The world of digital security is constantly evolving and adapting to fight threats from attacks around the world. Advances in technology and improved accessibility lead to ever-increasing amounts of data and online transactions that need to be protected. While many might expect the majority of these jobs to be in local, state and federal government, you may be surprised to learn that a large number of information security jobs also appear in industries like healthcare, financial services, professional services and retail.
Information Security and Cyber Security
Information security and cyber security are terms that seem to be used interchangeably but in reality are very different. Information security involves protecting information from unauthorized access, use, disruption, modification or destruction, regardless of whether the information is stored electronically or physically. Its about the critical assets, not the media that holds it.
Cyber security is actually a subset of information security. Cyber security concerns itself with technologies and processes to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Since all computer systems rely on operating systems and networks to function, those areas are often targeted for attack and are the main sources of many security vulnerabilities.
The Fifth Estate
Governments, and subsequently defense contractors around the world are one of the biggest employers of cyber security professionals. Many IT experts pursue government jobs because of high demand and a desire to complete important and meaningful work. As the government continues to develop and integrate advanced IT systems and global networks, data is being produced at an alarmingly exponential rate. Sensitive data abounds and requires dedicated, skilled individuals to secure, monitor and analyze every detail that may pose a risk to the United States or any other country.
The Digital Vault
The widespread use of online banking has revolutionized how people around the world handle their finances. Of course, as convenience increases, so do the number of threats that hackers and other net swindlers pose to honest people trying to find safe, secure ways to conduct financial transactions. One of the biggest struggles for financial institutions, including credit and debit card providers, is balancing convenience and speed with security. Banks, for example, work with third-party vendors and contractors, making new digital connections to millions of locations around the world, and creating more points of vulnerability that require trained professionals to protect. Demand is high and options are prevalent for talented, professional cyber security specialists in this industry.
Under the Stethoscope
Another industry intimately connected to the people it serves is the world of healthcare. Medical facilities have sensitive, privileged information for every individual they treat and need to be alert to any weaknesses their systems may have. These facilities provide a public good, much like law enforcement groups, and are subject to HIPAA and other stringent laws and regulations in regards to patient-doctor confidentiality. A study by eSecurity Planet shows that 51 percent of healthcare executives interviewed find cyber attacks as a serious or very serious threat to their business continuity.
In Your Wallet
Food/beverage and retail are other industries where cyber security jobs are becoming more prevalent. Employers are recognizing the significant risk to their revenue streams when customer data and transactions are left unprotected. A "2013 Online Fraud Report," from CyberSource, found that online fraud resulted in about $3.5 billion in revenue losses in North America in 2012 alone.
Business demand for specialized knowledge in a growing digital world will continue to expand as new technology security concerns arise. Lewis University’s online M.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security teaches students how to identify cyber threats, design combative software systems against an attack and investigate the aftermath using digital forensics tools. To learn more about the master’s degree call (866) 967-7046 to speak with a Graduate Admissions Counselor or request for more information.