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Cybersecurity Pathways #1

Written By Chisom Vivian Ogbu

In today’s digital age, it is more crucial than ever to ensure our online world is safe and secure.

Believe it or not, we all hold sensitive information and digital assets that need protection from malicious attacks and as responsible digital citizens, the power is in our hands to help keep our online world safe and secure.

And where exactly does this power come from? I would say education and knowledge. As the famous John F. Kennedy once said, “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of the truth”.

By educating ourselves with basic knowledge and safety measures, we can help protect our digital assets and those of our loved ones from the prying hands of those who would want to use them against us.

The key is to take responsibility and work together for a better online experience. All hands must be on deck because our adversaries (the malicious hackers and threat actors) are roaring about looking for new manipulative tactics to deploy, identities and money to steal, and reputations to destroy.

These and more are the reasons why we are bringing to your table today the gospel of Cybersecurity because we believe that the best way to stop a hack is to know how it starts and the different countermeasures to help prevent us and our loved ones from falling victims.

Cybersecurity has ensured that we get the required knowledge and information to enable us stay one step ahead of those trying to take advantage of our ignorance.

This article aims to address some of the real issues regarding cybersecurity, by discussing some of the salient points;

  • What is Cybersecurity?
  • Why Do We Need Cybersecurity?
  • Why You Should Consider A Career In Cybersecurity

So ladies and gents, without much ado, let’s dive right into the fascinating world of Cybersecurity.

What Is Cybersecurity?

A golden padlock sitting on top of a keyboard | Credit: Unsplash

Perfectly captured in the online library resource section of CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association), the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications in the world, Cybersecurity refers to the tools and techniques used to protect computerised devices, the data they contain, and the functions they perform from people who want to steal, damage or misuse them.

They include normal features of modern-day life that we deal with every day, like the well-known technique of having passwords to protect our phones, our computers, and various social and online accounts. Tools like antivirus and antimalware software packages like the Antivirus+ Security solution provided by TrendMicro, the No 1 security solution provider in the world for our homes and businesses) help protect us from complex threats and also ensure our online safety.

Why Do We Need Cybersecurity?

People sitting down near table with assorted laptop computers | Credit: Unsplash

As already established, the main point of Cybersecurity is to protect information systems from the prying hands of the bad guys (hackers with harmful intent). We now live in a digital world where we rely heavily on technology for almost everything ranging from work and school to entertainment, business, and communication making our data more valuable than ever before

This in turn, attracts bad actors, who are constantly developing new strategies and means to be able to steal it and use it against us. This fact makes Cybersecurity a necessity and a thing of high importance in today’s world.

On a personal level, these internet bad guys can target us in a bid to steal personal and financial information (like our names, social media usernames, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, etc.).

These little bits of information about us can help them move a step further to getting other valuable information like our national identification numbers, credit card numbers, account information, and passwords. They in turn use them against us to commit identity theft, fraud, and other crimes for their selfish gains.

They also target organisations and businesses to steal their data, such as customer records, financial data, and intellectual property (their exclusive rights to their creations). Successful acquisition of these kinds of information or data can be used against the victim organization or business to damage their reputation, extort money from them, or sell their data to rival companies to enable them to gain an advantage.

On the national level, hacktivists (individuals or persons using a computer system or network for a socially or politically motivated reason) can use the hacking techniques to attack their government or the governments of two rival nation-states can use it against themselves in an act known as Cyber Warfare (a cyber attack or series of attacks that target a country).

The popular Stuxnet attack, a malicious worm deployed by the joint efforts of the US and Israeli government Intelligence that disabled a key part of the Iranian nuclear program is an example of one of such attacks.

Why You Should Consider A Career In Cybersecurity

Group of people using laptop computer | Credit: Unsplash

Every aspect of modern life bears the thumbprint of Cybersecurity and the fact that it isn’t quite noticed by the majority of us doesn’t mean it has no impact. Global spending on Cybersecurity is predicted to reach $219 billion by the end of this year and grow to nearly $300 billion in 2026 (According to the forecast of the International Data Corporation).

Individuals, businesses, and governments alike need Cybersecurity tools and techniques to help protect their digital assets and data. On the individual level, equipping ourselves with basic knowledge about useful security techniques, purchasing solutions, and software tools from accredited vendors like TrendMicro will go a long way to ensuring our safety online.

On the part of businesses, the impact is on the high side as they need to protect against breaches, losses that might result from them, and fines that might be incurred or imposed on them as a result of that breach. To this effect, it has been reported that businesses especially those in the United States are getting keener on Cybersecurity and doubling their efforts by laying aside huge sums of money specifically for the purchase of both hardware and software solutions for the protection of their digital assets and data.

At the core of it all is the human personnel on ground to make use of these hardware and software solutions. That is why it is worth noting that the most important component of effective Cybersecurity is recruiting, hiring, and retaining skilled professionals. The most advanced hardware and highly sophisticated software solutions are worthless without experts in the know about the right products and services and their usage to ensure maximum protection for the enterprise.

The above are the major reasons why Cybersecurity is a job sector on the upswing. Official estimates put job growth in the sector at 37% per year with an almost unheard-of 100 percent employment rate and the demand is expected to increase in the coming years as technology continues to expand and evolve. A Forbes article dated way back to the 9th of October 2018, described cybersecurity as a job sector of the future. A career heaven for the right person.

Interested in a career in Cybersecurity right now? Taking an opportunity to become one of the next-rated security professionals in the world, building defenses to help protect individual and organizational data from the hands of individuals with harmful intent? Join me in my next article as we explore the different career options available, the educational requirements, and the average salary of a security professional.

See you!