Cyber security is an art and science of protecting information systems and applications from unauthorized access and interception. This science prevents malicious attacks such as phishing, malware, eavesdropping attacks, SQL injection attacks, ransomware, password and data attacks, denial of service attacks (DoS), etc. The techniques of this kind of security involve a range of measures to thwart malicious attempts made by hackers to steal sensitive and confidential information from the information systems. In the modern technologically driven world, it has become an important aspect in the IT and government sectors. Several IT MNC’s and public-sector undertakings are implementing cyber security control mechanisms to prevent data theft and breach of privacy.
Let us have a look at some of the common cyber-related threats and attacks:
- Spyware: It is a process of remotely spying on the activity of an individual’s computer. It is basically an illegal way of monitoring and obtaining personal information.
- Trojans: Trojans are malicious files that have the ability to disrupt the functioning of a computer when downloaded and executed. They are tremendously detrimental and are known for performing malicious activities.
- MITM Attack: Man in the Middle Attack abbreviated as MITM is the most common attack where an intruder positions himself in the middle of a device and a trusted server. The intruder has the ability to read the messages exchanged and may also decrypt encrypted passwords and other information. It mostly occurs on free and open WiFi networks.
- Phishing: It is a process of fleecing people to click on malicious links, which often appear genuine and real. It directs the users to some malicious websites and thereby steals confidential information. Phishing also results in scams.
- Social Engineering: It involves taking control of a computer without the knowledge of the user. A malicious URL link clicked by the user paves the way to obtain sensitive information from the computer.
Why Masters in Cyber security?
A Master’s degree in this subject prepares you to understand and fix security-related challenges faced by many of the current IT organizations. It enhances your skill sets as you learn more advanced techniques to combat malicious attacks. In the changing landscape of IT, a master’s in this allows you to dig deeper into the intricacies of security breaches and privacy attacks. You can learn emerging techniques such as Digital Forensic science, Vulnerability Analysis, Penetration Testing, and Applied Cryptography, among others. Armed with a Master’s in cyber security, you can be confident enough to hold key positions in the job market where the implementation of cyber security techniques is at an all-time high.
Skills of a cyber security expert:
A cyber security expert possesses strong programming skills to execute logic scripts in order to safeguard networks from attacks. Computer programming and network programming are key skills of a cyber expert. Network protocol is another technical skill that is required to understand various versions of a computer network. Threat modeling and ethical hacking are also important skills of cyber experts. A security expert must also be able to conduct penetration testing, intrusion detection techniques, and have a working knowledge of proxy servers and load balancers. One of the cyber security expert jobs is also having a technical understanding of operating systems such as UNIX, Windows, and Linux systems.
Job Profiles for Masters in Cyber Security:
With a master’s in cyber security, an individual can have the following cyber security job opportunities:
- Information Security Analyst: As an ISA, you will be responsible for implementing security mechanisms to protect the computer and information systems in colleges, government organizations, banks, and many IT companies. The job responsibility includes developing new security measures, designing foolproof designs to build strong networking of computers.
- IT security Consultant: The role of an IT security consultant is to advise clients on how they can combat network attacks and cyber threats. It requires you to be a cyber-security expert and provide competitive strategies to keep hackers at bay. It involves deep research and analysis to support a client as per their security-related requirements.
- Penetration Testers: Penetration testers simply try to intrude into a network to identify hidden vulnerabilities and threats before a hacker can intrude into the computer systems. It is basically periodic checking of information systems to discover vulnerabilities, possibilities of attacks, and other security-related issues. A penetration tester requires you to be agile enough to fix cyber security issues as soon as you discover it.
- Forensic Analyst: A forensic analyst is responsible for acting immediately after a cyber attack. The job involves reviewing the nature of an attack and assessing the degree of damage. It also involves identification and investigation of the attack which has occurred.
- Chief Information Security Officer: A CISO is one of the most coveted job positions for cyber security expert jobs. A CISO is employed in many large-scale companies to look after the overall cyber security measures of an organization. A CISO works with the management of an organization and assembles a team of well-qualified experts to tackle various issues in various departments. In general, a CISO is looking after the implementation, delivery, monitoring of cyber security measures, and the team of security experts hired.
Cyber security experts attract good salary packages due to the growing demand for security experts and professionals in the job market. According to Payscale, with a master’s in cyber security, a Chief Information Security Officer can make as much as $143,334 annually. An IT security consultant and a security engineer can make more than $80,000. The job prospects for cyber expert professionals are evergreen and abundant. A master’s in cyber security prepares you with the essential technical skills and thereby promises a bright future ahead.