What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is about creating ways to protect information and communications stored electronically from being damaged or used without authorization. This is done by having policies and standards for using and storing the information, developing ways to both reduce threats to security of the data, and finding ways to retrieve data that are lost. You can work in security of network, applications, or different mobile platforms, or you can analyze malware or conduct risk analyses. Salaries are high, and demand for specialists in the field is large and growing. Specialists say that day-to-day activities can be a little boring when doing the routine work of installing and maintaining the security systems. But, when there’s a breach locally or globally, then everything gets crazy, scary, and exciting all at once. Those are times when tensions are high, the work is stressful, and your life is not your own, since you need to work long hours, often overnight. Plus, day-to-day there’s constant pressure to stay up with changes in the field. But, it’s also rewarding to be part of a field that is still developing—to be sort of a pioneer.
Right now, having the right training and skill set is enough to get you into the field without lots of experience. But, that may not always be the case, especially when the number of available specialists catches up to the demand. So, now is the time to get into the field, if you’re interested. You can get some kind of entry level job with an Associate’s degree, but for higher-level positions you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity. It’s also a good idea to have recognized certifications for one or more specialty areas. Are you a technology wizard who stays on top of changes? Are you the one who other people come to for help with anything electronic? Do you like the idea of doing detective work on the computer? If so, here are some jobs that you might be able to apply for with the right training: Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Network Engineer, Cybersecurity Assessment and Authorization Analyst, Information Systems Security Analyst (ISSA), Cyber Security Incident Responder, Computer Network Defense Analyst, or Cybersecurity Specialist.