Cyber crime impact on Canadians – CBC National News
Computer resources are one of the most important assets in businesses today and computer security specialists make sure those resources are protected from such threats as viruses, hackers and fraud.
Other possible titles:
- Computer Security
- Information Technology (IT) Security
Our technology-dependent world thrives on cyber security specialists to outsmart online criminals who find creative new ways to steal and exploit private information for their own benefit. Network breaches, viruses, data loss and identity theft are just some of the threats that individuals and organizations come across in the online (a.k.a. cyber) world.
Cyber security professionals are found in every industry sector from financial and healthcare services to large retail and hotel chains. They think outside the box to stay one step ahead of the hackers to minimize or prevent cyber security risks.
An estimated seven million people in Canada fell victim to cyber crime ranging from credit card fraud to identity theft in the past 12 months, according to the 2013 Norton Report.
Even the popular note taking platforms like Evernote or daily deal websites like Living Social are not exempt from cyber attacks. In 2013, both companies experienced a network breach where over 50 million user names, email addresses and passwords were stolen, according to SC Magazine. Now just imagine how far your personal information can travel once it gets into the wrong hands.
Because online technologies are continually changing, careers in cyber security are always in demand. Cyber security specialists have to continuously upgrade their skills to keep pace with new technologies to predict and stop security risks before they happen.
So pick any industry, government or organization to build a rewarding career in cyber security that never gets dull and boring.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Installing firewalls and security software to prevent unauthorized access to computer systems
- Keeping a keen eye on tech trends and updating security systems as needed
- Implementing measures to protect data if security breach occurs
- Backing up data on an ongoing basis
- Communicating security policies and procedures to all employees and management
- Oral and written communication skills
- Problem solving skills
- Creative and analytical skills
- Computer programming and networking skills
- Ability to stay calm in times of crises
- Research and investigative skills
- Desire to learn and be challenged
Many colleges provide a mix of theoretical and hands-on learning in cyber security. For example, the Bachelor of Applied Information Sciences – Information Security program at Sheridan College provides specialized courses such as network security, database security and data protection, among many others.
There are also multiple graduate (master) programs in computer and information technology security, offered at universities like UOIT and Concordia. In these programs, students have an opportunity to do extensive research and prepare real-world projects in the field of cyber security.