If you’re thinking about a change of career, you might want to consider the ballooning market for cyber security. Consumers, businesses, and devices are increasingly interacting with the internet, leaving a lot of opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit. Everyone needs cyber security on some level, and the demand for experts in the field is very high.
The Rise in Cybercrime
In the cat-and-mouse game of cyber criminals against security experts, criminals keep finding new ways to hack into systems and to rack up losses for businesses and consumers. Criminals located in countries on the other side of the globe can easily target local businesses due to the connected nature of the internet.
Committing cybercrime is also relatively cheap – harnessing networks of compromised computers as robots allows cybercriminals to attempt attacks on victims on a very large scale. It is the negligible cost factor and the ease of launching hacking campaigns that has created a rising wave of cybercrime and associated victims.
From the perspective of the criminal, they are unlikely to be prosecuted for a crime involving citizens of a country on the other side of the world, and the costs involved in attempting to break into a system is extremely low. Finally, due to the low cost and the ease of intrusion attempts, cyber criminals tend to make millions of attempts a day using automated technologies – quite often while the perpetrator is fast asleep.
Security Needs in Business and Government are Growing
Because prosecuting cybercriminals across borders is notoriously difficult, businesses and governments are left to fend for themselves. As more and more business assets move online and as businesses become more connected, the potential damage in the aftermath of a cyber-attack is much bigger than it used to be.
The stakes involved are also much higher than ever before. For consumers, the risk of losing important documents and precious photographs stored in the cloud is substantial, while businesses could easily lose all working documents in a single attack. Almost all bank accounts are now connected online, and it is not uncommon for criminals to steal money via online banking facilities.
Roles in Cyber Security
Cyber security involves different roles, ranging from managers who oversee the entire approach to security in an organization, to expert programmers who are responsible for plugging security holes. Many larger businesses have a dedicated staff member who is responsible for securing connected devices, including on-premises servers and facilities that make use of cloud storage. Most businesses also operate a website and will require an expert to shore up the website’s defenses as exposed online services are at high risk of attack.
Another popular role in the field of cyber security is the white hat hacker. As opposed to black hat hackers, these individuals do not attempt to hack into systems with criminal intent. Instead, hackers operating with this motivation actively try to exploit systems with the only intent being to advise the owners of any vulnerabilities so that these can be patched up.
Skills Required to Be Successful in Cyber Security
Successful cyber security experts are generally individuals who can keep up with rapidly changing technology environments. Hackers are known to constantly evolve their approaches to attacks, so security experts need to be very good at quickly identifying new issues and responding to these before hackers get a chance to take advantage.
Cyber security skills are often gained entirely by means of experience. It is not uncommon for the best experts to have no formal training, but to instead have built up their knowledge and expertise through years of fighting hackers in the field. In fact, it is unlikely that you would reach the pinnacle of cyber security expertise without some real-world security experience. However, with the high volumes of attacks, any cyber security role is likely to involve learning on the fly from the start.
Experience is key in building cyber security skills, but a formal degree program such as Maryville’s master’s in cyber security can give you a complete and rounded background in cyber security issues. A deeper understanding of the issues involved can give you a head start when it comes to encountering cyber security challenges in the real world.
Excellent Career Prospects
The growing nature of cyber security leaves room for fantastic career progression and very high pay for qualified experts. Businesses will go to long lengths to protect their online assets, so if you can qualify yourself thoroughly as an expert in cyber security, you will enjoy both a good salary and job security. Finally, the satisfaction of acting as guardian and protector of technology assets is a strong draw for many looking to start out as cyber security experts.