Hot Career Alert: Demand for Cybersecurity Experts on the Rise
By Nadav Morag, Ph.D., University Dean of Security Studies
Virtually all government and business databases and operations are digitized. Most are linked through communications networks, with many accessible via the Internet. Since information, from national security secrets to trade secrets and daily business operations, is housed in computers and their networks, it’s not surprising that cyberattacks are a major threat to the cyberworld. Within cyberspace, attacks motivated by criminals, hostile governments, terrorists, ex-employees with grudges and hackers have become an epidemic problem.
For this reason, the field of cybersecurity has developed rapidly. Qualified cybersecurity practitioners are a growing necessity in government and in business. Big companies like Google, Wal-Mart, Apple and federal agencies, like the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, must protect their systems. But so do many small and medium-sized businesses, local governmental and nonprofit organizations. These smaller organizations may be even more vulnerable to cyberattacks simply because they have fewer resources to protect themselves.
Defending Our Data
The demand for cyber “geeks” who conduct defensive and investigative activities – anti-virus programming, reverse engineering of attacks and mobile code analysis – is on the rise. There’s also a growing need for “wonks,” experts who probe legal and policy vulnerabilities and implications. The publication Network World offers this advice for those wanting to specialize in the technical aspects of cybersecurity:
- Obtain professional certifications, particularly the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.
- Gain experience working for the military or the federal government, which makes you more credible to potential employers.
- Learn Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), an emerging standard that links secure computer systems with the cloud (computer software/hardware services delivered via the Internet).
- Master mobile security. Mobile devices are increasingly being used by hackers to access computer systems.
- Learn to analyze data in order to spot security breaches.
Nadav Morag, Ph.D., is University Dean of Security Studies at CTU. He works on projects for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense and is a published author on terrorism, security strategy, and foreign policy. Connect with Dr. Morag on Twitter @CTUHomeland.
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