According to USA Today, in 2013 there were over 130 million malicious software programs released to steal personal, financial, and business data from government, business and personal networks.
Information, and the need to protect it from the bad guys, shaped the history and development of the western world. All it takes is one slip up and nations fall, wars are launched, and billions of dollars lost. Valuable information has always been at risk from entities seeking to rob or misuse it. Even before the rise of the information age, people used ingenious methods to get their hands on sensitive data. The earliest case of information being disrupted maliciously happened in 1903 when someone interrupted Mr. Marconi's “secure” wireless telegraph system and replaced the message with rude messages.
Perhaps the earliest case of Spam, it mirrors the denial of service attacks common today. Now the threat, and the consequences are more dire. Let's explore a time-line of network security, the technology, and how the need to preserve network security is evolving to meet future threats.
Origin of IT Security
The first computer networks consisted of the military ARPANET and university computers connected to each other through it. Over time, this framework would evolve into the Internet and open a vast range of opportunities for individuals and institutions to interact online. The development of these early networks saw the emergence of threats to them and the need to protect valuable data.
In 1975, two enterprising researchers working for Xerox invented one of the very first malicious programs. Called a “worm”, it searched for idle computer processors as a method for testing and improvement. The creators of a simple diagnostic tool unwittingly created the first malware and coined the term commonly used for a wide range of malicious software applications.
During the 1980's and 90's, hackers began to emerge as a serious threat to network security. Computer attacks aimed at government, military, and commercial networks became more serious. The increased danger prompted The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the first Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to address the issue and educate computer users about security issues.
With the 1990's came the Internet explosion and a whole new level of threats to networks and your own personal information. In response to the risks, network security experts developed better encryption methods, Internet protocols, and secure socket layer technologies to protect against malware, hacking and identity theft.
The Future of Network Security
Today the risk is greater than ever. State sponsored cyber-attacks, sophisticated hackers, and a rapidly growing assortment of malicious software makes the need for qualified network security managers and analysts crucial to every facet of a world driven by information. The front line of defense, the men and women handling IT security in tomorrow's world, will employ sophisticated tools to protect a rapidly changing network environment.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will become maintaining secure networks when most the users are constantly on the go. Analysts and managers must integrate mobile devices and cloud computing securely into an organization's IT environment and manage the systems, devices, and people gaining access to the network as well. Soon, portable devices, laptops, and work stations will be keyed to specific users with biometric log-in technology. Tools like these and others and highly-trained IT security professionals are the best answer to protecting sensitive networks.
Become Part of the Solution
Keeping vulnerable networks safe from the bad guys require quality network security systems and the highly-skilled individuals who make them work. If this is a career you think you would enjoy, you probably won’t have to worry about trouble finding work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for qualified Network Security Analysts will increase by 37% percent by 2020.
Network Security Analysts:
- Develop tactics and tools to protect networks and information
- Monitor networks for vulnerabilities and intrusion
- Write and implement security protocols
- Manage secure data encryption and transmission
- Train and educate network users on network security
Change Your life in 2.5 Years
If you enjoy a challenge, a career in network security may be just what you've been looking for. In as little as 2.5 years you can earn a degree and learn the skills you need for rewarding careers as a network security professional. Your Bachelor of Science Degree at ECPI University could be the first step toward making you an attractive candidate to employers in business and government. Contact us TODAY to learn more!
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