What is Cyber Security? A Comprehensive Guide

Cyber security is rapidly growing with a high demand for qualified professionals. If you are considering a career in cyber security or are fresh out of college and looking for your first job, it’s important to understand this field. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss what cyber security is, the different roles within the field and the education and experience required for each. We’ll also explore some of the exciting opportunities available in cyber security and give you tips on how to get started in this industry.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a broad term that refers to the practice of protecting your computer networks and data from unauthorized access or theft. This can include everything from installing firewalls and antivirus software to creating strong passwords and encrypting sensitive information. As our lives move increasingly online, the need for cyber security professionals has never been greater.

Types of Cyber Security

There are five distinct fields of cyber security work, each requiring a unique skill set:

  • Network Security
  • Information Security
  • Application Security
  • Operational Security
  • Security Architecture

Network Security

 This involves protecting computer networks from unauthorized access or attack. Network security professionals install and maintain firewalls, antivirus software, and other security measures to keep their systems safe.

Information Security

Information security professionals protect sensitive data from theft or destruction. They may work in industries like healthcare or finance, where data privacy is of utmost importance. 

Application Security

Application security focuses on protecting the software that we use every day from attacks. This can include everything from web browsers to mobile apps. Application security professionals work to find and fix vulnerabilities in code before hackers can exploit them.

Operational Security

Operational security professionals are responsible for ensuring the safety of company operations. They may work in industries like energy or transportation, where a breach could have serious consequences. 

Security Architecture

Security architects design and build secure computer systems from the ground up. This involves creating detailed diagrams and plans that identify potential weak points and propose solutions.

Types Of Cyber Security Threats

Now that you know the type of cyber security you want to be in, it’s important to know the types of cyber security threats that are out there. There are seven types of cyber security threats that you need to be aware of:

  • Malware: Malware is a general term for any type of software that is designed to damage or disable computers. This can include viruses, Trojans, worms, and ransomware. 
  • Phishing: Phishing is the act of sending fraudulent emails to obtain sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. 
  • SQL Injection: SQL injection is an attack that allows hackers to execute malicious code on a database. This can result in the theft of data or the destruction of the database itself.
  • Denial of Service: A denial of service (DoS) attack attempts to make a website or server unavailable by flooding it with requests. 
  • Man in the Middle: A man in the middle attack is a hack that allows hackers to intercept and decrypt communications between two parties. 
  • Social Engineering: Social engineering is the act of using deception to obtain sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. 
  • Hardware Hacking: Hardware hacking is unauthorized tampering with computer hardware, like routers or switches.

Importance of Cyber Security

As you can see, cyber security is a vital part of keeping our computer systems and data safe. But its importance doesn’t stop there. Cyber security is also crucial for national security. In today’s world, nearly everything is connected to the internet somehow. This includes things like power plants and financial institutions. If hackers were able to gain access to these systems, they could cause a lot of damage. That’s why the government employs cyber security professionals to protect critical infrastructure from attack.

Computer Science vs. Cyber Security

So, what’s the difference between computer science and cyber security? Computer science is the study of computers and their applications. This includes things like programming, algorithms, and data structures. Cyber security is a branch of computer science that deals with protecting computer systems from unauthorized access or attack.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Cyber Security?

Now that you know what cyber security is and why it’s important, you might be wondering how long it takes to learn. The answer depends on a few factors, like your previous experience and the type of cyber security you want to learn. If you’re just starting, you can expect to spend two to four years earning a degree in cyber security. However, if you have some experience in the field, you may be able to get a job with just a few months of training. 

Is Cyber Security Hard?

Cyber security can be challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s a constantly evolving field that requires you to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies. But don’t let that discourage you because there’s a lot of support available. There are many online resources, like forums and chat rooms, to ask questions and get help from other cyber security professionals.

Is Cyber Security A Good Job?

Having a job in cyber security is great, and it’s only going to get better. The demand for cyber security professionals is multiplying, and the salary range is very generous. The median salary for a cyber security professional in Indiana varies but can be around $98,000. So if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, cyber security is a great choice.

Cyber security is a growing and important career field that offers many opportunities for proper training. If you’re looking for a well-paying job with room for growth, consider exploring a career in cyber security for free using the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant today. We have programs and resources to help you get started on the right path, so don’t wait – explore your options now!