Cybercrime is the biggest threat to technological advancement, both in business and residential settings. As technology becomes more sophisticated, the hacking techniques advance as well, with the damages associated with cybercrime rising to $400 billion as of 2018 up from $250 billion in 2016. All businesses, regardless of size, have the duty to have robust measures in place to ensure the security of both their hardware and software. However, many SMEs tend to shy away from having cybersecurity on their annual budgets, probably due to the hefty costs associated and the strong technicality related to it.
Here are a few reasons why all businesses should consider having robust cybersecurity measures in place:
The Incredible Cost of a Data Breach:
Cybersecurity may be expensive to install, but the repercussions of a data breach are far more costly. If sensitive client data is interfered with, sold on the dark web, exposed, or stolen, the company may have to endure legal costs from lawsuits and damages. Affected companies also bear the hidden cost in reputation damage, where affected clients and potential clients will no longer trust the company for business. Failure to protect client data often results in the loss of high-value clients and the inability to win new tenders or contracts.
The Increased skill of Black Hat Hackers:
Today’s hackers have incredible talent and coding skills that enable them to leverage every access point, including a social media page, corporate email addresses, and websites. They can opt to steal classified data, lockout company system administrators, or introduce malicious code that causes permanent damage. Others take temporary control of the systems for a hefty ransom.
The largest companies have endured such attacks, one particularly notable being Deloitte, the largest cybersecurity consultant on the planet. It is vital that every business considers itself a target for a cyber attack to have prevention measures in place.
Advancement of IoT Devices:
According to Cisco, by 2021, there will be 27.1 billion IoT devices connected globally. The use of IoT devices has provided many advantages to business operations. However, it has also provided a vulnerability that today’s caliber of hackers can use to gain access to business data.
There are regulations in place that require all companies to have strict cybersecurity measures in place. Failure to have such measures in place could lead to hefty fines in the case of a security event.
How to start a career in cyber security?
Qualified experts in cybersecurity will always be on-demand as the incorporation of IT in corporate environments continues. In 2019, the demand for cybersecurity experts rose to about 2 million. If you plan to get yourself a lucrative career in cybersecurity, you will need to put in the work to become better than the black hat hackers you aspire to beat. Here are some of the steps you can take to become a cybersecurity professional:
Decide on a specialization
Would you like to ensure medical data security or the more corporate kind of data? Are you interested in the technical aspect (coding and tools) or the regulatory and leadership side of cybersecurity? As a leader, you will be required to provide ample guidance to a cybersecurity team in any setting. Ask yourself this question to help you determine the courses and certifications you will need to take.
Start your beginner’s courses
IT is a vast field, and to become a professional, you need to get your theory in the fundamentals of IT, then on to networking essentials and security. You can try some free courses like Udemy, Udacity or Cybrary or a more recognized qualification like those offered by CompTIA, Cisco, ISC2, or EC Council certifications.
As soon as you have the fundamentals in order, take courses that fit your chosen specialization. For the technical aspect, you can take programs that impart skills in security engineering or security architecture. The leadership roles in cybersecurity include programs in Chief information security officer, Information security analyst, or security consultant. Some of these courses include:
- CompTIA Security+
- CISSPY (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
- CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
- CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
Put work into learning the essentials all the way to the more advanced stuff by yourself
If you sign up for any certification, you will need to put in the time to go through some additional courses and tutorials online. These self-taught concepts will impart more hands-on skills that will improve your proficiency and prep you for major exams.
The CompTIA Security+ certification
CompTIA certifications are among the best and most recognized in the field of IT. Any CompTIA certification will quickly edge out the competition in any job application. The CompTIA Security+ covers concepts in network security and common threats and vulnerabilities, access control, identity protection and management, cryptography, and many more vital cybersecurity concepts. This program has no prerequisites, though it is highly advised that you obtain the CompTIA N+ credential and have two years’ experience in IT administration. To obtain the highly coveted certification, you need to pass the SYO-501 exam.
Tips to Pass the CompTIA Security+ exam
The SYO-501 exam will be used to test your knowledge in the basics of security as well as basic concepts. It may be a basic level exam, but will not be easy to pass. Here are some tips that will help you ace the CompTIA Security+ exam:
Associate yourself with the exam’s six major domains
- Threats, attacks, and domains
- Tools and technologies
- Architecture and design
- Identity and access management
- Risk management
- Cryptography and PKI
Create a Study Plan
Go through each domain and identify the most challenging areas, then create a study plan that realistically balances your work and life obligations. Consider how soon you will take the exam, how much you can spend on additional study materials, and how well you already are acquainted with the examinable concepts. Also, include practice exams in your study plan. Remember to rest as often as you can.
To become a cybersecurity expert, you need to obtain your certifications from a trustworthy provider. A CompTIA Security+ Certification from a trusted trainer will give you access to everything you need to become a highly competent cybersecurity expert.