Looking for different ways to make money in cyber security? As you know by now, cyber security is a very profitable industry. As such, there are many ways you can utilize your skills and knowledge in a niche field to open up new revenue streams.
Let’s look at our top 16 ways to make money in cyber security:
1. Look For Your Niche
As I mention throughout this article, niches are often your friends when looking to make money in such a congested industry.
If you market yourself as a cyber security expert, you may find it tricky to attract customers.
Companies generally don’t search for cyber security experts, they search for people who are experts at particular problems they’re having, such as malware, compliance, or auditing.
If you make yourself the go-to compliance expert, you’ll get the majority of business within that niche.
Unsure of your niche? Click below to discover which domain of cyber security works best for you.
2. Work As a Cyber Security Freelancer
Freelancing roles are a perfect way to make money in cyber security, sometimes over a short period of time.
Freelance rates are very competitive. Companies will pay more for an expert to quickly complete a shorter-term job, compared to paying a salary and benefits over a long period of time.
If you can get your name out there and build up a client base, cyber security freelancing may work for you.
Fiverr is a great place to complete short-term cyber security projects. But Fiverr is usually best for freelancers that are significantly experienced as clients want the work done quickly and for a set price.
If you’re able to work on longer term projects or have slightly less experience, then Upwork will work for you. You have a set rate and submit proposals based on the client’s needs. Since, there’s no expectation that clients will get much for $3/hour, they’re more tolerant of freelancers with less experience.
Freelancer is also based on hourly rates. The difference you’ll notice here is that Freelancer is based on a price bidding system. Your rate will change based on what price you decide to bid on a project.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the cream of the crop, then TopTal is your best bet. TopTal only hires the top 3% of all applicants. As a result, clients are willing to pay top dollar for experienced freelancers.
3. Work As a Security Consultant
If you possess a significant level of experience, then try cyber security consultancy where businesses hire you to give them cyber security advice and guidance.
It’s both one of the most popular and one of the most lucrative cyber security opportunities. As a consultant, the more experience you have within your niche, the more you make.
It is only natural that businesses want to employ the most knowledgeable person in their field when it comes to something as serious as cyber security.
4. Start Cyber Security Auditing
When it comes to cyber security, compliance is a big deal, especially when you are dealing with hefty amounts of sensitive information on behalf of your clients/users.
As such, many businesses have to set up audits every six or 12 months.
These audits usually require preparation from an outsider/third party, which is how many cyber security professionals made a good amount of money without signing full-time contracts.
When starting, the best thing to do as an auditor is to specialize in one particular area of law, for example, GDPR.
You can then sell yourself as a GDPR expert who can perfectly prepare a company for its upcoming audit to ensure everything is in working order.
Interested in becoming a security auditor?
5. Writing About Cyber Security
Technically, this very article is an example of how cyber security writing jobs are accessible and essential at the moment.
The possibility for written content in the cyber security world is quite literally endless.
Companies are always on the lookout for talented writers for blogs, marketing content, whitepapers, website content, newsletters, and more.
If you have a background in cyber security, the advantage you give yourself over other writers is the bank of knowledge already at your fingertips.
When it comes to something as technical as cyber security, a little knowledge goes a long way, and a lot of knowledge is priceless.
Of course, even if you don’t have experience in cyber security, you will still get plenty of opportunities for work if you look for it.
Creating a portfolio that includes a sample cyber security article is always a good way to convince employers that you are the right person to choose.
You can also look to adapt any skills you have to the cyber security world.
For example, if you have a background in journalism, you can market yourself as a cyber security news writer.
Or if you have a background in sales, you can contact companies that sell cyber security products and either write content for them or work on commission.
6. Trade in Cyber Security Stocks
For those who are interested in stock investment, this is the simplest way to make money in cyber security.
With such a shift towards an online world many cyber security funds are performing very well and continue to be on the way up.
Compare it to many other sectors that suffered a huge drop over the past few years due to the pandemic, and cyber security stocks become even more attractive.
Here are a few cyber security ETFs to research (I’m not being paid, and I provide no guarantees):
- HACK by ETF Managers Group
- CIBR Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF by First Trust
- BUG Cybersecurity ETF by Global X
- IHAK Cybersecurity and Tech ETF by iShares
- WCBR Cybersecurity Fund by WisdomTree
7. Create Online Cyber Security Courses or Bootcamps
Everyone has to start somewhere, and most people can’t afford or don’t want to shell out for an expensive education, especially when information can be found for cheaper on the internet.
That’s where you come in! The cyber security sector is such a vast industry that there are quite literally endless numbers of topics and niches for you to talk about.
Sure, you may have to market your expert courses in the right way to make them profitable, but this also represents a chance for passive income.
Once you write and publish a course, you could potentially receive income from people signing up to it for years after you actually wrote it.
If you get enough high-quality content up and perhaps build a brand around cyber security education, it can represent a real money spinner.
Let’s take a look at two platforms to help you create and sell your online cyber security courses.
With Udemy’s vast global audience, you can monetize your skills by reaching students worldwide. Even though courses might be discounted, the volume of sales can lead to notable earnings. Its marketplace approach means you can earn passive income as your courses sell without your active promotion.
Teachable offers you tools to launch your very own branded online school, allowing you full control over pricing and direct relationships with students. With minimal transaction fees and integrated marketing tools, it’s tailored for maximizing your profit. Comprehensive insights provided help you refine your courses for better sales.
On Thinkific, you can design, market, and sell your courses under your own brand without platform-imposed pricing limits. Its user-friendly course builder and in-built sales tools make monetization a breeze. Focusing on the student experience, it optimizes for retention and encourages repeat sales.
Kajabi provides an all-in-one solution, merging course creation with email marketing and website design tailored for you. This holistic platform allows you to monetize courses, memberships, and digital products seamlessly. With premium pricing options and integrated marketing tools, you’re positioned for high earning potential.
8. Become a Cyber Security Hacker
There are always companies that welcome white-hat hackers (the friendly hackers) through their doors.
No, really! The best way for businesses to check whether they have vulnerabilities is to ask hackers to try and find them!
Companies may welcome you on as a freelancer to regularly hunt for problems in their software/website, while there are also hacking platforms and events for more widespread access.
Huge companies like Sony and Facebook even hold Bug Bounty programs for hackers to search for those pesky bugs.
Let’s face it, if you know your way around a computer and fancy yourself as a hacker, there aren’t many cooler ways to earn money!
9. Set Up Your Own Business in Cyber Security
Starting a business in cyber security is by no means limited to those with expertise in the industry already. If you have an eye for business, there is always money to be made.
You could bring a cyber security expert on board and collaborate to come up with a company that fits a certain niche within the industry.
This could be a cyber security consultancy firm, it could be an educational business, or even a company that provides solutions to businesses in a certain sector.
It doesn’t even have to be a brand-new idea. There is nothing wrong with doing what has already been done but putting your own spin on things.
10. Develop a Cyber Security Application
In the modern world, if something doesn’t have an app, it isn’t worth talking about.
And with the field of cyber security, there are all kinds of applications for these… applications.
Information apps, news apps, apps that scan sites for flaws, apps that scan devices for malware, etc.
You can even make yourself available for tailored orders, making cyber security apps for other people or particular businesses.
The best advice is to think of a security problem a lot of people have, and then create a simple solution.
11. Write a Cyber Security Book
Much like the cyber security courses, you can also try your hand at writing a book.
Once you write a book and publish it, you can claim income for years to come if it proves to be popular.
As such, the best books are those that teach people something within the cyber security industry, whether that be through an educational format or simply your own career anecdotes.
We’re not talking about an 80,000-word thriller here either. The best books in this niche are actually shorter e-books for people looking to learn about a very specific topic.
You can also write about a wide-reaching topic within the cyber security sector and remarket it to more niche readers.
For example, GDPR compliance for technology businesses, GDPR compliance for medical facilities, GDPR compliance for social media, etc.
12. Cyber Security Public Speaking
There will always be an endless supply of cybersecurity events throughout the year, and each of these events needs a list of guest speakers.
These guest speakers are people who have a lot of experience or knowledge in their particular field, and it definitely helps to have some interesting anecdotes from your career.
This is also a tidal wave type money-making path, as once you give one really good speech at an event, people in the crowd will often book you for their own, and so on, and so on.
Not only is it great for making money, but if you get your face and name out there enough, it can lead to lots of other money-making opportunities too.
Once your name is known, your books, courses, speeches, etc are worth a lot more money.
13. Become a Cyber Security Career Coach
If you’re already in cyber security, one of the best ways to make money is to help others get their careers started.
After all, you have walked the path yourself and proven capable of making it in this cyber security world. Why shouldn’t they trust you to teach them how you did it?
People will pay good money for one-on-one career coaching, particularly to get work in their specific fields like cyber security.
Every industry is different, even when it comes to things like writing your cover letter and designing your CV, so bringing an experienced eye to the situation can be of tremendous value.
14. Find A Cyber Security Mentor
If you are new to the cybersecurity industry, then why not reverse the advice we gave above? There is nothing wrong with seeking help from the more experienced.
Asking someone who has experience is a perfect way to understand the industry and what’s required of you. Establishing a relationship with someone in the industry can help open some doors.
It might not lead to a job opportunity, but they may know the right doors for you to knock on, depending on what you want to achieve.
15. Become a Cyber Security YouTuber
YouTube has a huge place in the educational scene these days. You can provide content for free, while earning a share of the advertising revenue.
Even if you don’t get millions of views and hundreds of dollars from the videos themselves, it can gain you a loyal audience within your niche that allows you to sell products like books and courses to them at a later date.
It can also just be great for exposure.
16. Get a Cyber Security Job
The best way of making money in cyber security is just a matter of getting a full-time company job.
So, if no other method appeals to you, consider obtaining a CompTIA Security+ certification. When you’re ready transition into the cyber security industry.
The great thing is, there are currently over 750,000 cyber security jobs waiting to be filled in the open market. Unfortunately, there’s not nearly enough personnel to fill them all.
According to CyberSeek, roughly 2/3rds of the entire available workforce can fill the current demand. That means there’s immense potential for training opportunities and career growth.
It also doesn’t hurt that companies are willing to pay top dollar for individuals with the right set of skills.
“How much money can you make in cyber security”? With just one to two years of experience, you can easily make $75k…not bad!
Is cyber security profitable? Yes. But can cyber security make you rich in 2023? That really depends on which method you choose and how successful you become doing it.
No matter your profit motivation, you can make a lot of money in cyber security. You just need to have the right motivation and persistence!