Individuals who find the fields of information technology and security to be interesting may at some point have asked a very relevant question: “What is cyber security?” By considering the data found below, you can obtain an answer to this question and several others that pertain to cyber security.
Cyber Security – A Brief Overview
Cyber security is a sector which places primacy on the protection of computers, programs, information, and networks from unauthorized change, destruction, or access.
The Importance of Cyber Security
Various businesses, such as military, governments, financial institutions, corporations, and hospitals are responsible for the processing and storing of confidential data regarding computers. They also transmit this information across several networks as well as other computers. As a result of the rise in both the sophistication and number of cyber attacks, much attention is needed to protect both business and personal data. In fact, a Senate hearing conducted in March of 2013 included the nation’s top intelligence officials warning that digital spying and cyber attacks constitute the greatest threat to national security, surpassing terrorism. For this reason, the field of cyber security is important given the integral role it plays in preventing and/or addressing cyber attacks.
Careers in Cyber Security
Individuals who find the field of cyber security to be interesting may want to consider pursuing a career in this sector. Several job options exist, and some of them include:
- Information Security Analyst
- Security Management Specialist
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Software Developer, Applications
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
- Software Developer, Systems Software
- Computer Systems Engineer/Architect
- Security Manager
- Intelligence Analyst
Based on determinations regarding average annual wages, pay for professionals in the cyber security sector can range from $70,000 to $118,000. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that information security analysts earn an average annual income of $86,170 per year.
The majority of positions within the cyber security sector necessitate that an individual have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. According to a recent study, approximately 84% of positions in this sector require a bachelor’s degree or more. The type of degree required will be contingent upon the position pursued, but programs in fields such as computer science, cyber security or information technology are typically expected. Individuals who go on to obtain a master’s degree will oftentimes find that they make themselves more competitive job candidates by doing so.
In order to function effectively and optimally, individuals who choose to pursue careers in the field of cyber security should possess the following skill set:
- Firewall administration
- Information security
- Information systems
- Network security
- Operating systems (particularly Unix and Linux)
- Cisco networks
- Virtual private networks
- System and network configuration
Where the Jobs Are
While there are a plethora of jobs in various regions throughout the country, the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas have a notably high concentration of jobs within the cyber security sector.
Related Resource: Information Systems
As made plain by the information listed above, cyber security is a dynamic and perpetually evolving field that will likely become increasingly important as time goes on. Now that you have a basic understanding of what cyber security is, you can determine whether pursuing a career in this sector would be appropriate and advantageous for you.