Our society depends upon computers and the internet to function, but as this dependence grows, so does the risk of cybercrimes perpetrated by hackers, terrorists, and criminals. Recent high profile breaches in top companies such as Apple and Google highlight the need for increased security against these attacks, which can cause millions of dollars in losses.
The fight against cyber terrorism is another area where an increase in cyber security professionals is urgently needed. Terrorist organizations take advantage of weaknesses in government and private systems to steal identities, classified information, and money. Stopping them is one of the nation’s great challenges.
Prominent government agencies such as the National Security Agency have called for increased awareness and prevention of cybercrimes, and an increase in the number of professionals working in this field. The U.S. Department of Defense recently hired 6,500 more civilians to fight digital attacks. The private sector needs more cyber security professionals also, and this need will continue to grow. A bachelor degree in cyber security is an entrance into this ever-changing and innovative field of work.
You may wonder what some of your duties could entail as a member of this industry. Broadly speaking, as a professional you will respond to cyber attacks, monitor systems for breaches in security, install and maintain those protective systems, and educate within your organization about security. You may also choose the law enforcement side of cyber security, gathering data and protecting evidence in cases of fraud, identity theft, terrorism, and many other types of illegal online activity.
One of the most exciting aspects of this field is that you may not know what your duties could be. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated in their attacks, you will need to adapt and develop to overcome these advances. Law enforcement must also find ways to collect evidence and prosecute criminals, within a criminal justice system that is often trying to catch up to the realities of the digital age. By becoming a cyber security professional, you will have the opportunity to challenge yourself while helping to protect your community, nation, or business organization.
More colleges and universities are beginning to offer a bachelor degree in cyber security as the growing need for this group of professionals creates demand. Within these programs you can expect to study criminal justice and mathematics, in addition to the expected coursework in network security, cybercrime, and cyber forensics.
The present demand for cyber security professionals presents an ideal opportunity to find a challenging, meaningful and dependable career. Your decision to pursue a cyber security career is an important one. In a highly competitive and slowly recovering economy, this industry continues to grow, and you can become a part of it.