The employment outlook for the internet security field is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the average rate for other sectors according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Industry sources point out that many of the job postings for internet security professionals remain unfilled because demand exceeds the supply of adequately trained and capable internet security specialists. This is a field that is constantly changing as internet connectivity improves globally. As technology becomes more sophisticated and connected devices become more accessible to more people, cyber security challenges increase.
Role of Internet Security Professionals
The number of incidents and the growing sophistication of cyber security attacks has become a major concern for all businesses, organizations, and individuals that rely on the internet to conduct all or part of their operations. These attacks compromise data security, exposing confidential information to parties with malicious intent.
The job of internet security professionals is to anticipate these attacks and develop a plan for minimizing the risks involved if not completely eliminating the possibility of being hacked. These professionals have to be proactive about their security strategies. Implementing an internet safety and security protocol after an attack is mandatory, but allowing the attack to occur can prove to be costly in terms of losing the public's trust. Internet security professionals should spearhead a thorough review of systems regularly to identify potential risks and present solutions to address these vulnerabilities.
Education and Career Track
The minimum requirement to get into the cybersecurity field is a bachelor's degree in the fields of computer science, computer technology, information systems or engineering. You can gain real-world experience through internships and volunteer positions in technology companies that may or may not focus on internet security for enterprise systems. These positions will provide an introduction to the structure, pace, and level of supervisory guidance in the tech sector.
Build up your resume at entry-level positions in computer programming or information systems analyst. You can also consider strengthening your academic credentials by earning a master's degree in the field of computer science.
Major Issues Faced by Cybersecurity Professionals
Security is a top-of-the-mind concern for internet users and systems administrators. Some of the common security strategies that support controlling physical access to the system involve the use of password protection, biometric screening, personal identification numbers and other means of user authentication.
Security professionals are also concerned about data security during the transmission process. Data can be hacked or hijacked during transmission even when secure transfer protocols are in place. As technology becomes more advanced and hackers more sophisticated strategies, the demand for professionals with the appropriate skills and competencies will increase, enhancing the employment outlook for the internet security field.
A comprehensive strategy for ensuring security involves aligning three elements of the internet economy: technology, policy, and people. Technology is manageable for security experts who monitor and learn how new and emerging systems, devices and tools affect current practices. Security policies should consider available technology, and users should be made aware of the guidelines. The security expert is the chief architect of a company's security protocols.
Given the major security issues faced by internet users, the role of security professionals will continue to expand. That said, the employment outlook for the internet security field will remain positive, making this an attractive career track for up-and-coming professionals concerned with information security on the internet.