Humans have created more data in the 21st century that it was ever imaginable in the past. Likewise, the most notorious incidents of a data breach also took place in the present century. In 2016, Yahoo announced that hackers had compromised 3 billion user accounts in 2013-14. During that time, Verizon was acquiring Yahoo. The hacking revelation made Yahoo take a $350 million hit in this acquisition deal. It is just one case of some of the most massive data leaks in the previous decade. Companies lose big chunks of money when they lose their consumers’ data to potential blackmailers. Therefore, companies need to hire cybersecurity experts to ensure the safety of their clients’ private information.
WHY STUDY CYBERSECURITY?
Protecting computer systems and networks from cyberattacks is the responsibility of IT security experts. With the advent of cloud computing and IoT, hackers are becoming more innovative. Therefore, old-fashioned cybersecurity measures will require rapid upgrading in the future. Companies need individuals who are capable of providing the latest means of cyber-protection. There are many other reasons why one should contemplate a career in network security:
I. A career in cybersecurity provides you an unlimited number of growth opportunities. The field of network security keeps you always engaged and challenged. A cybersecurity professional keeps enhancing his/her knowledge regarding the newest technologies in the market.
II. A network security expert finds numerous applications of his/her skills in the tech world. From self-driving cars to limiting data breaches, the applications are innumerable. Most modern corporations have a cybersecurity component. The variety of functions never bores you.
III. Being a heavily-demanded field of expertise, a career in cybersecurity comes with fat paychecks. You can get a network security officer degree online and make $80000-100000 every year. Increment in your salary depends on your years of experience, of course.
IV. The 21st-century world thrives on digital science. People’s safety and prosperity depend on cybersecurity nowadays. Even a minor data breach may lead to a large number of people getting harmed. Therefore, cybersecurity professionals leave an everlasting impact on the world.
V. With an IT background, you can always start late in cybersecurity. It’s one of those fields where you can make a career even after retirement. A network security professional can acquire decent positions in some of the largest companies in the world.
IMPORTANCE OF CYBERSECURITY
The first cyberattack that happened in 1988 was entirely accidental. Known as the Morris Worm, a DDoS attack crashed 10% of the internet back in the 20th century. This 10% included only around 6,000 computers. Today, we have over 2 billion computers in the world. Governments have progressed to incorporate technology into their multiple functions. Cryptocurrency makes wealth an easy target for cyber-criminals. That’s why the modern world depends on the services of cybersecurity professionals.
1. OUR RELIANCE ON TECHNOLOGY
As explained above, humankind is now more reliant on technology than before. And we’ll increase our digital dependency shortly; people update their private information on social media. Cloud-based storage services contain our banking details, credit card info, and social security numbers. Hackers now have a pathway to access this sensitive data. Therefore, we need to secure ourselves against any potential cyberattacks.
2. PERSONAL SAFETY
It becomes a matter of public concern if consumer data finds itself vulnerable to hackers and blackmailers. Identify theft is a massive issue for people as it put their safety at serious risk. Hackers can also get access to people’s household cameras and extort them for their sensitive information. Therefore, hacks make the public skeptical of multinational companies. This loss of faith in the corporate sector can be commercially disadvantageous.
3. HACKERS ARE IMPROVISING
When a specific antibacterial chemical use against a bacteria, the microorganism learns to fight its effects. Similarly, hackers evolve themselves to combat preexisting cybersecurity techniques. So, companies need individuals who are capable of finding new ways to prevent data loss/theft. Network and application security professionals strive to block all pathways that grant hackers access to sensitive data.
4. DATA LEAKS COST A LOT
Hackers can cause massive monetary losses to business people. In some cases, companies need to pay millions of dollars in damages. These penalties can lead to people getting fired from their jobs and even upper management getting the ax. In the UK, NHS suffered from the WannaCry ransomware hack that cost them £92m in damages. Experts suggest that we can avoid damages by taking some necessary IT security measures.
We have laws and regulations to protect people’s data from leak/stealth. Companies have to make their clients’ sensitive information less vulnerable to hackers. Otherwise, even if the data breach doesn’t kill your business, the fine might. In Europe, for instance, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) went live in 2018. IT security experts make it possible for companies to abide by these laws and regulations.
CAREERS IN CYBERSECURITY
There are many career pathways in cybersecurity that are all equally important for IT security professionals. A multinational enterprise requires many cybersecurity professionals’ collective contributions to ensure data safety. These experts work together to prevent hackers from penetrating the organization’s databases. Let’s briefly discuss the job responsibilities of some other cybersecurity professionals:
I. Security Systems Admin: This profession supervises and overwatches the day-to-day security operations in an organization. They protect the organization’s systems from cyberattacks. Job responsibilities include running backups and maintaining clients’ accounts.
II. Security Software Developer: This professional will analyze software development to find security flaws in its design. The job responsibility includes creating a software security strategy and building prototype solutions.
III. Security Consultant: An IT or cybersecurity consultant assess possible risks and threats faced by a company. It’s his/her job to discover and amend vulnerabilities in an organization. They prevent hackers from exploiting these liabilities.
IV. Computer Forensic Analyst: This professional will work with law enforcement agencies to ensure system security. The job responsibility includes retrieving deleted files and pursuing data trails. This investigation plays an essential role during court proceedings.
V. Penetration Tester: It’s always beneficial to learn your system design’s weaknesses from the opponent’s perspective. An ethical hacker imitates black hat hackers to try and bypass system security. This infiltration shows how susceptible the company is to cyber-criminals.
Cybersecurity plays an important role both in the digital and the physical world. Network security engineers make the virtual world secure from hackers and blackmailers. In 2017, the historic Equifax hack exposed the data of nearly 143 million consumers before hackers. This massive hack placed more than 40% of the American population under direct threats of security breaches. Cybersecurity experts strive to diminish the probability of such hacks ever happening again. That’s why almost every big company requires network security engineers to ensure the safety of their clients’ sensitive information.