What Do Cybersecurity Professionals Do?
It seems like every month there’s a major story about a cybersecurity breach. Social media giant Facebook was attacked and more than 525 million users were affected. McDonald’s attackers stole information about franchises and their employees. And the Colonial Pipeline ransom attack wreaked havoc that caused major oil shortages across the East Coast. Cybersecurity professionals try to prevent these kinds of attacks. They protect people, companies, and assets or pick up the cyber-pieces when things go wrong.
Cybersecurity Professionals Prevent Attacks
With all the bad news about cybersecurity attacks, it’s easy to forget that they can be prevented. One of the most important jobs you’d have as a professional in the field would be to do just that. You would look for weaknesses in databases, systems, and networks. You would install firewalls and encryption. You would also make sure that your networks, systems, and software are continually updated. And you’d need to stay current on the latest technologies and methodologies to prevent hacks and attacks.
Cybersecurity Professionals Train Staff
Cybersecurity only works if everyone in your organization is part of the line of defense. As a cybersecurity professional, you would teach others some basic protections and what they need to do to prevent attacks. Start by teaching everyone to lock up their hardware, choose and secure effective passwords, and watch what they share, from the paperwork that crosses their desks to emails and text messages. Teach them about phishing scams and malware and explain what to look for. For example, have you ever gotten an email that looked like it came from someone you knew in your company, but then you noticed that the email address was actually misspelled? Or have you gotten odd attachments from people you don’t know? Those are the kinds of suspicious activities you know to beware of; you’ll need to teach others to be aware too.
Cybersecurity Professionals Conduct Forensics
Let’s say your organization suffered a cyberattack. It already happened so there’s nothing you can do in its aftermath. Or can you? It’s absolutely critical after an attack that you figure out just how bad it was, what went wrong, and how you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. You need to first make sure that the attack is over. Then, you’ll sift through digital files to collect, process, and preserve data. You’ll examine computer evidence and also physical practices that may have caused your networks to become vulnerable. Once you have a clear understanding of where the breach came from, you’ll put new measures in place so it doesn’t happen again.
Cybersecurity Professionals Can Be Ethical Hackers
Sometimes the best way to ensure that your hardware, software, systems, and networks are all safe from attack, is to attack them from within. Ethical hacking is when you think like a criminal to try to gain access to computers and networks. With the authorization of your company, you attempt to use some of the tricks that black hat hackers—the bad guys—use to gain access and cause damage. But, instead of actually stealing identities and corporate secrets or asking for ransom, you identify potential security vulnerabilities. Ethical hacking allows you to run a cyberattack simulation and then work to prevent a real one from ever occurring.
Are you interested in a cybersecurity career?
Hallmark University offers a B.S. in Cybersecurity that only takes 29 months to complete. You’ll learn about the evolving field of digital forensics and security, how to manage security threats, and how to design programs and applications that businesses and governments rely on. Our Security Operations Center simulates what cybersecurity professionals experience when they work in the field. As a student, you’ll get to engage in cyber scenarios like malware detection where you let malware run its course on a contained network and perform the analysis on it. This provides a safe environment for you to work through cyber scenarios that can be malicious to an organization. You will learn what vulnerabilities exist in computers and networks by running through cyber scenarios like DDoS attacks and SQL injections and then study the impact. The Security Operations Center allows you to practice what you’ve learned in the classroom and can give you an advantage in the marketplace because you will have seen attacks and will know what countermeasures to use to stop them.
Are you ready to start on a rewarding career path?