As the US economy becomes more dependent upon the Internet and technology, the scourge of cyberattacks is growing. Online criminals are constantly trying to hack into websites all over the world to steal critical information and wreak havoc.
It is common for company executives who think they have a strong cybersecurity framework to be the first organizations to have disastrous data breaches. Some think that strong cybersecurity risk management is just a matter for the IT department, but today it is an issue that the entire enterprise must deal with.
That is why job demand for cybersecurity professionals is rising so quickly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, job demand for cybersecurity workers will increase by 28% by 2026, which is much faster than average.
If you are considering this lucrative and demanding career, you will want to know what the different aspects of a cybersecurity position are. Below is more information about what to expect in this career so that you can decide if it is for you.
This aspect of cybersecurity involves steps that are taken through the information application’s entire lifecycle to prevent any attempts to violate authorization limits that are established by the security policies of the system. Security protocols establish exceptions in the systems that are flawed due to development, design, deployment and maintenance.
Note that applications are concerned only with controlling how the resources given to them are utilized. The use of resources is determined through the application’s users through appropriate application security.
The methodology used to deal with application security threats involves cybersecurity experts knowing what the possible threats are, and properly enhancing the security of applications either host or network, and placing adequate security throughout the development of the application software.
Information security involves the protection of critical information from improper access, usage, disruption, alteration, reading, damage, recording and inspection. This will ensure that vital data is not lose when there is a serious disaster, such as a natural disaster, major system malfunction, theft, or other type of damaging scenario.
The critical parts of information security are confidentiality, integrity and availability. All information systems today are a combination of software, hardware and communicating. What is important is the ability to identify and apply information security related to protection and prevention mechanisms at each level. The procedures that the cybersecurity professional develops are guidelines to be followed by users, administrators and operators. That way, the entire system is protected by safe usage practices and increased security is assured.
This refers to the overall security policies that are adopted in a proactive way by the network administrator to avoid unauthorized network access. It also is important for avoiding intentional misuse, denial of service and alteration. Network security involves verifying the privilege rights of all users to validate that such users are legitimate, and to grant them proper access to the data on the network.
Users are given appropriate ID and password and other types of authentication to show they are authorized and can legitimately use the domain. Network security involves coverage over various types of computer networks, and also encompasses private and public access used for communicating between various organizations.
After there has been authentication of the user, the network firewall features access policies, such as the types of services that can be accessed by various types of network users. Antivirus application and intrusion systems help to detect and stop possibly dangerous content from being passed through the network, including Trojans and worms.
Some of the most common types of cyber attacks on network security include:
- ARP poisoning
- Smurf attack
- Buffer or heap overflow
- Format string attack
- SQL injection
- DDOS attack
Disaster recovery is also referred to as business continuity planning. This is the process of bringing to action both planned and managed procedures that allow the company to carry on its operation of vital business units when an unintentional or intentional disruption is reducing regular business operations. Once a major cyberattack has damaged the ability of the company or organization to operate, appropriate disaster recovery planning plays a key role to keep the business operating while the problem is solved. Disaster recovery planning means the costs of recovery are reduced because much of the work has been done proactively and in advance.
A good business continuity plan has a comprehensive approach to manage disaster effects that affect the entire enterprise. An effective disaster recovery plan is related to business continuity and directs the focus on taking important steps to get the business operating normally as soon as possible.
Effective disaster recovery planning features the development of a strong planning group that handles risk assessment, job prioritization, and preparing inventories to get the plan fully prepared.
This is a type of risk management that encourages the managers and leaders to look at operations of the company from the perspective of the ‘enemy’ to protect sensitive or classified material from being stolen or accessed. This concept originated in the military, but operational security is a popular concept in the private sector as well. Some of the things that a cybersecurity professional will address in operational security include monitoring behavior on social media websites, and discouraging workers from sharing their login information by text or email.
Critical aspects of operational security for cybersecurity purposes are:
- Identify sensitive data
- Identify possible threats
- Analyze loopholes in security
- Determine risk level for each problem
- Put countermeasures into effect
End User Education
As is the case in so much of life, the human element in cyber security is usually the weakest link. Humans who use technology systems have to be trained properly to ensure they are doing everything possible to make critical systems less vulnerable to cyber attack. Security policies, protocols and procedures must be completely understood by those who regularly use a highly secured system, especially one that handles classified or otherwise critical information. Regular end user education and review is very important to show any organizational vulnerabilities, system weaknesses, and security loopholes. Strong security behavior by all users is critical to create a secure system and should be made a priority.
Many cyber security professionals have found that end user training that is done randomly or at a high level is less productive than regular, deeply detailed training and exercises that have been designed to deal with certain behavioral patterns in known users. Senior managers should be required themselves to participate in training to show how important it is for all workers to be well educated on system security procedures.
Now that you understand what the different aspects of a cybersecurity career are, you will be better able to decide if you want to pursue this lucrative and growing field.
- Information Security Analysts. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
- 5 Essential Elements of Cybersecurity. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.crowehorwath.com/cybersecurity-watch/5-essential-elements-cybersecurity/
- What Is Operational Security? (2017). Retrieved from https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-operational-security-five-step-process-best-practices-and-more