What Does a Cyber Security Person Do?
Technology has advanced rapidly over the last decade to the point where almost every business, no matter how big or small, depends on a computer system of some sort to store and track valuable data. While things like the Internet and cloud storage have made running a business much more efficient, it's also made companies more vulnerable to cyber theft, which is why cyber security has become so essential in the modern age. In fact, cyber security analysts are in such high demand that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 28 percent growth in the field from 2016 to 2018.
Considering the growing demand, pursuing a career in cyber security is a great move. However, what exactly will you do as a cyber security analyst?
The Responsibilities of a Cyber Security Position
There are many different positions that can be held in the field of cyber security, but the most common cyber security job is that of a cyber security analyst. Almost all organizations are in need of cyber security analysts, from businesses to government institutions to nonprofit organizations. A cyber security analyst is basically responsible for the following three things:
- Identifying cyber threats - There are many different types of cyber attacks that can occur. In some cases, cyber criminals can even hack into a network without an organization realizing it. There are all kinds of malware out there too that can cause serious damage to a company's network, that can steal valuable data (such as sensitive customer or product information) and that can hold data for ransom (known as ransomware). Cyber analysts are responsible for identifying any breaches in an organization's cyber defenses and identifying and removing any malware that infects their system.
- Finding cyber vulnerabilities - A cyber analyst will need to regularly inspect an organization's hardware, software and networks for any weaknesses that could be exploited before they are. This requires routine testing as well as analyses of previous security breaches.
- Determining how to best protect company data - Besides identifying cyber threats and vulnerabilities, an analyst will be responsible for finding ways to protect the organization's data and to protect against threats and vulnerabilities by helping to develop and implement a comprehensive cyber security plan.
A cyber security analyst will be responsible for developing detailed reports for administrators about their system's security, and, in many cases, for training employees in the best practices to ensure that the organization's security isn't accidentally compromised from within.
Entry-Level Cyber Security Positions
Entry-level positions vary depending on the organization that's hiring. However, basic entry-level positions tend to include computer network operators, systems administrators and desktop support. Most entry-level positions in the cyber security field are going to require some experience with IT in general, which is why a degree can be very helpful.
The Benefits of a Formal Education in Cyber Security
The majority of organizations who are looking to hire a cyber security analyst are going to require that you have a bachelor's degree or higher in computer science, programming, information systems of another related field. According to a Burning Glass job market intelligence report on cybersecurity jobs in 2015, roughly 84 percent of all cyber security job postings require a bachelor's degree at the very minimum.
However, a degree in cyber security is going to be even more helpful since those who are specifically hiring cyber security analysts are more likely to feel that you are qualified for the job.
By pursuing a cyber security degree, you'll learn how to protect data, perform vulnerability analyses, perform penetration testing, monitor networks, defend networks and create security policy and procedures. These skills will allow you to find a job within the cyber security field and will give you a better opportunity to advance your career further in positions that require more responsibilities and therefore require a bachelor's degree at the very least.
In fact, by getting your bachelor's degree in cyber security now, you'll also be able to pursue a master's at some point in the future, which will open up even more potentially lucrative positions in the future.
Are you interested in cyber security? If you want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science with a Major in Cyber and Network Security, ECPI University offers this program at an accelerated rate. For more information about signing up today, connect with a friendly admissions counselor.
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Gainful Employment Information – Cybersecurity Track - Bachelor's