Everything You Need to Know About Cybersecurity Careers
Cybersecurity refers to the measures that are taken to protect electronic information from damage, theft, and cybercrime. It protects data stored online and physically along with ensuring that electronic devices are protected from harm or misuse. Cybersecurity is a process that can be applied to hardware, software, and other online information. It is used to protect everything from the files that are stored on your personal computer to complex, classified information in government systems.
Cybersecurity measures include preventing, detecting, and responding to cyberattacks. It has become increasingly important for cybersecurity measures to be put in place today due to the fact that any information stored on electronic devices such as computers or in the cloud online is susceptible to hacking. Without the right protective measures in place, the risk of the information being stolen and ending up in the wrong hands is much higher. However, the right measures can completely prevent the information from being damaged or stolen. With the world becoming more and more reliant on computers, cloud-based internet storage, and electronic devices, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity had become an integral part of our lives today.
Cybersecurity measures range from very simple to very complex. Most people use a range of basic cybersecurity measures in their everyday lives, like using a passcode on their computers or smartphones to prevent unauthorized access. Many people use anti-virus software or apps on their phones and computers and take steps to improve cybersecurity with regular OS and software updates or scans to check for malware and other threats.
When a system is either at risk of being attacked or is under attack, there are specific measures that can be taken, depending on the attack type. Encryption, for example, is a common method used to prevent cyberattacks and prevent information from being accessible to hackers. Antivirus programs, on the other hand, are commonly used to scan for and detect suspicious activity and block attempted attacks on the device or its software.
It is important to first understand the vulnerabilities and risks that are specific to the network or device and whether there is a chance they will be exploited by hackers to make sure that the system or device is as secure and protected as possible.
Types of Cyberattacks
Cyberattacks can have a wide-ranging impact on the devices, companies, and individuals that it might be aimed at. Cyberattack risk affects everybody from individuals to businesses of all sizes and other organizations including government agencies. Being subjected to a cyberattack can lead to a range of common issues including financial loss, identity theft, and damage to the company or organization’s reputation. There is a wide range of different cyberattack types that both individuals and cybersecurity professionals should be aware of and look out for. Some common types of cyberattack include:
Malware is malicious software with the intent of damaging a computer or network. There are several different malware types including worms, spyware, ransomware, and viruses. Malware is typically downloaded onto a computer by the user who is not aware of what they have done. It can find its way onto a device when the user clicks a link or opens an attachment that might be disguised as something innocent. The software is then automatically installed, while the user is completely unaware of what has happened.
An eavesdropping attack involves the theft of information that is transmitted over a network by a connected device such as a computer or smartphone. In order to carry out this type of attack, hackers will usually take advantage of unsecured network communications, which allows them to access the data as it is being received or sent. With most networks secured to protect against them, these attacks are no longer as common as they once were today. However, where the network is not protected, there is a higher risk of them occurring, which is why it’s so important to take additional steps to protect yourself when you are using unsecured public Wi-Fi, for example.
Phishing is one of the most popular types of cyberattacks and you will certainly learn about it in more detail with a masters in cyber security online from Saint Bonaventure University. Phishing refers to a type of social engineering that occurs when a user receives a message that has been disguised to appear that it is from a trusted source. For example, a recent type of phishing attack that has been in the news is hackers who are posing as people’s children on messaging services like WhatsApp and requesting money. This type of attack is particularly dangerous as it is very manipulative and designed to deceive people into handing over information or money. Users are often completely fooled into thinking that the request has come from somebody that they trust, which could lead to them sharing sensitive information like passwords, bank account details, or other sensitive personal details with cybercriminals.
Denial of Service
In a denial of service or DDoS attack, the rightful user is prevented from accessing a system. This can be done in several ways, including flooding websites with so much traffic that they are shut down, or entering an incorrect password enough times for the account to be locked.
Who Do Cyberattacks Target?
Any individual, business, or system today is at some level of cyberattack risk. This is just one of the main reasons why cybersecurity professionals are in high demand around the world today. Larger entities like government systems and global companies are often the biggest targets for cybercriminals due to the large amount of valuable and often sensitive information that they store. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, is a prime target for cyberattacks due to the storage of sensitive government information. It is targeted by extremely high-tech cybersecurity strategies from both individual hackers and other countries looking to get access to this data.
Financial systems such as banks or even online shopping systems that store information such as debit and credit card details from users are also at a high level of risk. This is because when hackers access these accounts, they may be able to use this information to directly steal money from people. Large businesses with an extensive employee network are also at risk since hackers can access and exploit the employee information. Over the past five years, some industries have seen more cyberattack attempts in comparison to others including financial services, manufacturing, government, healthcare, and transportation. Hackers also often target systems that control infrastructure including telecommunications and energy networks.
Cyberattacks on Small Businesses and Individuals
Despite large businesses and government agencies being bigger targets for cyberattacks due to the huge amounts of often sensitive data that they have access to, this is not to say that smaller businesses and individuals are not at risk. In fact, the risk is growing as larger companies and big organizations have more access to high-tech tools to prevent hackers from gaining access. This has led to a new wave of cyberattacks on small businesses as hackers are aware that these companies are likely to be less prepared and have fewer security measures in place to deter attacks. While less common, individuals are also at risk of a cyberattack, particularly phishing attacks that tend to be more targeted towards getting individuals to hand over sensitive information unknowingly.
How to Get into a Cybersecurity Career
With cyberattacks growing in frequency and an increasing need for systems to be more secure, there is an ever-increasing need for cybersecurity professionals around the world today. Working in cybersecurity is an ideal choice for a career for anybody interested in getting into the tech industry with lots of benefits of working in this role, including high levels of demand, generous starting salaries, lots of opportunities for career progression, and the chance to start your own business.
As a cybersecurity professional, there is the chance to work in a wide range of different industries and different organizations. People who have some previous knowledge of or experience with working in the IT industry can easily transfer into a cybersecurity career.
To work in this industry, you will need to have a good grasp of the fundamentals of computer science, creative and technical problem-solving skills, programming knowledge, good attention to detail, and excellent communication skills. However, previous IT experience may not always be necessary to work in cybersecurity with more and more companies offering entry-level positions and graduate programs where they offer training from the ground up to prepare you for a cybersecurity career. Degree programs and advanced degree programs in cybersecurity are also becoming more and more available as the demand for these professionals increases.
How Easy is Getting Into Cybersecurity?
Getting into a career in cybersecurity is easier than ever these days, with thousands of job openings in the field requiring a minimum of an associate’s degree. If you have a relevant bachelor’s degree in an IT subject, there are even more positions and opportunities on offer with generous starting salaries and a lot of room for progression. The growing need for companies and organizations to protect their systems and data against hackers means that getting into cybersecurity is easier than ever for those with the skills and knowledge. Many IT companies are willing to take entry-level professionals and offer training and the opportunity to get valuable professional certifications that can be used to take your cybersecurity career even further.
Technical Skills You Need for a Cybersecurity Career
Technical skills are necessary to work in a career in cybersecurity. You can either learn these on the job while working in an IT career or by getting a degree in a relevant subject such as cybersecurity, computer science, or similar. Some of the most important skills that you will need to develop to get into a career in cybersecurity include:
Risk Assessment and Management
Risk assessment and management are vital skills that can be applied to both technical and non-technical applications, functions, and processes. In the cybersecurity field, it refers to determining the level of risk, identifying basic threats, and analyzing potential vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity professionals will often work on behalf of organizations and companies to test their systems and provide a score based on the vulnerabilities. In this role, you will spend a lot of time testing systems and security measures to determine how easily they could be exploited, with various different threat categories to assess including data leak likelihood, misuse of information, disruption of service, and malicious unauthorized access.
Security operations cover a range of different methods related to the assessment, prevention, detection, monitoring, and response to various different cybersecurity threats that are constantly evolving and changing. Cybersecurity professionals that work in security operations will often work for a range of different companies and organizations to focus on monitoring risk and making sure that security is always a step ahead.
Cryptography is an important skill required of cybersecurity professionals. It is used to prevent unauthorized access, ensure the confidentiality of data, and authenticate any incoming sources of data. Cryptography is used by cybersecurity professionals to make sure that sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands. They do this by creating novel cryptographic algorithms, managing cryptographic keys, and making adjustments and changes when needed to make sure that data is encrypted securely.
Cybersecurity professionals use information assurance skills to make sure that sensitive data is processed, used, stored, and transmitted as securely as possible. This skill requires professionals to continuously assess risk and carry out updates on a regular basis to any risk management plans that have been previously established. Information assurance skills are crucial in the cybersecurity profession to make sure that information is always authentic, confidential, and available.
With the world becoming more and more connected and more information being stored, the risk of cybercrime is also on the rise, and nobody is immune. Because of this, there is a growing demand throughout the world for professionals with the right skillset to protect data and systems in a cybersecurity position.