Are Cybersecurity Practices Similar to Hacking?
The COVID-19 pandemic threw almost every aspect of commerce in a loop, and in many fields, a move to web-based business was essential for those businesses to stay afloat amidst stay-at-home orders and other legislation that prevented people from gathering in places like office buildings.
With this trend came a rapid evolution of remote office technologies, that aimed (and often succeeded) to make a remote office feel more like a brick-and-mortar one. After nearly a year of COVID restrictions, a few silver linings showed themselves, one being data that showed a high percentage of remote employees performed as well or better than they did while working in an office. This presents a huge money-saving opportunity to businesses if they choose to allow employees to work remotely after all restrictions are lifted.
With the money saved in office space and related resources, some investments should be made to ensure a company’s remote workers are protected and enabled for success. Cyberattacks are on the rise, which is no surprise given the drastic increase in internet activity and eCommerce sparked by the pandemic, and protecting your remote employees from these individuals and computer programs is a large part of that.
Cybersecurity is the process of defending against cyberattacks, and a necessary trait of a good cybersecurity professional is the ability to think like a hacker. The two “professions” are, indeed, different, though, and here is a closer look at the good guys and the (perceived) bad guys who deal in clandestine activity on the web.
The term “hacking” is quite broad, but the nutshell definition is: accessing information on digital devices and networks via unauthorized access. Contrary to the general connotation, though, hacking isn’t always done with the goal of stealing or doing anything negative. Though still illegal, some hackers just do it to inform themselves of the inside knowledge related to their bosses, or their favorite football teams, or even organizations like the CIA and FBI, who are hacked fairly often.
In another example of hacking that isn’t particularly detrimental to U.S. citizens, those same organizations staff their own teams of hackers to find and maintain information related to national security, which very much so includes national cybersecurity. This type of hacking is a measure in cybersecurity, but not all hacking is, and in fact, most of it is done with criminal intent. That’s where the other parts of cybersecurity come into play.
The term “hackers” pertains to individuals actively working to access a given network or device, but there are several other types of cyberattacks, including (but not limited to) phishing, malware, SQL injections, and many more. Cybersecurity is the defense against any and all of these attacks. As more and more data is being stored on the cloud, more and more niches of cybersecurity are emerging, and the demand for these individuals is very high and only expected to grow (because hacking is expected to grow as well).
Careers in Cybersecurity
The career path to being a cybersecurity professional begins with an education, and if you’re just entering the workforce, a bachelor’s in cybersecurity is common at most universities, so be sure to search around a little bit. If you already have a degree in something computer science-related, a lateral move into cybersecurity is plausible with certifications and some intense on-the-job training. However, the best way to set yourself up for success is by attaining a master’s in cyber information security, or a similar field of study.
As is the case with any field heavily dependent upon technological advancements, changes are frequent and unavoidable in the world of cybersecurity. If you’re looking for a career without much change, this is probably not the one for you, but if you enjoy evolving alongside an industry, and looking ahead to determine a preventative course of action, cybersecurity is a great choice that pays well and offers a lot of job security (coincidentally).