Anyone who is reading the news nowadays will realize that these are financially trying times for everyone. Due to several global crises, everyone is feeling the pinch on their wallets no matter where they live in the world and having a side-hustle or a passive income stream is quickly becoming a necessity for most people. Cyber security is one of the most in-demand professionals today but like anyone else; cyber-security pros can do with some more money in the bank. Along with the regular 9 to 5 job; they are other ways in which cyber-security knowledge can be monetized and passive income created.

There are already thousands of articles on passive income on the Internet given the popularity of this topic; but I thought it would be useful to create a post focused on cyber security professionals.

So what is passive income ?

Passive income is money that requires you to do the effort once and then continue to reap the benefits over a long period of time. This is different from active income such as a job in which you are actively exchanging your time for money which you are paid.

Having passive income streams enables you to escape the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, achieve financial independence and diversify you sources of income which can be a huge relief if you find ourselves out of a job for any reason.

A few disclaimers below !

  • This is not financial advice as I am not qualified for giving that . These are just tips for passive income streams geared towards cyber-security pros. All of the tips I have recommended are ideas which I have experimented with myself to varying degrees of success.
  • There is no such thing as truly passive income as you will always need to put in the initial effort but once the hard work is done and the passive income stream is created then you can continue to earn money while you sleep.
  • These are not β€œget rich quick” ideas as most of those on the internet are fake / scams. You can get rich if you put in the hard work over a period of time and let these streams gather momentum. Put in the hard work now and this effort will compound ( i.e. the snowball effect ) and you see definitely see the benefits after a while and feel grateful that you started.
  • The amount of money you can earn with via streams differs from person to person and the amount of effort you are willing to put in. There is honestly no ball park figure I can give for each stream as it directly depends on your unique skills and your circumstances.

With those disclaimers aside , let us look at what passive income streams you can generate as a cyber security professional. I have divided those by the following :

πŸ› οΈ Skills needed – What do you need to start ?

πŸ§— Effort – How difficult it is to start this passive income stream

Ideas for passive income in cyber security

Some of the easiest ways that cyber-security professionals can generate passive income are :

  • Create an online course
  • Write a cyber-security book
  • Create a cyber-security blog
  • Start a YouTube channel around cyber-security

NOTE : I did not mention stuff like coaching or teaching as that is ACTIVE income i.e. you are trading your time for money and hence does not fall under the category of truly passive income .

Passive Income stream 1 : Create an online course

Online courses are all the rage nowadays and websites like Udemy and SkillShare make it very easy to create and sell online courses. There are loads of cyber-security topics available and you can easily choose one that has a high demand and create a course around. it. I recommend creating an instructor account on Udemy for free and using their Marketplace insights tool to see what topics are trending.

For example I used this tool right now to find out there is huge demand for a course around SAP security and low number of courses which is a great niche to tap into if you have knowledge of the topic.

passive income via udemy

πŸ§— Effort ( EASY ) – Very little effort is required for your first course as you don’t need to create a four hour long course on your first try. The minimum length of a Udemy course is around 30 minutes while with Skillshare you can get started at just 10 minutes ! This is one of the best ways to get started as your first step in the world of income.

πŸ› οΈ Skills needed – Honestly all you need to create an online course is PowerPoint and a free version of Zoom to record your lecture. You do not need a professional setup or high powered gear to get started with making online courses.

My advice : Choose a topic you are comfortable with speaking on and create a basic online course around it. Record a 30 min video which you can easily edit using free software to break it into smaller lectures. Upload the same on Udemy and Skillshare and see how well you do . Do not expect to make big bucks on your first online course but this will be a great learning experience for you which you can use to really improve your next one !

Passive Income stream 2 : Write a cyber-security book

Book reading remains as popular a hobby as always and books are one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in the industry. Writing a Cyber-security book was a huge hassle a few years back as you were dependent on publishers for your book to be put on the market. However with the rise of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing , the market is now open for cyber-security professionals to self-publish their own books and make some serious passive income on the side.

πŸ§— Effort ( DIFFICULT ) – Writing a cyber-security book is no easy task and involves at a minimum the below :

  • Choosing a cyber-security book
  • Writing the book ( obviously ! )
  • Proof reading and editing ( one of the biggest pains )
  • Creating the cover
  • Publishing the final book
  • Marketing the book

πŸ› οΈ Skills needed – You need to have a passion for writing if you want to take this particular side-hustle forward. Writing a book requires time and discipline with a significant time investment on your side. Do not try this stream if you have no real interest in writing and cannot commit to putting aside time every day for writing some pages.

My advice : If you are interested and think you can take this forward then writing a book can be one of the most impressive things to put on your profile. While writing the book requires effort, the other tasks like editing , proof reading, cover creation etc. can be outsourced to a freelancer on sites like Fiverr. I did the same and got my book on Artificial Intelligence security published within a month !

Taimur Ijlal - AI book

Passive Income stream 3 : Create a cyber-security blog

One of the best and most fun ways to create passive income is to create a cyber-security blog which you can later get monetized via Google ad-sense. As a cyber-security professional, you can share your ideas within the industry via a blog which will boost your online presence and create a passive income source. Writing a 300 to 500 post is also much easier than writing a 100+ page book and writing my own blog is what later gave me the confidence to try my hand at book-writing

Usually you can apply for monetization you have published 25 to 30 blogs with Google and provided you meet their criteria for quality; you should be seeing the below email :

passive income via google adsense

πŸ§— Effort ( LOW ) – Writing a short blog is pretty trivial stuff. Just choose the cyber-security topic you are most comfortable with and start writing on the same. Install a free extension like Grammarly to make sure your spelling and grammar is on par and hit publish !

πŸ› οΈ Skills needed – No special skills are needed. If you are serious about monetization then I would recommend buying your own domain and creating your own wordpress based website as it is worth it in the long run. Websites like Vultr ( which I use ) allow you to deploy cloud based WordPress servers with one click and give you credit for testing your initial setup.

My advice : If you are serious about getting monetized then make the initial investment in a blog and start writing one to two articles per week. Do not worry too much about quality and just start getting comfortable with putting your stuff out as a blogger. Needless to say Do not plagiarize someone’s else work as the internet can be very unforgiving about these things.

Passive Income stream 4 : Start a YouTube channel

One of the last suggestions would be to start a YouTube channel around cyber-security. However this does come with certain caveats which I will explain below :

πŸ§— Effort ( HIGH ) – Starting a YouTube channel is pretty easy and free however getting it monetized requires a lot of effort and patience. A Youtube channel needs over a 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time before it can be monetize so consistency and patience is the key. You need to regularly put out interesting content which people will want to watch over a period of time before you will start to see the benefits.

πŸ’‘ Skills needed – YouTube is an EXTREMELY competitive space and In order to stand out amongst the billions and billions of videos already present you need to have good presentation and editing skills, good audio and video setup and an ability to speak on a variety of topics.

My advice : While the above might sound disheartening I would 100% recommend starting a YouTube channel as even if you do not get it monetized, it can be a great way to send traffic to your other income sources like your blog and online courses. I started my channel β€œCloud Security Guy” in December of last year as it stands at a meagre 250+ subscribers but it has been a great way for me to reach and benefit people across the world.

passive income via blog

Start today

I am assuming if you have read this far then you are interested in passive income then the best advice would be to get started. Choose the one you will enjoy the most and do not think about what others will say. You will learn from your initial mistakes but the effort will definitely pay off in the long run.

Good luck on your passive income journey !