Most people turn on their computers and go about their business online, rarely thinking about what goes into protecting their information from prying eyes. If you do online banking, download software or music on iTunes, or even play games with your kids, your information is being sent out and distributed online. Savvy hackers can access your information and use it to impersonate you, access your money, or run up fraudulent charges on your credit card. Once you realize what hackers can do with your information, imagine what they can do with high-risk security information such as the computer networks of the Government or law enforcement. It is the job of a Cyber Security Professional to protect networks, personal information, and highly classified data, both large and small.
The first step in the career path for someone interested in becoming a Cyber Security professional would be to obtain the educational requirements. Many Universities across the USA offer Bachelor and Masters level degree programs that focus on certifications as Information Systems Security Officers. The basis of these programs lay in Computer Science, as it is the software coding that forms the building blocks of cyber security. An additional degree in Criminal Justice could also serve you well in a career path such as Cyber Security.
The United States Military is another great place to get started in a career as a Cyber Security professional. The Military focuses on Homeland security, and as such will allow you to continually train and update your skills in order to best protect the important information systems of the Military and the Government. Homeland security focuses on more than physical protection, it concentrates on high functioning communications systems. Communication is the key to protecting the country, and it is one of the jobs of a Cyber Security professional to protect communication systems.
If you are interested in this career path, be sure to gain practical experience as you attend school. Find yourself a part time position as a security professional and begin to assess for yourself how security works within certain infrastructures. Thinking outside the box is often the best course of action with any position, and these types of analytical skills cannot be taught in school. If you come across a business that you feel should be better protecting their information, volunteer yourself to help them out.
Open source community software is yet another area to improve your practical skills while you are attending school. There are many open source projects that require coding on a constant basis, and as they grow, they require security such as firewalls and SSL. Finding and building solutions for community software is a good way to gain practical experience.
A career as a Cyber Security professional can be extremely rewarding, even at the most basic level of protecting a small business or an individual server. As you grow in this profession, you can make a very real contribution to the safety and security of the people in your Country.
Read more about the computer security industry:
Invasions of Cyber Privacy
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