Cybersecurity has been in the news in recent years, as there are more big cyber attacks happening every year. Cybersecurity experts, also known as information security analysts, are in bigger demand than ever. These highly trained IT professionals plan and carry out security measures to protect the networks and systems of many types of organizations.
According to some estimates the job outlook for cybersecurity experts will increase by up to 28% by 2026, which is much faster than average. As cyberattacks become more complex and frequent, it is expected these experts will need to come up with new solutions to prevent hackers from stealing vital company and personal information.
But where exactly do cybersecurity experts work these days? If you want to find the best work as a cybersecurity expert, it is recommended you check out these hot sectors:
Sure, this one is a bit obvious, but there is no doubt that companies that specialize in technology products and services employ a lot of cybersecurity experts. Technical companies need a high level of technical security. It does not matter if we are talking about a tech giant such as Google or a small startup company. Any company that primarily works online needs a lot of cybersecurity support.
It is not surprising that many cybersecurity professionals who work in technology work in California, which is the headquarters for thousands of these companies. As you might expect, Google and Facebook based in northern California are among the most popular companies for cybersecurity experts to work. If you are going to work at a top tech company in this complex field, be aware technology is changing all the time. There will constantly be new areas that are available for security breaches and hackers to exploit. These attackers are learning new ways to get around any protections that are designed by experts, so security in the technology space is always a matter of adapting one’s skills and adjusting to what the hackers are doing.
The Washington DC metro area is another that is a very hot spot for cybersecurity experts. This is due to a high number of federal government and defense jobs that need cybersecurity experts. For example, the Department of Homeland Security based in Northern Virginia and DC has a strong need for these tech experts. The federal, state and local governments must always be aware of the possibility of cyberattacks from terror groups, foreign entities and any other group that wants to hack into government systems and steal or damage private information.
The federal government has been growing its security expert teams in the past few years, allowing IT professionals to grow their skills in this key area. The Department of Homeland Security offers many internships and job opportunities in this field. Some of the programs that are available at DHS for cyber experts and students are the Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative, CyberCorps Scholarship for Service and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies.
The National Security Agency or NSA also has many college internship and high school outreach programs for students interested in a career in cybersecurity. Last, the website Cybercareers.gov lists opportunities for cyber experts in the federal government.
Banking and Finance
Identity theft and fraud are serious problems for most people who keep their assets in banks and other financial institutions. Americans generally entrust banks to keep our funds safe and our personal data private. If any of those funds are ever stolen or personal information is leaked, the bank or financial institution must typically pay to have the funds replaced.
See more about the Salary Outlook for Cybersecurity Degrees
Therefore, it is logical that these financial organizations spend a lot of money to prevent fraud in their technology systems. In fact, over the past five years, fraud prevention spending increased to $11 billion, while losses were only about $1 billion. To keep that loss figure as small as possible, expect financial companies to continue to hire cyber experts.
A recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers Global State of Information Security Survey in 2016 found there is more need for online security in the banking sector, especially in Asia. That survey found the security standards of third party vendors, evolving technology across the Far East, and cross border data exchanges were among the major cyber security challenges found for the financial sector.
Also, Bain and Company found in 2017 that mobile technology was the most used banking channel in 13 of 22 nations. This means there should be many emerging job opportunities in global banking and finance for cybersecurity experts.
Around Christmas every year, it seems we hear about large retail companies having data stolen or hacked. What is so alarming about a large retailer under cyber attack is that millions of Americans have their personal payment and identification information on file with those organizations electronically. This information usually includes name, address, phone number, social security number and credit card information.
Large retailers spend billions of dollars per year trying to prevent cyber attacks, and they hire thousands of cyber professionals annually. Another reason this is so important to these companies: Even if your personal data is not stolen, the bad publicity that stems from these large cyber attacks can really hurt the bottom line for these companies.
Cyber attacks can be very serious for media companies, if you remember the hack of Sony Pictures by North Korea a few years ago. That is the reason media companies have been bolstering their security efforts online to avoid similar nasty cyber attacks in the future. As with most large companies, it is proprietary information to be stolen in a cyber attack. For Sony, the release of unreleased movies and email chains of top executives was a true PR nightmare.
Any media company in the public eye with a website and online presence can be the target of a serious cyber attack. So it makes sense these companies have been bringing in more cyber experts to combat the growing threat.
- 5 Industries for IT Job Seekers. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/5-industries-for-it-security-job-seekers
- Information Security Analysts. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-2
- 4 Ways to Find Cyber Jobs in the Federal Government. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.federaltimes.com/2017/01/20/4-ways-to-find-cyber-jobs-in-the-federal-government/
- Sky High Demand for Cybersecurity Skills in Banking. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.phaidoninternational.com/industryinsights/sky-high-demand-for-cyber-security-skills-in-banking-71503010319746