There are many intricacies in the cybersecurity profession; the elements embedded in this discourse will prepare enthusiasts seeking a guaranteed career to change life as we know it. In a world filled with tumultuous issues with most of the problems resulting from a security breach on the internet, with an increased number of people fortified with cybersecurity knowledge and skills, the world can be better in every sector make up each nation.
Discover the profession and its perks in this article!
● More than $114 billion was spent on information technology security operations, including products and services, in 2018. Interestingly, this improved the previous year, which saw an increase of 12.4% from 2017.
● In 2018, $5.3 billion was invested in cybersecurity by Venture companies worldwide, while North America alone saw more than $4 billion investments.
● Cybercrime is one of the biggest problems posing threats to national security. Therefore, the White House increased the budget on cybersecurity by 5%. Consequently, the overall budget for the Department of Defense rose to $17.4 billion.
● Cyber Security crimes in 2015 caused $325 million in damages; hence organizations have bumped their investment in cybersecurity by 62.5% from 2013 to 2017.
● Cybersecurity professionals are well-sought after, with 38% of cybersecurity professionals being contacted multiple times by recruiters. Also, 48% of cybersecurity professionals are contacted weekly, exposing that cybersecurity is crucial in today’s advanced world.
● By 2029, occupations in cybersecurity will have increased by 15%, with professionals earning above $100,000 annually.
Why Does Cybersecurity Matter?
In a world where data drives everything, cybersecurity becomes an intricate element in the survival of government agencies and organizations. Cybersecurity has become a recurring and impending problem for many organizations in the world today. Different issues such as IoT and the cybersecurity talent gap affect an organization’s ability to deal with external threats.
A massive amount of data is being processed and transmitted every minute on government and organization’s networks. These data contain financial, healthcare, personal, and other forms of information that could lead as a backdoor to devastating damage. Unfortunately, the hackers have continued to evolve in their operations as they target colleges, universities, government agencies, and other institutions that may not be up-to-date on cybersecurity matters.
Although there is no telling which industry hackers will focus their initiatives on the next several inclinations, the crimes will be more prevalent in industries without investment in security platforms and personnel. Several attacks have been carried out in the last decade, with some more effective than others. Here are common types of cyber threats:
● Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
Due to the recent cyber hacks on major companies in different sectors, companies have begun to invest heavily in cybersecurity since their survival depends on the data being processed and transferred from one end to another. Can you imagine what will happen if the framework of the bank you are using gets compromised? The thoughts are mind-boggling; hence, companies’ survival and people rely on cybersecurity.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations are dependent on digital technology now more than ever, and advanced cybersecurity has become essential to protecting users and businesses from fraud, data breaches. According to Irwin (2021), there were 149 million records in December 2020 alone, which totaled 20 billion cyber-attacks, breaches, and hacks in the year. Some of the examples of these threats to cybersecurity witnessed in 2020 are as follows:
- Cyber-attacks infiltrated Canada’s DuBreton Meats.
- U.S. Treasury breached by hackers backed by foreign organizations
- The attack on Mongolia by Chinese hackers.
- Hurtigruten, a Norwegian cruise company, experiences a cyber attack
- Anti-Semitic propaganda was posted on the Weslaco ISD network
- Canada’s Sangoma Technologies confirms a data breach resulting from a ransomware attack.
- Fax Express database online leak.
- Konikoff Dental Associates loses control of patient information.
- TennCare being susceptible to a privacy breach
- 21 Buttons carelessness in exposing social media influencers’ valuable information.
Unfortunately, as technology advances, hackers have been getting better at finding new ways to breach even the toughest systems, and the consequences can be drastic.
The primary health information of 15 million Canadians was stolen from Life Labs in 2019 due to a ransomware attack.
Information such as date of birth, Names, addresses, emails, logins, and passwords was compromised during this time. Ontario and British Columbia were the most affected during this crisis from 2016. 85,000 people were known to have been affected by the breach.
Also, from 2018 to 2019, OPC reported that the number of Canadians affected by the breach was close to 28 million. This was more than half of the population at that time. The causes of the breach were said to result from “employee snooping” and “social engineering hacks,” the accidental exposure of 22% of all documents within that time frame. 8% of reports during that year were reported stolen from the database.
In 2014 Home Depot suffered an ugly attack that had the information of its customers compromised. The criminals could access the customs’ credit card information with the malware installed on the company’s self-checkout terminals. Unfortunately, Home Depot was not able to detect the issue until after five months.
Anthem Inc. experienced one of the terrifying attacks in the Healthcare industry, with 80 million social security records uncovered in 2015.
When so much is on the line, cybersecurity professionals are essential to protecting businesses and their data from threats in the grand scheme of an organization’s operations. Their job is to block the holes through which these criminals can find a way into the system.
Career Pathways in Cybersecurity
According to research done by researchers in the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, “Cybersecurity is the collection of processes and practices designed to protect the integrity of networks, programs, devices, and data from an attack, damage, or unauthorized access.”
The cybersecurity professionals are hired to look for weaknesses in an organization’s database and promptly fix the impending issues that can be used as a pathway for attackers to center.
Cybersecurity professionals’ operations are dynamic as they function as detectives and analysts in a bid to find loopholes in the system.
Some organizations refer to cybersecurity professionals as Information security engineers, Cyber Security technicians, and occasionally, analysts.
What Types of Organizations Hire Cybersecurity Professionals?
One of the benefits of training in cybersecurity is that it can enable you to work in virtually any organization, whether large or small, in the public or private sector and the industry of your choice. Industries that tend to hire the most cybersecurity professionals are those such as:
● Law enforcement
● Banking and Finance
ROLES CYBERSECURITY PROFESSIONALS CAN PLAY IN AN ORGANIZATION
There are streamlined job functions of cybersecurity analysts that companies offer them. These are:
● Network security
● Vulnerability management
● Threat Intelligence
● Incident response
● Application security
● Data loss prevention
TRENDS IN CYBERSECURITY
Cybercrimes have continued to evolve almost at the same pace as technology is improving activities on the dark web. It is more or less like the hackers hop on the new technology to find loopholes to hit companies. Hence, new techniques and strategies have been employed by companies to find a way to stop attacks before they collapse the business. Some of these trends include:
As the world has shifted gears in harnessing the possibilities of data-driven technology, there are many more devices that have been incorporated into an internet connection. Therefore, hackers will try to bypass networks with weak security. Unfortunately, people do not consider changing their new devices’ passwords and login details once they get them. Consequently, the hackers find it easy to access the information which can be gotten online.
More IoT problems come from the manufacturer as they may not have the expertise to upgrade their products’ security. Interestingly, research shows that 48% of companies with IoT devices and their network have been successfully breached at least once. Therefore, hackers have begun to go through networks with IoT verifying the weakest security and bypassing that network to hit the company where it hurts.
Cybersecurity Talent Gap
Demand for cybersecurity professionals is now at an all-time high, and even with increased training opportunities and higher budget allocations, there remains a shortage of cybersecurity professionals and VPN review. Industries most affected by this shortage are those such as:
● Transportation and logistics
● Online retail
Many organizations have had no choice but to outsource their network, firewall, and other security needs to remedy this. However, this trend is expected to reverse as companies seek greater control over their security at a lower cost through permanent staff with the right skills and qualifications.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A CYBERSECURITY PROFESSIONAL?
In order to be eligible for this certification, it is required to have sufficient knowledge in Computer science. Therefore, you must gather relevant skills to equip you for a deep dive into the career properly. Here are some skills that are pertinent to this career:
● Adult and compliance
● Cloud Security.
● Risk analysis and mitigation
● Digital forensics
● Threat modeling
● Vulnerability assessment
● Intrusion detection
Several certifications have become standard in the industry and signify to potential employers that a professional has the right knowledge and skills to protect their data and systems. Some of the most popular include;
Here are the specific job certifications that employers require:
● Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
● Certified Information System Auditor (CISA)
● Certifications in GIAC
● Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
● Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
● McGill’s New Certificate in Applied Cybersecurity
McGill’s certificate in Applied in Cybersecurity intends to shine a bright light for people looking to start a cybersecurity career.
Also, students will be introduced to real-life scenarios of cybercrimes. This method will prepare them for what is to come after their program at McGill. The essence is to equip the students with the right tools to promote their creativity in tackling cyber-crimes properly. This diploma will further expose students to new possibilities through cybersecurity, plus an in-depth understanding of specific industries and their peculiarities.
Finally, with a team of experienced minds, it is easy for students to gain knowledge and expertise as there is a wide array of trained professionals ready to assist them.