breaches

Data breaches involve unauthorized access to sensitive information, such as personal data or trade secrets, potentially leading to identity theft, fraud, or privacy violations. 

Financial Loss

Financial loss from a data breach refers to the direct and indirect costs incurred by organizations due to a security breach, including legal fees, regulatory fines, and loss of customer trust. 

Disruptions and Downtime

Disruptions and downtime occur when systems or services become unavailable due to cyberattacks, technical failures, or other issues, resulting in productivity losses and service interruptions.  

Patching solutions for businesses are important for mitigating these risks and maintaining a strong security posture.

Patching Solutions for Businesses 

Effective patch management involves a systematic approach to identifying, deploying, and verifying the installation and function of security patches. Some key areas for an organization to focus on around patch management include using a centralized inventory, prioritization, testing, continuous monitoring, and training.

Centralized Inventory

Centralized inventory involves maintaining a comprehensive database of all devices and software used in the organization and management of the assets to ensure patches and updates are deployed.

Patch Prioritization

Prioritization of vulnerabilities involves assessing the severity and potential impact of vulnerabilities to the organization. This helps organizations determine which patches should be applied first, focusing their resources on addressing the most critical risks to the organization.

Testing and Deployment

Organizations should thoroughly test patches in a non-production environment before deploying them to live systems. This helps reduce the risk of system downtime.

Continuous Monitoring

New vulnerabilities in software arise frequently and organizations need to continuously monitor applications to reduce their overall risk.


Organizations should foster a culture of security awareness and proactive risk mitigation. One way to do this is to educate employees about the importance of keeping software updated and the risks associated with out-of-date applications.

By implementing these practices, organizations can establish a proper patch management program that significantly reduces their cyber risk profile.

Automated Patching 

Automated patching offers a solution for streamlining the patch management process.  Tools can identify available patches, schedule deployments, and verify installation. While automation offers significant benefits, such as improved efficiency and reduced human error, it also has some limitations.  Some of the challenges with automating patch management include false positives, compatibility issues, and a need for human oversight.

False Positives

Automated tools can sometimes identify non-critical updates or patches that conflict with existing software. This can waste resources that could otherwise be dedicated to fixing critical vulnerabilities.

Compatibility Issues

Patches may not be compatible with all software versions or hardware configurations, leading to system instability.

Incomplete Solutions

Automation doesn’t eliminate the need for human oversight. Testing and monitoring remain important to ensure successful patch deployment. This is especially important for custom applications.

Automated patching can be a valuable tool, but it should be implemented with careful evaluation and alongside other testing and monitoring procedures.


Proper patch management is important for businesses of all sizes. By prioritizing patch management, businesses can reduce their risk from cybersecurity threats. 

Patch management is a complex process, even when using automation, and it requires cybersecurity professionals who have skills withfinding, prioritizing, and mitigating vulnerabilities. Flatiron School’s Cybersecurity Engineering Bootcamp can help you build the skills necessary to protect organizations and manage their vulnerabilities. Learn how and why a cybersecurity bootcamp can open a door to fulfilling career opportunities that quite frequently come with high pay

Courtney Pimentel: Sales Associate to IT

Courtney Pimentel‘s story is one of ambition and transformation. Like many aspiring tech professionals, Courtney found herself drawn to the ever-evolving world of technology and its endless possibilities for growth. “[I wanted] to be a part of that environment,” Courtney says, reflecting on her decision to transition from a career as a Sales Associate at Nike to a challenging and rewarding path in cybersecurity engineering.

Before Flatiron: What were you doing and why did you decide to switch gears?

Courtney’s interest in tech wasn’t entirely new. Already equipped with a foundational knowledge of cybersecurity fundamentals and Linux, she possessed a strong base to build upon. Recognizing the tech industry’s potential for innovation and advancement, Courtney made the bold decision to pursue a career change. “[I saw] the potential for growth,” she explains, highlighting the allure of a field constantly pushing boundaries.

However, transitioning into tech can be daunting. With the ever-growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals, it’s crucial to have the proper guidance and support. This is where Flatiron School entered Courtney’s journey. As a scholarship recipient for the Women Take Tech program, Courtney found the perfect environment to cultivate her technical skills and gain the confidence to thrive in the tech industry.

During Flatiron: What surprised you most about yourself and the learning process during your time at Flatiron School?

Flatiron School’s immersive bootcamp proved to be a turning point for Courtney. “The most surprising thing about my time at Flatiron was discovering how much I could learn and grow in such a short amount of time,” she reflects. The curriculum’s intensity pushed Courtney in unexpected ways, but she rose to the challenge, exceeding her own expectations. “The learning process challenged me in ways I never expected,” she admits, “and I was amazed at how quickly I was able to pick up new skills and concepts.”

Flatiron School fosters a culture of continuous learning, and Courtney thrived in this environment. The fast-paced nature of the program not only equipped her with technical expertise but also instilled a sense of perseverance and adaptability – valuable assets in any tech career.

After Flatiron: What are you most proud of in your new tech career?

Today, Courtney is a testament to the transformative power of Flatiron School’s education and career services support. Together with her Career Coach, Andrea Towe, Courtney was able to execute an effective job search strategy to make her dreams a reality. 

Having landed a fulfilling job as an IT Assistant with The Quad Preparatory School in New York, she’s actively contributing her skills and insights to add value. “I’m most proud of working on big projects that deal with automation and different systems in the IT world,” she beams.

Courtney’s exposure to new technologies and concepts at Flatiron School ignited a desire for continuous learning. “The opportunities feel endless!” she exclaims, highlighting the vast potential for growth in her chosen field. This experience has solidified her decision to pursue a career in tech, and she’s eager to explore the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity.

Courtney’s journey is an inspiration to anyone considering a career change in tech. It exemplifies the power of dedication, a thirst for knowledge, and the transformative environment offered by Flatiron School.

Inspired By Courtney’s Story? Ready to take charge of your future?

Apply Now to join other career changers like Courtney in a program that sets you apart from the competition. Flatiron School offers an immersive bootcamp designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to thrive in the tech industry. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog and see if a tech career is right for you.

A Guide to Cloud Identity and Access Management (Cloud IAM)

The cloud offers unparalleled scalability, agility, and cost efficiency for businesses. However, this flexibility comes with a security challenge of ensuring the right users, applications, and services have access to the right resources at the right time. This is where cloud identity and access management (Cloud IAM) comes into play.

IAM Basics: Understanding Identity and Access Management

At its core, identity and access management (IAM) is a framework that governs access to IT resources. IAM helps organizations provide access to the right information or services, while protecting against unauthorized access. It ensures only authorized parties can access specific resources, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.

In cloud environments, Cloud IAM takes this concept a step further, providing a centralized system for managing identities and access controls across all cloud services and resources.

Cloud Security IAM

Traditional on-premise IT environments used to have well-defined security perimeters, making it easier to control access. However, cloud environments present a different challenge. Resources are spread across geographically distributed data centers, accessed by a wider range of users, devices, and applications. This distributed nature necessitates a more centralized and scalable approach to identity and access management in the cloud.  

Many cloud providers offer native resources for managing identity and access management, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) IAM, Azure Active Directory (AD), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) IAM. These Cloud IAM resources help organizations improve security, offer scalability, and simplify administration. 

Let’s look at some of the key benefits that Cloud IAM offers an organization. 

Simplified Administration

With Cloud IAM, organizations can manage user identities and access controls from a single location, eliminating the need to configure security settings on individual cloud resources.

Improved Security

Cloud IAM helps enforce strong authentication and authorization policies across all cloud services, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.


Cloud IAM can easily accommodate a growing number of users, applications, and resources within the cloud environment.

An Example of Cloud IAM in Action

Let’s explore a real-world example of how Cloud IAM can be used to secure a cloud storage bucket. Imagine a company that stores sensitive marketing data in a cloud storage bucket on a cloud platform like GCP. 


The company has various user groups with different access needs, which includes the marketing, sales, and IT teams.

  • The marketing team requires full access (read, write, delete) to modify and manage the marketing data.
  • The sales team needs read-only access to view the marketing materials but cannot modify them.
  • The IT team has full administrative control over the storage bucket for maintenance purposes.

Access Controls

Using GCP IAM, the company can create specific roles with predefined sets of permissions for each user group.

  • A MarketingManager role with read, write, and delete permissions.
  • A SalesViewer role with read-only permissions.
  • An ITAdmin role with full administrative privileges.

Identity Management

The company can integrate GCP IAM with its existing Active Directory to leverage centralized user management and provide more granular security to cloud environments.

By implementing this Cloud IAM strategy, the company ensures that only authorized users have access to the marketing data, the marketing team can manage their data efficiently, the sales team can access the information they need without compromising data integrity, and the IT team retains full control for maintenance and troubleshooting.

IAM in Enterprise Cloud Security

IAM is an important component of overall enterprise cloud security. It provides organizations granular access control, helps ensure compliance and protect against insider threats, and provides a central platform for managing access control.

Granular Access Control

Cloud IAM enables organizations to define granular access policies that specify who or what can access what resources (and under what conditions). This ensures that access privileges are aligned with business requirements and that users only have access to the resources necessary for their roles. 

For example, a healthcare organization using a cloud-based medical records system could use IAM to restrict access to patient information. This helps the organization ensure the safety of the patient data and ensures compliance with regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Security Compliance

Effective Cloud IAM helps organizations ensure compliance with regulations, like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the aforementioned HIPAA, implementing security controls, auditing access activities, and maintaining an audit trail of user actions.

Insider Threats

Insider threats, whether intentional or unintentional, pose a significant risk to enterprise cloud security. Identity and access management solutions can detect and prevent unauthorized access attempts, suspicious behavior, and privilege misuse, thereby reducing the risk of insider threats.

Centralized Management

Identity and access management also provides a centralized platform for managing identities, access policies, and authentication mechanisms across similar cloud environments. This helps streamline administration tasks, improve visibility, and simplify the enforcement of security controls.

Cloud IAM Best Practices  

Some of the best practices in Cloud IAM include leveraging the following.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Leveraging MFA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring multiple authentication factors, such as passwords and one-time codes. An example of this would be requiring cloud users to enter a code from Google Authenticator as part of the login process.  

Least Privilege 

The principle of least privilege means granting users, applications, or systems only the permissions needed to perform the required function. For example, someone working in the accounting department does not need to have administrative privileges to the organization’s cloud infrastructure because their daily job tasks do not involve managing the cloud infrastructure.

Granular Access Control

Organizations can use RBAC to assign access permissions based on predefined roles within the organization. Using the previous healthcare organization example, all new nursing staff could be assigned the role of nurse, which would grant them specific privileges in the cloud-based medical records system.

Cloud IAM also allows you to define access controls based on factors like user attributes, IP address, time of day, geographic location, and the resource type. This enables organizations to build access policies tailored to their specific needs.

Access Logging and Auditing

Tracking access activity across cloud resources can help organizations identify potential breaches and ensure compliance. It can also help organizations during incident response investigations. This audit trail is similar to how a physician documents your office visits so they can spot changes in your health over time.

Identity Federation

Identity federation helps organizations simplify Cloud IAM user management and authentication processes by facilitating seamless access to multiple cloud services with a unified set of credentials. An example of this is using your Gmail account to log into your social media accounts.  

Service Accounts

Service accounts are special identities used by applications to access cloud resources.  Organizations should manage their service account keys carefully and rotate them periodically to improve their overall security posture.

Third-Party Integrations

Many cloud providers offer integration with third-party identity providers (IdPs) like Okta or Microsoft Entra ID. This allows for centralized management of identities across cloud and on-premises resources.

IAM in Enterprise Security

Let’s look at an example of how Cloud IAM can be used in the AWS cloud for a financial institution.

The organization can use MFA and enforce it for all AWS IAM users and root accounts, which can help protect against unauthorized access. IAM policies can then be used to grant permissions strictly as needed, which helps minimize the risk of data exposure.

Cloud IAM roles could then be defined by the organization (like the previous nursing role example), where the access is tailored to just what the user needs to perform their daily job functions. AWS CloudTrail could be leveraged for monitoring the audit trail. And finally, identity federation could be used to integrate corporate credentials with AWS services. This allows a user to just use one set of credentials to access everything they need to perform their job.


Cloud IAM helps organizations control access to cloud resources. It provides features like centralized administration, granular access control, and improved security to ensure only authorized entities can access specific resources. Cloud IAM helps organizations comply with regulations, protect against insider threats, and simplify cloud security management.

Cloud IAM can be complex and organizations need qualified cybersecurity professionals to help them secure their cloud environments. The Cybersecurity Engineering program at Flatiron School can help you build foundational cybersecurity skills to help secure cloud environments. You can apply to the program today or download the syllabus to get a look at what you will learn. 

Why a Cybersecurity Career Change Might be the Perfect Move

Cybersecurity presents itself as a compelling career change for numerous reasons, notably due to the ever-growing demand for professionals equipped with cybersecurity knowledge and skills across various industries. In today’s digital age, where data breaches, cyber attacks, and privacy concerns are rampant, organizations worldwide are prioritizing strong cybersecurity measures to safeguard their sensitive information and infrastructure. This escalating threat landscape has led to a significant shortage of cybersecurity experts, creating abundant opportunities for career transitioners interested in a potential cybersecurity career change. Regardless of one’s previous professional background, individuals with a passion for problem-solving, critical thinking, and a knack for technology can seamlessly pivot into cybersecurity roles.

Industries Seeking Cybersecurity Professionals

Industries ranging from finance and healthcare to government agencies and e-commerce are actively seeking cybersecurity professionals to strengthen their defenses against cyber threats. Financial institutions require experts to protect customer data and financial transactions, while healthcare organizations need to secure patient records and medical devices from potential breaches.

Similarly, government entities rely on cybersecurity specialists to safeguard sensitive information and critical infrastructure from cyber espionage and attacks at a larger purview. Moreover, the booming e-commerce sector depends on cybersecurity experts to ensure the security of online transactions and customer data, fostering trust among consumers.

Furthermore, the versatility of cybersecurity skills enables professionals to explore diverse career paths within the field. From ethical hacking and penetration testing to risk assessment and security analysis, individuals can specialize in various domains based on their interests and aptitudes.

Additionally, the continuous evolution of technology and the emergence of new cyber threats guarantee a dynamic and intellectually stimulating career in cybersecurity, offering endless opportunities for learning and growth.The burgeoning demand for cybersecurity expertise across different industries, coupled with the flexibility and constant innovation within the field, makes it an ideal career change for individuals seeking rewarding and future-proof professions. Whether making a cybersecurity career change from a technical or non-technical background, embarking on a cybersecurity career path promises both professional fulfillment and the chance to make a significant impact in safeguarding digital assets and preserving online privacy and security.

phishing image

Cybersecurity Career Opportunities

A diverse array of career opportunities exists for individuals possessing cybersecurity knowledge and skills, extending beyond traditional roles to encompass non-traditional paths in various industries. 

Traditional cybersecurity careers

Firstly, traditional careers in cybersecurity include roles such as cybersecurity analysts, penetration testers, security engineers, and incident responders. These professionals are responsible for protecting organizations from cyber threats, conducting vulnerability assessments, implementing security measures, and responding to security incidents.

Non-traditional cybersecurity careers

Moreover, the demand for cybersecurity expertise has proliferated into non-traditional sectors, offering unique cyber career opportunities. In the healthcare industry, for instance, healthcare cybersecurity specialists focus on safeguarding patient records, medical devices, and hospital networks from cyber attacks. Similarly, the automotive industry has seen a rise in automotive cybersecurity engineers tasked with securing connected vehicles and autonomous driving systems against potential cyber threats.

Furthermore, the rapidly expanding field of Internet of Things (IoT) presents unconventional career opportunities in IoT security. The IoT provides a unique landscape of career opportunities as it opens doors to industries outside of directly working with computers. IoT refers to the world of devices that connect to the cloud, such as smartwatches and smart home devices. 

IoT security specialists work to secure interconnected devices and networks, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of data transmitted through IoT ecosystems. Additionally, the gaming industry has witnessed a surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals specializing in gaming security, protecting online gaming platforms and digital assets from hackers and cyber attacks.

Beyond industry-specific roles, non-traditional careers in cybersecurity also include positions in academia, policy-making, and law enforcement. Cybersecurity educators and researchers contribute to advancing the field through academic institutions, while cybersecurity consultants provide specialized expertise to businesses and governments. Moreover, cybersecurity policy analysts and law enforcement agents play crucial roles in shaping cybersecurity regulations, enforcing cyber laws, and investigating cyber crimes.

Cybersecurity career change and the job landscape

The career landscape for individuals with cybersecurity knowledge and skills is vast and diverse, encompassing traditional roles in cybersecurity as well as non-traditional opportunities across various industries and sectors. Whether pursuing a career as a cybersecurity analyst, IoT security specialist, or cybersecurity policy analyst, professionals in this field have the flexibility to explore a wide range of career paths and make significant contributions to safeguarding digital assets and protecting against cyber threats.

blackbox hacker image

Diverse Backgrounds in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a field where diversity isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a necessity. In a world where cyber threats evolve at lightning speed, the need for individuals from diverse backgrounds in cybersecurity careers has never been more critical.

Diversity brings a multitude of benefits to the table. Firstly, it fosters innovation. When people from different backgrounds and age ranges collaborate, they bring unique perspectives and problem-solving approaches. This diversity of thought is essential for staying one step ahead of cyber threats and developing innovative solutions.

Moreover, cybersecurity is a global issue. Threats know no borders, and understanding global perspectives and cyber threats is crucial. By recruiting individuals from diverse cultural, linguistic, and geographical backgrounds, cybersecurity teams gain a deeper understanding of global challenges.

Effective communication and collaboration are also enhanced in diverse teams. Different communication styles and cultural norms create an environment of mutual respect and understanding, facilitating more effective collaboration towards common cybersecurity goals.

Additionally, diversity helps address the skills shortage in cybersecurity. By actively recruiting from non-traditional career paths and underrepresented groups, organizations can tap into a larger talent pool, promoting inclusivity and addressing the industry’s skill gap.

Furthermore, building trust and credibility is paramount in cybersecurity. By prioritizing diversity, organizations demonstrate their commitment to understanding and addressing diverse stakeholder needs. This fosters trust and enhances the organization’s reputation.

Diversity is not just a nice-to-have in cybersecurity—it’s a must-have. Embracing individuals from diverse backgrounds enriches cybersecurity teams, fostering innovation, understanding global perspectives, enhancing collaboration, addressing skill shortages, and building trust. In an interconnected world facing evolving cyber threats, diversity is the key to resilience and success in safeguarding digital assets and data.

 Learn Cybersecurity at Flatiron School in as Little as 15 Weeks

Embark on a transformative journey into cybersecurity with our comprehensive Cybersecurity Bootcamp course. Equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career change into this high-demand field, where average salaries for many key roles are in the 100k range. Apply today or book a 10-minute chat with our Admissions team to learn more. 

Navigating Social Media Security: Protecting a Business Against Cyber Risks

In today’s interconnected world, social media platforms have become indispensable tools for businesses to engage with customers, promote their brand, and drive growth. With the myriad benefits of social media come social media security risks that can pose serious threats to businesses. From data breaches and account hijacking to reputational damage and regulatory compliance issues, the risks associated with social media platforms are multifaceted and require proactive risk management. In fact, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found that social media account takeover is on the rise.

In this article, we’ll explore social media security risks and best practices for securing business social media accounts. We’ll also discuss the importance of employee training for social media security. Additionally, we will look at security considerations around data privacy and user information.

Cybersecurity Risks Associated with Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms present several cybersecurity risks that can potentially impact businesses of all sizes and industries. These risks can encompass the following categories.

Account Compromise

Threat actors may attempt to compromise social media accounts through phishing attacks, malware, or brute force attacks. Once an account is hijacked, attackers can use it to spread malicious content, scam followers, or even damage the business’s reputation.

Data Breaches

Social media platforms store large amounts of user data, including personal information and behavioral data. A data breach on a social media platform can expose sensitive information about customers, employees, and the business itself. This can lead to financial loss, legal liabilities, and reputational damage.

Phishing and Social Engineering

Threat actors often use social media platforms as a hunting ground for gathering information about individuals and organizations. They may impersonate trusted entities, create fake profiles, or conduct targeted phishing campaigns to trick users into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.

Reputational Damage

Negative comments, reviews, or posts on social media can quickly escalate and damage a business’s reputation. Social media platforms amplify the reach and impact of both positive and negative content, making reputation management an important part of social media security risk management for businesses that are active on social media.


Many businesses are subject to regulatory requirements regarding the handling and protection of customer data, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines, legal penalties, and loss of customer trust, especially if data breaches occur due to inadequate security measures on social media platforms.

Employee Training for Social Media Security

Employee training on social media security is important for improving the overall security posture of businesses. Security awareness training programs for social media should include the following areas.

Phishing Attacks

Organizations should educate employees about common phishing techniques used on social media platforms, such as fake profiles (sock puppet accounts), deceptive messages, and malicious links. Employees should be instructed on how to identify suspicious content and verify the authenticity of messages before taking any action. These actions can help protect business social media accounts.

Sensitive Information

Organizations should emphasize the importance of protecting sensitive information when using social media platforms. Employees should be instructed to avoid sharing sensitive information publicly and to use designated secure communication channels for sensitive work discussions to improve social media security.

Data Privacy Training

Employees should be provided training on configuring privacy settings and additional security controls on social media accounts. Encourage employees to review and update their privacy settings regularly and to enable additional security features offered by the social media platforms, like two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is when a random numerical code is generated and you use this along with your password for logging in. This helps protect your social media account if someone else has your password.

Safe Social Media Practices

Promote social media security best practices in employee training, such as verifying the authenticity of accounts and profiles before engaging with them, avoiding sharing personal or sensitive information with unknown or untrusted sources, and being cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments. One simple tool employees can use to check suspicious links is VirusTotal, which scans the link against a database of known threats.

Reporting Security Incidents

Employees should be trained on the proper procedures for reporting security incidents, suspicious activity, and/or potential threats they encounter on social media platforms. Build a culture of transparency and accountability, where employees feel comfortable reporting security concerns without fear of retribution. This is critical to improving an organization’s overall social media security.

Data Privacy On Social Media

Data privacy on social media is an important concern for businesses operating on social media platforms. Organizations can address data privacy concerns and improve their overall social media security by doing the following.

Privacy Policies

Organizations should regularly review and update privacy policies to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and to clearly communicate how user data is collected, stored, and used on social media platforms.

Obtain Consent for Data Collection

Obtain explicit consent from users before collecting and processing their personal information on social media platforms. Organizations should clearly explain the purposes for which the data will be used and provide users with options to control their privacy settings.

Monitor Third-Party Apps and Integrations

Organizations need to regularly audit and monitor third-party apps and integrations connected to social media accounts to ensure compliance with privacy regulations and data protection standards, like GDPR. Any unauthorized or unused apps should be removed and access should be revoked for unnecessary integrations. This helps reduce the attack surface area and improve overall social media security.


Encryption should be used to protect sensitive data that is being transmitted to or stored on social media platforms. Most social media platforms will encrypt data at rest, but organizations should work with their legal and compliance teams to determine their responsibilities around data security and social media. Using encryption can help reduce the negative impact to the organization if sensitive data is leaked or stolen.

Social Media Security Best Practices

To help mitigate the cybersecurity risks associated with using social media platforms, businesses should implement the following best practices for managing their social media accounts.

Password Policy

Businesses should require employees to use strong, unique passwords for each social media account. They should also require and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security. Using 2FA is one of the simplest ways to improve social media security because it can help prevent account takeover.

Organizations should require passwords to be updated on a consistent basis. They should definitely require updating after a data breach is disclosed from the social media platform. Whenever possible, use Federated Identity to reduce the number of separate passwords your employees need. Federated Identity is a set of shared principles between systems that allows you to log into one account, like your Gmail, and then use that to log into all of your social media accounts. This reduces the number of passwords in use and helps reduce the attack surface area and risk to the organization.

Limit Access to Social Media

Restrict access to social media accounts to authorized personnel only and implement role-based access control (RBAC) to ensure that employees have access only to the accounts and functionalities necessary for their roles. Limiting access to social media on company-owned systems can help protect against employees accidentally downloading malware from social media links.

Continuous Monitoring

Organizations should continuously monitor social media accounts for suspicious activity, unauthorized access, or unusual changes to account settings or posts. They should also regularly review and update privacy settings on social media accounts, security configurations, and connected applications to help manage social media security.

Employee Training and Awareness

Organizations should provide comprehensive training to employees on social media security best practices. The training should be focused on recognizing phishing attempts, avoiding clicking on suspicious links, and reporting suspicious activity. 

This training should include examples of phishing attacks via social media and simple security best practices, such as using two-factor authentication on all social media accounts, turning off name tagging in social media posts, not accepting strange connection requests, making social media posts only visible to family and friends, and not sharing sensitive information. Employees should also be instructed to use caution when they need to use public Wi-Fi and always use a secure communication method, like a virtual private network (VPN), to connect with company systems and data when using public Wi-Fi. A VPN is like a tunnel underneath a river that you drive your car through. A VPN is like a tunnel underneath a river that you drive your car through. The tunnel protects your car from the water, and a VPN protects the data traveling through it.

Mobile Devices

Any company-issued mobile devices should be regularly updated and secured. One way to manage security of mobile devices is by using mobile device management (MDM). MDM allows organizations to standardize security across mobile devices. For example, if the organization wants to block certain social media applications on the device or remotely reset information on the device when an employee leaves, MDM allows them to do this from a centralized location.

Businesses rely heavily on social media platforms for customer engagement and brand promotion. However, alongside the numerous advantages of social media lurk substantial security risks that can negatively impact the business. Simple social media security best practices, like requiring two-factor authentication (2FA), strong and complex passwords, educating employees about not clicking links in social media messages, and hardening mobile devices can help organizations protect sensitive data and their brand. Hardening mobile devices just means the software is kept up to date on the device. Unnecessary applications are removed. sensitive information is encrypted. Finally, a screen lock is added to mobile devices to protect against unauthorized access. 

Gain a Cybersecurity Education at Flatiron School

Unfortunately, many business owners don’t have the time to generate sales, manage human capital, and still manage social media security. This is why they rely on cybersecurity professionals to have the knowledge and skills to help protect their business. Flatiron School’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp can help you build the knowledge and skills to help protect businesses all over the world.

Demystifying Cybersecurity: How Bootcamps Open Doors to Fulfilling Careers

The cybersecurity landscape changes constantly, which leads to new threats and a growing need for skilled cybersecurity professionals. Making a transition into a cybersecurity career may seem daunting, especially for those with no prior technical skills or for those that are older members of the workforce. However, coming from a non-technical background or being older are not actually barriers to entry in this field and there are valuable resources available to help you build the technical skills you need for success. Enter cybersecurity bootcamps, which offer a streamlined and accessible path to a rewarding career in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Career Opportunities Abound

Cybersecurity bootcamps provide a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip you with the foundational knowledge and practical skills necessary to thrive in a cybersecurity career. These intensive programs cover important areas like network security, system security, ethical hacking, incident response, and vulnerability assessments, preparing you to build better defenses against cybersecurity threats. This broad skillset helps you prepare for many cybersecurity career opportunities, like GRC analyst and cybersecurity analyst.

Lack of Experience in Cybersecurity is Not a Roadblock

One of the biggest advantages of a cybersecurity bootcamp curriculum is its ability to bridge the experience gap with hands-on projects. They often start with the basics of computer networking and systems, explaining complex technical concepts in simple terms. This approach, coupled with hands-on activities and real-world scenarios, makes cybersecurity career opportunities accessible to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Regardless of your prior experience, bootcamps empower you to build tech confidence and pursue exciting cybersecurity career opportunities.

Building Tech Confidence Through Collaborative Learning

Cybersecurity bootcamps foster a supportive learning environment where asking questions is encouraged. This collaborative atmosphere allows beginners to overcome their initial apprehension and build tech confidence that is needed to tackle complex cybersecurity challenges. By interacting with experienced instructors and peers from diverse backgrounds, students gain valuable insights, share knowledge, and build a network of like-minded individuals who may become future co-workers or mentors on their journey towards cybersecurity career opportunities.

Learning by Doing: Practical Skills for Real-World Application

Unlike traditional educational programs that have a heavy theoretical focus, cybersecurity bootcamps often focus on practical application. Students spend a significant portion of their time actively engaging with real-world scenarios, participating in hands-on exercises, and working with common industry tools. This hands-on approach allows you to do the following:

  • Sharpen your technical skills in areas like penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and using tools like endpoint detection and response (EDR). Abilities with these skills can open up more cybersecurity career opportunities.
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills by analyzing security threats, identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities, and implementing mitigation strategies. This helps you prepare for real on-the-job tasks in your cybersecurity career.
  • Gain valuable experience applying your knowledge in simulated real-world scenarios, ensuring you are well prepared to contribute immediate value. This hands-on experience can help improve your cybersecurity career opportunities.

Beyond Technical Skills: Building Essential Soft Skills for Success

While technical expertise is important, success in a cybersecurity career also requires strong soft skills. Older professionals have often honed their soft skills through other careers and offer additional benefits to organizations. Cybersecurity bootcamps recognize this need and integrate activities that help students develop soft skills in the following areas.  

Communication Skills

The ability to effectively communicate technical concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences is essential for opening up more cybersecurity career opportunities.


Collaborative problem-solving and effective communication are important for addressing complex security threats that often require coordinated efforts across teams.

Critical Thinking Skills

Cybersecurity professionals need to think critically, analyze complex situations, and develop creative solutions to fight against emerging threats.

Attention to Detail

Cybersecurity is a detail-oriented career field where even minor errors can have significant consequences for organizations and human life. Bootcamps can help students hone their ability to focus on details and identify potential vulnerabilities, preparing them for the demands of entry-level cybersecurity jobs.

Launching Your Cybersecurity Career: Support Every Step of the Way

Many cybersecurity bootcamps go beyond just providing the technical skills and knowledge you need to be successful in cybersecurity career opportunities. They offer additional career guidance and support services, like the following, to help you land your dream job.

Resume Writing Workshops

Resume writing workshops help you learn how to tailor your resume to highlight your newly acquired skills from the bootcamp and your transferable skills, helping you stand out to potential employers.  This can help increase your chance of landing your desired cybersecurity career opportunities.

Mock Job Interviews

Once you land the job interview, it’s important to continue showing your value to the organization. At Flatiron School, mock job interviews are provided by the Career Services team. Mock job interviews can help you gain valuable interview experience in a simulated environment. They can also boost your confidence and interview skills for real-world job interviews.  These interviews often include a combination of behavioral and technical questions to help the interviewer assess your problem-solving and technical skills.

Networking Opportunities

Many bootcamp programs offer meetup groups and events to help you connect with industry professionals, including potential employers. These events can be attended locally or virtually and help you expand your network and open doors to exciting cybersecurity career opportunities.

Career Coaching

In some cases, the cybersecurity hiring process could take months. That’s why it’s important to have a support system in place for your career. Many bootcamp programs offer career coaching to help provide guidance and support throughout the job search process. Career coaching can help you learn how to navigate the job market. Coaches can also help you identify entry-level cybersecurity jobs that interest you, and ultimately help you launch your cybersecurity career. 

Learn More About Flatiron’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp

With the right support system and a commitment to learning, a cybersecurity bootcamp can be the launching pad for a fulfilling and rewarding career in cybersecurity. Don’t let age or a lack of experience hold you back. Take the first step towards an exciting future in cybersecurity today. Flatiron’s Cybersecurity Engineering Bootcamp can help you build the technical skills and hone the soft skills needed for cybersecurity career opportunities. You can apply to the program today, or book a 10-minute call with our Admissions team to learn more.