Cyber Security – How to Get Started?

Too small or too big a business?

Frankly speaking, cyber crooks care less. Every business is a target if it has the data needed to benefit cybercriminals. Keeping your business safe could mean acquainting yourself with the fundamentals even if it means taking an introduction to cyber security course for the sake of the business.

Taking stock of the year 2019, it would be alarming that the first six months of the year saw a rise in data breaches by 54% and confidential records exposed up by 52% compared to the previous year. It is now a fact that a data breach is a business security aspect that we can’t possibly overlook.

Let’s break it down further.

  • In February 2019, the social platform Evite was hacked through an inactive storage file of user accounts. Ten million user accounts were affected in the process.
  • In two separate cases in February and March 2019, the multinational motor corporation, Toyota Japan’s dealerships accounts were attacked. Not much information is out concerning the attack, but at least 3.1 million accounts were affected.
  • Still, in February and March 2019, The American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) was not spared either. This unfortunate incident resulted in more than 20 million patients’ records being exposed, and for some, payment card details being put up for sale.
  • In March 2019, Capital One was hacked, and at least 106 million customer information exposed.
  • April 2019 was the month that saw social media giant Facebook hacked on Amazon’s Cloud platform. This caused a leak of up to 540 million user records.
  • In May 2019, America’s real estate insurer, First American Financial Corporation, was hacked and sensitive financial data, including bank statements, mortgage statements, social security numbers, tax information, and more were accessed. Some 885 million records were exposed.

These are just a few of the data breaches that have occurred so far this year. By June 2019, up to 3,813 breaches had been reported, with more than 4.1 billion records leaked out. Of these breaches, three have been ranked top 10 among the biggest breaches ever witnessed.

Cyber Security is growing fast

The advancement of technology has heightened the vulnerability of the personal information of users across online platforms. The increasing number of cyberattacks, data breaches, and exposures each year has had significant implications on the price tag of cybersecurity and, ultimately, that of doing business. In 2014, the global cybersecurity market was projected to grow to a worth of $155.74 billion by the year 2019.

If cyber threats have grown to become the fourth greatest risk to the economies of the world, according to the World Economic Forum Report, businesses have every reason to be concerned about the safety of the data under their storage.

For businesses that are already operating in the cloud, cybersecurity ought to be critical regardless of its growing cost. Cyber-attacks have been ranked the fastest-growing of all cybercrimes, and businesses should guard their servers with equal measure. One reason why a business should be on the lookout is that, according to regulations set by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, they (businesses) will be directly responsible for all the information in its storage and this legal aspect has been proven to cost them significantly in the event of an attack.

Defining cybersecurity

When the term ‘cybersecurity’ is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is online safety. Today, most businesses run online on computers, physical servers, and cloud platforms. As a result, systems, individuals, and groups of people get exposed to security risks.

Cybersecurity refers to the practices, procedures, processes, and frameworks put in place to safeguard networks, systems, and information from risks like attacks and/or unauthorized access. A good cybersecurity strategy consists of not just the right systems for identity management, intrusion prevention, and detection, risk assessment, incident and threat management, data loss prevention, and others. It also includes a user education program.

Because the world will continue to rely on technology, it must come to a complete understanding of what cybersecurity really is and its overall implications. Cybersecurity is the safeguard that online operations need to stay safe.


How to start a career in cybersecurity

The role of cybersecurity in technology cannot be underestimated. This is an era of big data and cloud computing. Huge volumes of data are stored in the cloud by virtually every institution and much more data transmitted from server to server each passing day. This makes information a target of cybercriminals.

At the same time, institutions are increasingly becoming aware of the implications of cyber attacks and rising to protect data in their care. More resources are being allocated towards the prevention and mitigation of data security risks, incidences, and breaches. For this reason, these institutions are constantly on the lookout for expert cybersecurity experts.

  • A fulfilling career if you have passion and ambition

The world today needs cybersecurity specialists more than anything. If you have the passion and ambition, here is an opportunity to help save the world from attacks and there is nothing as fulfilling as this.

  • Your background

While you do not need to have a technical educational background in computer science, information technology, information science, or management information system, a qualification in any of these will certainly put you a step ahead in your career. At the same time, technical skills like programming, software development, and encryption will come in handy.

No matter where you start from, gear up for lots of work and study if you intend to exhale in this field.

  • Your goals and interests

The cybersecurity field is broad. Take some time to decide exactly what you want to do. Know your strengths and your skills. Would you like to follow the technical path? You will be happier assuming roles like penetration testing, threat management, and security architecture. On the other hand, if you would rather stick to the non-technical side roles like governance and compliance, cyber policy analysis, or network administration.

Well, this may not be clear as you begin and this is quite okay. Once you get acquainted and are past the introduction stage, you will be in a good position to decide.

  • The basics

The starting point for cybersecurity is some knowledge of networking and security. For this, you may opt for an online certification course such as Network+, Security+, CompTIA, CISSP, or EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

  • Training

Consider taking an introductory course in cybersecurity from a credible training provider. For beginners, it would be a good place to start.

In conclusion

There are several career paths in cybersecurity engineers; it takes some familiarization, experience, study, and interaction with others in the field to get to where you desire to be. There is no end to learning. Once you are done with the beginner courses and certifications consider advancing.