Skip to Main Content

What Is a Security Researcher and How to Become One

What Is a Security Researcher?

A security researcher keeps up-to-date on all the latest developments in threats to computer software and networks. These threats include different types of malware, such as computer viruses, malicious software and scripts, and direct attacks on a network. The main duties of a security researcher are to investigate existing types of malware, analyze their capabilities, and attempt to predict new forms of malware to develop appropriate security responses. They may reverse engineer malware or test security systems.

How to Become a Security Researcher

Educational qualifications for a security researcher include a bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, or network systems. Increasingly, schools offer specialized degrees in cybersecurity. Security researchers also gain experience on the job. They need to have specialized skills, including creative thinking, the desire to take apart and repurpose software, and interest in analytical problem-solving. Many security researchers start by working as part of an IT security team or as software developers before moving on to security research.