Are you interested in becoming a cybersecurity specialist but not sure why cybersecurity is so important? As a cybersecurity specialist, you can forge a career blocking threats from malicious hackers. You can become a hero, fight cyberterrorism, and prevent major devastation to the country’s most critical infrastructures. However, before you start, you must cultivate the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience it takes to do the job right. Let’s look as that a cybersecurity specialist does.
What Does a Cybersecurity Specialist Do?
Cybersecurity specialists are tasked with risk mitigation, installations, administration, and monitoring complex IT security schemes. Many security professionals work in multi-tiered teams to track and troubleshoot vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and unauthorized access to data centers.
Their role involves the creation of IT security policies, training workers, and updating protocols that keep infrastructures safe and secure. As a cybersecurity specialist, you research emerging IT security trends, develop new standards and create disaster recovery protocols for business continuity.
You’ll assist fellow coworkers with new products and train them to follow updated protocols and security strategies. As a team leader, you train and manage your team according to existing IT security policies and teach them how to stop incoming threats to your organization’s security.
How Do You Become a Cybersecurity Specialist?
Enrolling in and completing an Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity is your first step on this career path. The program’s focus is to prepare you for entry-level employment in the IT security field. In your career, you’ll need certifications for CompTIA’s A+, Security+, CySA+, Network+, CySA+, and Pentest, and the program helps you obtain these vital credentials.
What Do You Learn During a Cybersecurity Program?
The program starts with the fundamentals of cybersecurity and IT security:
- Learn the essentials of firewalls to block vulnerabilities and boost security.
- Discover cybersecurity operations where you cultivate the skills to analyze network intrusions.
- Monitor the security of networks and infrastructures and become well-versed in security policy procedures.
Hardware and Software
Applied science in cybersecurity includes computer and network hardware skills, operating systems, and software creation. This program teaches you about OS client services for Linux and Windows-based systems, and how to set up and manage networks. You’ll also discover the hardware and software involved in designing and deploying a complete commercial network.
In addition to the fundamentals and introductory skills, you learn digital forensics and ethical hacking. Digital forensics prepares you to conduct a full-scale digital investigation, starting with procuring evidence, assessing the chain of custody, and pinpointing the origin of a cyberattack.
You’ll also learn how digital forensics tools operate and how to use them proficiently in the field. These skills are an incredible asset for security-based careers. You can apply them to any investigation, especially if you expand your career goals into government sectors.
Ethical hacking teaches you known security scenarios criminals use to gain access to networks, infrastructure, and data centers. The purpose is to train you in countermeasures to block malicious attacks on your organization’s network without violating the law or committing a crime.
Vital Tools Used in Cybersecurity
There are many vital tools used in cybersecurity. They include:
A firewall monitors network traffic and blocks potential attacks on a computer or network. It is the first step in securing a device or network by preventing malicious software from penetrating the current security scheme and gaining access or control.
All computers and networks require anti-virus software to prevent attacks, data theft, and corruption. It conducts assessments of the network and devices to find vulnerabilities and potential threats. You’ve seen the benefits of anti-virus protection on your home computer. The software shows you any risks, such as dangerous websites while surfing the web that could damage your device or put you at risk.
A penetration test simulates a cyberattack to find areas of a network or devices where a cybercriminal can exploit them to get into the network, data centers, or workstations. In cybersecurity, you’ll conduct these tests regularly to ensure the safety of your organization’s network.
SQL Injection Tools
Structured Query Language (SQL) is vital to creating and managing databases and data centers. As you learn more about IT and its many systems, you’re taught how to develop databases with connecting programs. The purpose is to break down all aspects of databases and data centers to help you understand how they work and how to secure them from attacks.
Cybercriminals use SQLi or SQL injection to insert SQL-based code to access data sources and corrupt or modify the data. These attacks involve the creation of an input box you’d see on a web form where you are signing up for services or even applying for something on a website.
These attacks can expose confidential information and give cybercriminals ultimate power over the organization or their intended victim. In ethical hacking, you learn how to use SQLi to protect your organization’s network, devices, and data centers.
Other Injection Tools
These tools identify and mitigate instances of injection attacks. They manage these attacks such as command prompt, code, cross-site scripting, Xpath, mail command, CRLF, host header, and LDAP.
Why is Cybersecurity So Important?
Realizing why cybersecurity is so essential begins with the knowledge of what criminals want. In identifying these desires, you must understand their motive.
In most cyber investigations, criminals seek financial data, customer identification, and critical information. Their level of criminality defines the size of the infrastructure the criminal intends to attack and why.
For instance, your average cybercriminal wants financial data such as credit cards or banking information to use for capital gains. They may also take matters a step further and steal the victim’s identity to gain access to other financial accounts and steal more money. Finally, a higher-level criminal will seek information often used for blackmail or to gain control of the victim.
Understanding Where It Starts
Every day the number of internet users increases at an accelerated rate, and cybersecurity must start from that access point, the internet service provider. Once a criminal connects to your internet services, their next step is to find all devices within a home or business network.
Taking over your devices is the fastest way to gain control over the information you have stored. Criminals look for financial data and personal details such as passwords, contact information, and online habits. These concepts are where the attacks begin, and more end users become victims.
As more users connect, more vulnerabilities emerge for those who don’t know how to secure their devices, and they become victims of cybercriminals. In addition, the lack of cybersecurity specialists worldwide gives cybercriminals more opportunities to achieve their goals. Without teams of security specialists, organizations may fall, and criminals may thwart these organizations.
While these attacks start with end users and consumers, the attacks can branch out to small companies, mid-range organizations, and government agencies, where cybercriminals gain the most benefit.
The Dangers of Ransomware
The average internet user may have encountered ransomware. For many years, internet users have experienced ransomware attacks to deny them access to their computers, files, and services. Unfortunately, the number of victims has grown over the years.
One example of a ransomware attack showed users an FBI page informing them they were guilty of a crime and would face criminal charges unless they paid the ransom. The malicious software also took over their web cameras and showed these end users that the criminals were watching them. For many without IT knowledge, the event meant they’d never use their computer again. All the files stored on the device were gone unless they followed through with the criminal’s demands.
Imagine how these attacks affected more sophisticated networks such as a hospital. As a cybersecurity specialist, you get to take these criminals to task and save the lives of all the hospital’s patients.
Ransomware attacks at organizations such as medical centers don’t just take control of the network. The criminals could change patient health records and put many people at risk of injuries. Imagine if a cybercriminal gained access to a government official’s medical records and they used it against the intended party and the country the official governs. This is why cybersecurity specialists are vital.
The Importance of Cybersecurity to Everyday Resources
Cyberterrorism continues to grow. Imagine what you need every day to survive. Water, electricity, and gas are vital resources everyone uses. Sophisticated cyberattacks could cut off these resources. More cybersecurity specialists are needed to prevent these attacks. Now, you know why cybersecurity is so important.
Want to Learn More?
The Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity training program prepares and supports you in obtaining several certifications in support of their cybersecurity career including CompTIA’s A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Pentest, & CySA+. AAS in Cybersecurity training program graduates will typically qualify for entry-level employment in roles such as Information Security Analysts and Computer Network Support Specialists.
The mission of Peloton College is to be the premier provider of hands-on training and education by providing you with the necessary skills to secure occupational careers. Contact us today to learn more.