CyberSecurity – Job Security

With cyberattacks on the rise in 2009, the FBI now considers such attacks to be the third greatest risk for our country, following nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction.  The fear of “Cybergeddon” has lead to government agencies and private companies alike recruiting experts in the field of security.  Obama is in the process of picking his top cybersecurity aide, while many other organizations are also searching for these important skills.

 

The problem does not only affect companies, however.  For instance, it is estimated that millions of computers were recently infected by the “Downadup worm,” which has effectively spread due to a flaw in Microsoft Windows.  These threats can not only affect business PCs, but can also attack those using the internet from home.  Over the past few years, there have been more and more issues with personal information being obtained by hackers who have gained access to personal PCs.  Social Security numbers, tax information and any other info stored on the PC can be at risk, and many non-technical users are still unaware of the threat. 

 

July 4th, 2009, a series of cyberattacks began, which were aimed at the United States and South Korea.  Investigators have been ‘all around the world’ attempting to track down the hackers who put these attacks into motion.  And these types of attacks are only more likely to occur in the future.

 

There are many programs being developed with an aim at nurturing students in high school and college to develop cybersecurity skills.  Mischel Kwon, Director of the Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, herself graduated from a Scholarship for Service program which was aimed at providing the best security training on scholarship, in exchange for a period of government service.

 

For those already out of school looking to add security skills to their resume, there are many other options for obtaining these sought after skills.  There are numerous courses and certifications offered which will help increase your marketability in the world of cybersecurity.  For further information, there are also many organizations dedicated to the pursuit of researching and understanding the skills needed to prevent cyberattacks.  One excellent source of detailed information, the Information Technology (IT) Security Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK), is published by the Homeland Security Department and can be found at http://www.us-cert.gov/ITSecurityEBK/EBK2008.pdf.

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