Security is vitally important in the realm of online commerce. Customers rely on companies to provide adequate protection against fraud and identity theft. Despite the best efforts of cyber security specialists, these digital crimes are still rampant.
Cyber security engineers work to thwart would-be cybercriminals by designing and implementing defensive hardware and software systems. These security tools must meet a myriad of different attacks that are constantly changing and improving. The path to becoming a cyber security engineer includes significant formal education enhanced with on the job training.
Mastering the intensely technical cyber security subject matter requires rigorous academic discipline. For students who undertake the course work and find it overwhelming, a different career path may be the best option. Students who successfully complete the academic requirements can then choose to enter the workplace or pursue more advanced credentials.
The growing world of online commerce drives high demand for cyber security engineers. While any organization using the internet is exposed to some degree of risk, specific business types are more frequently targeted for cybercrimes. Consequently, a career guide for security specialists will often steer new candidates into these business sectors. Highly targeted businesses include among others, small business, healthcare, energy and higher education.
Small Business Cyber Threats
Small firms present a tempting target for online thieves. Balancing tight operating budgets, these organizations are often unable to adequately address security vulnerabilities. Other businesses in this class either overlook security entirely or underestimate the level of threat they face. The truth is that almost half of cyberattacks that occur are aimed at small businesses.
Healthcare Industry Cyber Threats
The healthcare industry handles an enormous volume of sensitive information. This fact makes it one of the top targets for cybercriminals. Healthcare workers rely on easy access to medical records for the patients they treat. Ransomware attacks, in which perpetrators prevent access to these records, can interfere with an entire hospital’s ability to deliver effective care.
Energy Industry Cyber Threats
This industry has benefitted immensely from automation allowing for remote control of switchgear and distributed generation assets. These powerful features also enable bad actors to interfere with or, in extreme cases, take control of segments of the power grid. The potentially devastating consequences of this vulnerability have caused state and federal governments to implement legislative measures designed to ensure adequate protection
Higher Education Cyber Threats
Educational services rely on the convenience and functionality that is enabled by internet tools. Institutions of higher learning are offering degree plans that are available entirely online. While extremely convenient for students and professors, this reliance brings with it exposure to security risks.
Administrative functions carried out electronically for student registration require that sensitive personal information be entered into forms that are saved digitally. Payment method information for tuition, fees and books also becomes part of the data being manipulated and stored electronically. These all represent opportunities for cybercriminals to strike.
Any business that conducts part or all of its commerce on the internet is a potential victim of cybercrime. The career fields that deal with cybersecurity are growing as online commerce continues to expand. Hiring and retaining talent that is capable of handling cyber defenses has become a reality of the modern business environment.