How to Become a Cyber Security Expert in Nigeria

How to Become a Cyber Security Expert in Nigeria

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Navigating the digital landscape in Nigeria has never been more crucial, as cyber threats continue to surge in both complexity and frequency. With organizations and individuals alike becoming targets of malicious activities, the demand for cybersecurity experts in Nigeria is on the rise.

If you’re wondering how to leverage this situation and get into the field, then this article is here to help you understand how to become a cybersecurity expert in Nigeria.

What does a cybersecurity expert do?

A cybersecurity expert is a professional who is involved in a variety of responsibilities related to the protection of digital assets from unauthorized entities.

Digital assets refer to any form of content in the digital space which could be documents, websites, credentials, social media accounts, or anything of that sort that is valuable to the owner.

Cybersecurity experts make sure the security systems set up for the protection of valuables in the digital space do their job. They also monitor these systems for suspicious activities and vulnerabilities that could lead to a security breach.

When a breach happens, they analyze the incident to figure out what caused it and how to prevent it. Other employees could be a cause for these types of incidents. So, Cybersecurity experts are tasked with the responsibility of educating them on best practices in cyberspace, as well as helping them to adhere to security regulations and policies.

Is cybersecurity in demand in Nigeria in 2023?

Yes. According to the Nigeria Cyber Security Outlook for 2023 by Deloitte, even with the spread of cybersecurity attacks in Nigeria, there is still a scarcity of cybersecurity professionals to combat the cyber threats encountered in the public and private sectors. You know what that means? Impressive salaries for those who know their opinions in this field.

How to become a cybersecurity expert in Nigeria

1. Earn a degree in a related field

Getting a degree in cybersecurity or related fields like computer science, Information technology or Software engineering is a great starting point to get into the cybersecurity field. A degree in any of these courses gives you the foundational knowledge and technical skills needed to understand cybersecurity principles.

Also, most employers usually prefer people with a degree. It shows you’re knowledgeable about the field and committed to learning

2. Choose a specific cybersecurity path

Cybersecurity is a broad term that covers a variety of roles and responsibilities.  According to CompTIA, there are five distinct parts of cybersecurity:

  • Critical infrastructure security
  • Application security
  • Network security
  • Cloud Security
  • Internet of Things (IoT) security

Each of these branches has many roles from entry level to senior level in terms of experience. You need to do some research to find out what interests you and work on advancing your skill in that niche of cybersecurity

3. Get relevant certifications

When you’re starting with little to no experience, you should target a particular entry role and look for industry certifications required for that role. This helps you acquire knowledge that’s standard in the industry and boosts your chances with HR.

For example, if you want to start as an Information Security Analyst, typical certifications to get would be CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and CompTIA CySA+. With these certifications, you should be able to get a job in this role.

4. Network with people

As the popular saying goes, your network is your net worth.

Getting a foot in the door for a role you’re trying to get in a company can be fast-tracked when you know someone there or get a recommendation from one of their staff. But how do you meet other cybersecurity professionals? Networking

You could grow your network by joining cybersecurity communities on social media like Facebook, Telegram, and Linkedin. Give helpful contributions to conversations and offer help when someone asks. This way, you can connect with like-minded individuals, learn from others, and demonstrate your expertise, which can lead to more connections and opportunities in the field of cybersecurity.

Another way to help grow your networks is to attend local meet-ups, conferences, and workshops. These events bring together people who share your interests and give you a chance to meet them face-to-face, making it easier to connect and build relationships.

5. Gain experience

Experience here doesn’t necessarily mean your full-time job. If you haven’t gotten that, you can apply for internships or IT help desk jobs to give you the stepping stone into a full-time cybersecurity role.

You can also contribute to open-source projects, volunteer for non-profit organizations, and work on personal projects. Doing all these and communicating them effectively to your prospective employer shows you have relevant skills and are passionate about your field.

6. Keep up with cybersecurity trends

As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and attack styles become more and more sophisticated, a cybersecurity professional needs to stay abreast of cybersecurity news and trends.

This helps you know how to respond to new incidents and comply with industry regulations. If you don’t keep up with trends, you risk your skills becoming irrelevant over time.

To stay up-to-date about cybersecurity news and trends,

  • Read security news sites and blogs regularly
  • Subscribe to reputable cybersecurity newsletters to get them directly in your inbox
  • Follow industry experts on social media like LinkedIn and Twitter, as they’ll often share relevant news and tips.
  •  Read research on cybersecurity like case studies and white papers to get a holistic view of issues.

Important Cybersecurity Certifications in Nigeria

1. Comptia Network+

This certification exam is often recommended for beginners and as mentioned by CompTIA themselves, this IT certification verifies that you have the relevant skills and knowledge in networking to start a  career in IT infrastructure

2. Comptia Security+

This certification is highly recommended and it confirms you have the foundational skills required to start an IT security career

3. Comptia A+

This certification is suitable for someone who wants to transition into the cybersecurity field but has zero IT experience. This certification can help you get started in many entry-level IT roles (such as an IT help desk technician)which could be the catapult you need to get into cybersecurity

4. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Ethical hacking involves trying to detect vulnerabilities in a security system using the same methodology as a malicious hacker. This certification requires two years of experience in the Information security space.

5. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

This highly sought-after certification is offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². They recommended this certification for experienced cybersecurity professionals with at least five years of experience in two or more of the eight domains of the ISC2 CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). It testifies to your knowledge of a vast range of security practices and principles

6. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

A known complement to CISSP but with a stronger focus on the managerial aspect of Information Security Management rather than the technical aspect. It also requires five years of experience including three years in a managerial position.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the certifications you could get. What’s more important is to know the particular certifications required for the role you want to fill

What if I can’t get a degree related to cybersecurity?

This isn’t a barrier to becoming a cyber security expert. One of our tutors here at Hagital Consulting has a degree in History and International Studies but was still able to transition into cyber security with a focus on governance, risk, and compliance (GRC). She currently works in a multinational cybersecurity firm.

You can get certifications relevant to the role you want and do some self-studying or enroll in cybersecurity training to equip you with the knowledge you need

Does cybersecurity need coding?

This depends on the branch of cybersecurity you’re working on. If you like to code you can focus on technical aspects that require coding skills. But if you aren’t a fan of programming, then there are many roles in the non-technical aspect of cybersecurity you can get into.


Starting a career in cybersecurity in Nigeria can be a rewarding and challenging path. With proper education, training, and practical experience, you can become a valuable asset to organizations looking to protect their digital assets from cyber threats.

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Ayobami Awosanya

My name is Ayobami Awosanya. I am an SEO content Strategist & SEO Manager @ Hagital Consulting.

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