Is It a High-demand Profitable Career?
Computer security, cyber security, or information technology security protects computer systems and networks from disclosure of information, theft or damage of hardware, software, or electronic data, and interruption or misdirection of the services they provide.
The sector is driven by increased reliance on computer systems, the Internet and wireless networking standards such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and the growth of smart devices, including smartphones, televisions and various devices. Cybersecurity is also one of the biggest challenges in the world today, as information systems are both politically and technologically complex. Its main goal is to ensure the reliability, integrity and privacy of the system.
Failure to implement a cyber security system early can lead to serious problems and concerns that might be too late to resolve. Especially in a data-driven world, it is essential to protect all information from hackers and prevent sensitive information from being misused for malicious purposes.
Cyber security helps protect valuable information and keep computers healthy, without viruses and malware slowing down its performance.
Types of Computer Security
When it comes to computer security tactics there are many that can be used to keep devices, information, software, hardware, and network in computer systems safe. In this section we present some of the most used ones.
Network Security: Network security is the activity aimed at protecting the integrity and usability of networks and data. It consists of the policies and practices employed to prevent and control unauthorized access, misuse, alteration or denial of computer networks and its resources.
Endpoint Security: Endpoint Security or Endpoint Protection is an approach to securing computer networks that connect remotely to different devices.
Internet Security: Internet security is a key aspect of cyber security that involves managing cyber threats and risks associated with the Internet, web browsers, web applications, websites and networks. The main goal of an Internet security solution is to protect users and the company’s IT assets from attacks that spread over the Internet.
Application Security: Application security includes all the tasks of implementing a secure software or App development during its creation process. Examples of application security tools include antivirus software, firewalls, web application firewalls, and encryption.
Information Security: Information Security is a set of practices designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data from unauthorized access and misuse.
Computer Security Threats, Issues, and Vulnerabilities
A computer security threat is a potential risk that can interfere with the normal functioning of a computer system. Especially with the digitalization of the world, cyber threats are increasing day by day. In this section we’ll explore some of the major cyber security threats, issues, and vulnerabilities.
A computer virus is a malicious program that enters a computer generally without its user’s knowledge. This program is able to replicate itself and infect all programs and files in the system. These viruses can affect the computer’s performance, block access or the execution of certain features or tasks and, in worst cases, render the device completely unusable.
A computer worm is a software program that can replicate from one computer system to another without human intervention. Because of their replication capacity and speed, computer worms can consume all disk space and ruin system resources. It has access to the entire system and is able to modify or delete files and even inject other malicious programs. The most concerning part is that it can also steal information and introduce backdoors that give hackers unauthorized access and control of a device.
Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which someone pretends to be a legitimate entity via phone call, email, or SMS to trick a potential target into revealing personal and sensitive information such as banking details and passwords. This leads to financial loss and identity theft.
A botnet is a network of hacked computers or devices connected with the purpose of carrying out malicious activities in larger attacks such as DDoS.
Rootkit is hidden malicious software who provides unauthorized access to computers or restricted areas allowing hackers to change the system configuration of the host and execute files and programs remotely.
A keylogger is surveillance software that tracks and records all user keystrokes and actions. It is one of the most common methods used to steal a person’s login information.
Computer Security: Incident response planning
Incident response is a systematic approach to managing a computer security incident or the aftermath of a breach or a cyberattack, with the goal of preventing future ones. Incidents that are not identified and dealt with at the time of intrusion usually escalate to more damaging events such as data breaches and system failures.
The intended result of a cyber security incident response plan is to contain the incident, limit the damage, and restore normal business operations. Rapid response to breaches can mitigate exploited vulnerabilities, restore services and processes, and minimize losses.
An incident response plan helps organizations establish a set of best practices to stop intrusions before they cause damage. A typical incident response plan includes a set of written instructions outlining a response to a cyberattack. Without a documented plan, organizations may not be able to successfully detect intrusions or breaches, participants may not understand their roles, processes, and procedures during escalation, and organizational response and resolution may be slowed.
A computer security incident response plan has four main components:
1- Production: Procedures for preparing participants to deal with cyber security incidents or compromises.
2- Detection and Analysis: Identify and investigate suspicious activity to confirm security incidents, prioritize responses based on impact, and coordinate incident notifications.
3- Quarantine, Removal, and Recovery: Isolate affected systems to prevent escalation and limit impact, identify incident sources, remove malware, compromised systems, and intruders. Recover and restore systems and data when there is no longer a threat.
4- Subsequent Actions: Full Post-attack analysis of the incident, what has caused it, and the organizational response to improve incident response planning and subsequent response activities.
Typical Computer Security Job Titles and Descriptions
Cyber security is a field with a huge demand and with a lot of potential for growth. It is also one of the most competitive and sought-after career fields. There are many cyber security jobs available today, and they are some of the most lucrative jobs in the world.
Computer Security analyst
Analyzes and assesses infrastructure vulnerabilities (software, hardware, networks); investigates the use of available tools and countermeasures to mitigate discovered vulnerabilities, and recommends solutions and best practices. Analyzes and assesses data/infrastructure damage caused by security incidents; reviews available recovery tools and processes, and recommends solutions. They also perform inspections according to security policies and procedures .
Performs security monitoring, security analysis and investigation, and data/logging to detect and respond to security incidents. They are involved in the research and implementation of new technologies and processes to improve security features and implement enhancements. They can also review code or perform other security engineering techniques.
Computer Security Architect
Design security systems or key components of security systems and may lead security design teams that build new security systems. A security architect is someone who designs and implements a secure network. They are also responsible for developing, implementing, testing, and maintaining the information security policies that govern the company’s information systems.
Computer Security Administrator
Install and manage security systems throughout the organization. This position may also include some security analyst responsibilities in smaller organizations. A systems administrator is responsible for the daily operations of a computer system or network. They are in charge of maintaining and troubleshooting systems, and implementing patches, updates, and software upgrades.
System administrators are also responsible for managing user accounts and permissions on a computer system or network. They can also monitor the health of systems to spot potential problems before they become bigger problems.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Senior position responsible for all information security departments/employees. The position may involve hands-on technical work.
A broad job title, including all other roles or job titles responsible for protecting computers, networks, software, data, or information systems from viruses, worms, spyware, malware, intrusion detection, unauthorized access, and a growing number of attacks by hackers as individuals or as part of organized crime or foreign governments.
Is Computer Security a Good Career Choice?
Cyber security as a field has very broad career opportunities. Unemployment is low, and indeed many countries have labor shortages. So, if you qualify as a cybersecurity professional, you won’t be out of a job for long. As a cybersecurity expert, you are at the forefront of protecting important data. Because of this, it’s challenging and rewarding, and you can make a real impact. Also, the salary is above average, which is a nice plus. However, working in cybersecurity also comes with challenges and pressures. Making sure you have the right passion and personality will help you decide if cybersecurity is right for you.
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