The growing need for Cyber Security Experts

Cybercrime cost individuals in the US nearly $7b in 2021—making it a highly lucrative market for hackers and cybercriminals. Incidents of cybercrime have risen by almost 70% since 2015—and today, an attack is made every 32 seconds, costing the world $1.79m per minute. Coupled with the fact that over 50% of individuals never check if they have been affected by a cyber breach—cybercrime is a growing international threat that is showing no signs of slowing down. However, a 2021 global data risk report by Varonis showed that only 5% of companies protect their files and folders from external threats—and that over 12% of all sensitive files are available for all users—sans protection.

Cybercrime—a global menace

The first recorded cybercrime incident was in 1834, when a pair of thieves hacked the French telegraph system to steal financial information. The 1969 RABBITS virus incident overloaded a University of Washington computer centre by creating a program that constantly makes copies of itself.

Cybercrime has significantly evolved from these generally harmless or annoying tactics to JP Morgan’s hijack and ransomware attacks on Accenture’s networks, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in paid ransoms and data theft.

Cybercrime such as virus attacks, malware, ransomware and data theft are major headaches for IT teams worldwide. Attacks on personal and corporate networks, defence establishments and government networks have made us understand that no one is safe without effective IT security policies.

The global shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals

A study by RAND corporation showcased this glaring gap in the availability of cybersecurity professionals as early as 2014. The study stated that “the nationwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals – particularly for positions within the federal government – creates national and homeland security risks.”

Feeding off a lack of Cybersecurity experts

Cybercriminals the world over bank upon organizational incompetence to implement hardening and security infrastructure due to a lack of cybersecurity experts. This makes organizations and individuals more susceptible to hacking, identity and financial theft by cybercriminals. With intrusions and security breaches at an all-time high and the number of breaches increasing with every passing year, organizations need to hire individuals who can create better security policies. Additionally, these IT and security policies must also enforce good cyber hygiene so individuals can protect themselves and their families from cybercrime.

What is cyber security?

Cybersecurity is a set of processes, good IT habits and technologies that protect our computers, networks, devices and data from cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity today has evolved from being an IT problem to a full-scale business problem for today’s distributed, digital organizations.

More than 60% of companies worldwide have witnessed cyber attacks of one or more types. In addition to this, over 30,000 websites get hacked daily, making it a menace that every company must invest in to control.

What are the various functions of cybersecurity professionals?

Cybersecurity and IT security professionals work hand-in-hand to ensure the safety and security of our data, networks and end-users. Standard functions of IT and cyber security professionals include:

  • Creating policies: Creating effective IT and cybersecurity best practices and procedures.
  • Access control: Authorization control to prevent unauthorized access and intrusions.
  • Communication Control: Managed e-mail and messaging security ensures protection from spam, phishing, spyware, and other threats that can impact businesses.
  • Vulnerability management: Extensive scanning and detection to continually manage security and mitigate any vulnerabilities detected.
  • Firewalling: Configuring, administering, monitoring and supporting firewalls.
  • Endpoint Security: Effectively hunt for and detect threats 24/7
  • Data protection: Preventing data leaks through extensive monitoring, control and configuration of systems and networks.
The job outlook for cybersecurity professionals

The demand for cybersecurity professionals has seen strong growth in the last decade and is showing no signs of slowing down. The demand surge for cybersecurity professionals has continued unabated at more than 18% since 2014. This growth is only projected to continue in the near future. This makes cybersecurity a lucrative career option for engineers and IT professionals who wish to pursue this career option.

Students at prestigious engineering institutions such as Chitkara University Institute of Engineering & Technology who specialize in cybersecurity are highly sought after in the IT world. World-class IT professionals train these students to ensure that they understand industry-standard cybersecurity and IT security practises and are ready to help your organization stay safe and secure from malicious entities. Chitkara’s collaboration with leading cybersecurity companies such as QuickHeal and an applied academic methodology helps their students get placed at top IT companies for cyber security, application & software security and cyber law enforcement.

If you’re thinking of a career in IT, cybersecurity is a highly sought-after and respected career in the IT industry. Specializing in cybersecurity opens up a world of opportunities for budding engineering graduates and gives them a distinct edge over general engineers and IT professionals. A career in cybersecurity will help you make today’s connected world a safer place for everyone.

Further reading