Cybersecurity is one of the most profitable technology fields of the 21st Century. As it continues to grow there are many people that want to get a job and start careers within the field. However, a 9-5 job isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and even for those that are working many people want to have a side hustle for a little extra money and financial security. If you’re someone that has worked in the field previously or just someone that has an interest in Cybersecurity there are ways you can make money from the field without being directly involved. To help with this I’ve put together a list of ways that you can make money from the Cybersecurity field without having a full time job.
Being an Independent Consultant
This is probably the most obvious method but definitely one of the most profitable. Being a consultant means you help out companies as your own independent business person and provide expertise in a certain way. This can be penetrating testing, vulnerability assessments, automation engineer etc. Typically people will be a consultant in the area that they worked in within the industry. However, if you don’t have work experience you can always start small and build up from there, work experience is not a requirement.
If you have any experience doing auditing this can be a good way to make money without having to work at a company year round. Many companies need audits once or twice per year for compliance reasons. If you specialize in a particular regulation like GDPR or HIPAA etc you can sell your services by coming in and helping companies prepare for audits.
There are many companies that need cybersecurity content written for their website. This can be blog posts, whitepapers or marketing material. If you’re good with words and grammar this can be a good way to make some extra money. Preference is usually given to those with cybersecurity experience, which can give you an edge if you worked in the industry. However, it’s not a requirement. I would suggest writing some articles for free (guest posting) on other websites or starting your own blog as your portfolio. If you do that and use that when pitching to clients it will be much easier.
Sales is a great way to make money in Cybersecurity, primarily because it’s so easy to get a position if you’re willing to work on commission. If you’re someone with a sales background or a cybersecurity background you may want to consider finding a company that is trying to sell a cybersecurity product and work on a commission model selling that product to other people or companies. Since you’re not on a salary people will be willing to bring you on. From there it’s on you to go out and make it happen.
Buy Cybersecurity Stocks
If you’re someone like me that likes investing in stocks, there are many cybersecurity stocks you can buy that have been doing very well in the last few years and are projected to continue to grow into the future. Unlike other industries cybersecurity has grown as a result of the pandemic so the outlook of the industry itself is very strong and a good investment to consider.
Create Training Courses
This is a great way to create some passive income. Simply find a platform like udemy, cybrary etc that will allow you to create online courses and sell it to their audience. While the money may not be huge upfront, you can have residual income for years to come after you put in that initial effort.
If you’re someone that knows how to hack computers and do vulnerability assessments you may want to consider doing freelance work. Platforms like bugcrowd and hackerone make this pretty easy. Additionally, you can look for individual bug bounty programs, many big companies such as Paypal, Sony, Facebook and many others have their own programs. You can also work with companies in your local area that need security work done.
If you’re someone that works in HR, career counselling or if you have a lot of cybersecurity experience you can look into being a career coach. You can use your expertise to help people that are trying to get into the field or advance in their career. People need help with resumes, cover letters, interviews, workplace politics and more.
Create a Startup
Whether you’re a cybersecurity expert or not, if you’re driven to build your own business cybersecurity may be a good area for you to consider. If you’re a business orientated person, you can connect with someone who is a cybersecurity person and create a business in an industry that is starving for new solutions. It doesn’t even need to be a new product, you can create a company providing cybersecurity services like security assessments.
Build an Application
If you’re someone with a programming background you may want to consider making a Cybersecurity application and putting that in the app store. You can make applications for companies that scan their website or application for vulnerabilities. You can also make applications for individual users, for example an application that helps them remain anonymous online. The idea here is to find some small security related problem and build an application around that problem that people will want to use.
Many people that work in the cybersecurity field decide to create youtube channels. These can be doing technical tutorials or just educating people about the field in general. There are always people looking to learn more and youtube is one of the first places that they look. Once you get a following you can sell products, make money from ads, sell courses/coaching etc.
Writing a book can be another great way to make some residual/passive income. If you’re a subject matter expert or you just have some unique experiences writing a book can be a good way to monetize this. If you’re already making written content, try condensing multiple pieces into a small book and selling it online.
Become a speaker
If you’re someone who has a lot of industry experience or a good story you should consider speaking at cybersecurity events. Not only can you make a lot of money once people start paying you but it’s a great way to get noticed. This exposure will allow you sell more books, products, services or even find a higher paying job if you’re interested in that. The exposure itself will be extremely valuable and it will come with the chance to make a lot of money. Many conferences such as DEFCON allow you to write research papers and submit them for the chance to be a guest speaker, so it’s definitely possible if you’re interested.