Cyber Security Explained: Why is this Field so Competitive?

Cyber Security Explained: Why is this Field so Competitive?

With the advent of the internet and the digital information age, businesses are able to access a high proportion of the information they hold from anywhere in the world. This significantly increases convenience and productivity but also exposes computer systems to cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

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How Does Cybercrime Impact Businesses and Individuals?

Hackers are continually developing new hacking tools and strategies to gain malicious access to systems and networks. Trends show a huge increase in breached data over the years. Damages caused by cybercrime are projected to reach $6 trillion by 2021.

Cybercrime costs include stolen money, theft of intellectual property, damage and destruction of data, embezzlement, theft of personal and financial data, business disruption, restoration of hacked systems and data, and reputational harm.

Looming Cyber Security Threats 

Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks are designed to steal user credit card credentials, logins, and other types of personal or financial data. These attacks come from a perceived reliable source, for instance by impersonating established and trusted sites, personal contacts, or banking institutions. Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and sadly more effective. When an employee clicks a link or replies to a phishing email, that alone can open a loophole for cybercriminals to hack an organization's systems.

Ransomware: Ransomware is a form of malware that locks the user out of their device or files and threatens to perpetually block access or publish the victim's data unless an anonymous online payment is made. With companies being subjected to more than 4,000 ransomware attacks every day, cyberattacks leveraging the file-lock malware doubled in 2019 as cybercriminals modify their methods for more lucrative payouts.

Software update supply chain attacks: This is an emerging cyber threat. Attacks of this nature implant a piece of malware into an authentic software package at its distribution source. This happens during production at the vendors' location or at a third-party storage location.

The number of infections attached when updating software can multiply quickly and go unnoticed. And since sensitive and valuable information is often shared in a supply chain, a cyberattack can compromise the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of the information.

IoT botnet DDoS Attacks: Compromised IoT devices can be used to launch malicious attacks on a large scale and create powerful botnets. A Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS attack) is when a cybercriminal gets a network of zombie computers to send botnets to contact a specific server or website over and over again.

The increase in the volume of traffic burdens the server or website, making it slow for authentic users, sometimes to the extent that the system shuts down completely. Because the attacker uses multiple computers to launch the DDoS, the attacks are distributed.

Importance of Formal Cybersecurity Education

Even if you've learned a lot about cybersecurity through on-the-job training or self-teaching, a cybersecurity degree program could equip you with the latest advancements in cybersecurity technology and cybercrime techniques. The cybersecurity field is constantly evolving so there's always more to learn, even for the experts.

A cyber security degree program could help you make connections in the industry. As you enter the cybersecurity field for the first time, you could form relationships with your classmates and professors. Building a solid network such as this can play a major role in helping you navigate the employment landscape. Plus, you should benefit from the expertise of instructors with extensive knowledge and experience in the field.

Another great thing about formal education is getting third party certifications. Being certified validates your skills and could show that you are an expert in your field. It might give a competitive edge as it shows potential employers that you have what they are looking for.

Even as cybercriminals advance their techniques seemingly by the day, the world continues to be more dependent on computers. An education in cybersecurity could enable you to make a difference by preventing hackers from doing more harm. All sorts of businesses and organizations are now hiring security experts to secure their systems and protect their information. Cybersecurity education gives you the knowledge you need to prevent and fix problems.

Are You Ready to Start a Cybersecurity Career?

Interested in a career in cybersecurity? Consider enrolling for a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science with a major in Cyber and Network Security at ECPI University. Connect with a knowledgeable admissions representative for more information.

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