The danger of cyber attacks has become a growing concern with the world progressively becoming more and more internet reliant. There has been massive increase in the number as well as sophistication of cyber security assault. Cyber threat is also geography and scale neutral. Thus, all the businesses around the globe are in the same vulnerable league. Even the giants like E-Bay, Sony, Wal-Mart, Apple or Target have been the victims of cyber breaches in the past despite having elaborate cyber safety fencing network.
With increased number of cyber security attacks, there has also been a concurrent increase in the demand for professionals who can prevent such digital incursions. Little wonder, the demand for cyber guards is growing by leaps and bound. For aspirants,the profession offers an exciting career path along with excellent remuneration, job security and swift skill scalability.
The need for cyber security
Cyber criminals possess the power to inflict considerable damage through network viruses, data mining, financial theft and theft of sensitive customer data as well as interruption of service.One of the biggest security breaches of all times was carried out by a hacking group from Russia and Ukraine, who over the course of eight years (2005-2012) targeted banks and companies including Nasdaq, JetBlue and JC Penny and stole 160 million credit and debit card numbers and breached 800,000 bank accounts. In another major cyber attack, JP Morgan Chase,the largest bank of the US, became a victim of a high-profile cyber attack during the summer of 2014. This breach compromised the data of 76 million household and 7 million small businesses.
The escalation in cyber crime has made it vital for organisations and businesses worldwide to protect the safety, integrity and proprietary of their data. Even the government agencies are no exception as they have been under regular attacks for their military, financial and trade secrets.
Looking at this frightening scenario, it has become more important than ever for all the organisations to employ or hire services of specialised professionals to safeguard their sensitive data and information.
The nature of job
Cyber security professionals are responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of sensitive data of an organisation by using their expertise in forensics analysis to diagnose vulnerability issues and malicious attacks. These professionals recognise cyber threats and resolve security breaches in order to keep the information secure, and hence, making sure that the business continues to function without any disruption. They work in an accord with both business administrators and IT professionals in ensuring the security of an organisation’s database.
Cyber security professionals have the necessary knowledge of every facet of information security within an organisation. Their chief responsibility is to evaluate the defensive measures of an organisation and determine if they are effective or not. They are also involved in designing firewalls, monitoring the use of data, and regulating the access to confidential information in order to safeguard the organisations against cyber incursions.
In order to progress in this field, it is necessary to have a combination of:
- Proficiency in a wide range of computer systems and security tools
- Strong problem-solving ability
- Inquisitiveness and staying up-to-date on contemporary virus reports and protecting networks from these viruses is a major aspect of a cyber security
- Dependability and integrity
- Good verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced atmosphere
The field of cyber security is currently booming. Due to a substantial increase in cyber crimes, every organisation requires a cyber security analyst to safeguard their database. According to a study done by Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market of cyber security industry is expected to grow by 53 percent by 2018. Moreover, this industry offers a variety of career options and specialisations.
Cyber security professionals can opt for a variety of career options such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Computer Crime Investigator, Computer Security Incident Responder, Disaster Recovery Analyst, Forensics Expert, Intrusion Detection Specialist, Security Architect and Security Analyst to name a few. Cyber security industry has also has a third party service model, so it becomes quite easy to create a cyber security start-up.
According to Bureau of Labour Statistics,the job growth in the field of cyber and information security is expected to be 37% faster than the average for all occupations from 2012-2022 and the average annual salary of security analysts as of May 2014 was $91,600.
Job opportunities for cyber security professionals can be found in both public and the private sector. The potential employers may include organisations across government & military, professional service firms and financial institutes, which rely heavily on cyber security professionals, who design and implement comprehensive information security.
About the Author:-
Stephen Robinette was born in Springfield, Missouri and graduated from Missouri State University in 1969. He spent 30 years in the Army and lived for over 10 years in Germany. He travelled extensively for the Army visiting other armies around the world discussing United States Army doctrine. Steve commanded Army units in Vietnam, Germany, and Desert Storm. After retiring from the Army he was the Director of Academic Outreach for Missouri State University for over 10 years and is now the Associate Vice President for International Programs for Missouri State and has logged over 70 trips to China since 2000.