Now that we use the internet for everything from making important banking transactions to buying household items online, cybersecurity is becoming a major priority for companies and customers alike. Cybercriminals have taken advantage of the fast pace of technology adoption for their own gain and online theft is becoming more and more of a problem in the Information age.
Even though the field of cybersecurity is growing in response to data breaches and identity theft, hackers are also getting smarter all the time. It’s estimated that in 2023, 33 billion records will be stolen and fully half of all data breaches will occur in the United States. With these kinds of sobering predictions, it’s no mystery as to why companies are investing in keeping several steps ahead of cybercriminals.
Today, the field is attracting the attention of lawmakers, thought leaders and academic influencers. Here’s what you need to know about the growing field of cybersecurity—and what we need to do to keep our data safe in the future.
The Growing Vertical of Cybersecurity
With any fast-growing industry, problems will inevitably arise faster than they can be solved. Tech is no exception. As a society, we decided that the conveniences of using the internet were worth handing over our most sensitive and valuable data, despite the risk.
Hackers have been using human psychology and the explosion of storing data online to hold data for ransom, steal identities, and otherwise profit illegally from the massive amount of personal and corporate data online—data that is often surprisingly easy to steal.
The good news is that cybersecurity has come a long way, and both private and government agencies are putting their resources into keeping sensitive data safe. Unfortunately, hackers are also always refining their methods, meaning that the field of cybersecurity is always growing and evolving to meet the demands of modern companies and consumers. Innovative methods for cybersecurity today include using psychology to trick hackers, creating stronger defenses, and even using ethical hackers to test vulnerabilities.
It's Official: Government Agencies Need More Cybersecurity Experts
Some organizations are bigger targets for data breaches than others. Among the most at-risk organizations and agencies are those in the healthcare field and government at every level.
Governments are at particular risk because of the incredibly sensitive and valuable data they protect. Agencies like the Department of Homeland Security in particular need to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands, in order to protect the nation against attacks and other national emergencies.
The biggest struggle for government agencies and private organizations alike in the cybersecurity field at the moment is the talent gap. The demand for cybersecurity experts is growing, but the number of trained professionals is unable to keep up with the number of job openings. One recent estimate shows that there are only two cybersecurity professionals for every three job openings in the United States.
In order to prevent potentially disastrous data breaches, government agencies need to hire more cybersecurity workers—and quickly, before cybercriminals can refine their tactics further. Those interested in a career in cybersecurity should focus on building skills in:
With Growth Comes Opportunity
The good news about the shortage of talent in the cybersecurity field is that it represents opportunities for those who are looking for an in-demand career path. Any growing industry offers opportunities for those who are willing to take them.
In cybersecurity, job growth is expected to outpace the overall average by a large margin. Information Security Analyst positions, for instance, are expected to grow by 28% from 2016-2026, a rate much faster than the overall job growth rate in the United States. This type of growth is extending into a variety of jobs within the field and those entering the market now will be in a good position for negotiations.
Since cybersecurity will be a must in years to come, it’s a great field to consider for young college students or those who are considering switching careers. It’s an extremely versatile field since every industry needs cybersecurity professionals to keep assets safe. The biggest opportunities for cybersecurity disruption will be in fintech, government, and healthcare.
Build Your Dream Career in Cybersecurity
If you’re considering a career in cybersecurity, then now is a great time to get started. You can get an overview of the field through online courses, or attend one of the many respected cybersecurity programs at universities across the country. By getting into cybersecurity, you can set yourself up for a satisfying, high-paying career that will be in demand many years down the road!